Pain reduces discrimination in helping
Article first published online: 1 JUL 2014
Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
European Journal of Social Psychology
Volume 44, Issue 6, pages 602–611, October 2014
How to Cite
2014), Pain reduces discrimination in helping, European Journal of Social Psychology, 44, pages 602–611, doi: 10.1002/ejsp.2045, and (
- Issue published online: 6 OCT 2014
- Article first published online: 1 JUL 2014
- Manuscript Accepted: 15 MAY 2014
- Manuscript Revised: 13 MAY 2014
- Manuscript Received: 30 DEC 2013
Because of their shared neurobiological underpinnings, factors increasing physical pain can also increase feelings of social disconnection (“social pain”). Feelings of connection with a social group are reflected in the term social identification, and social identity is commonly associated with intergroup discrimination. In two experiments, we examined the notion that physical pain would reduce social identification and subsequently inhibit intergroup discrimination in helping. By using a pain memory manipulation and a support measure of helping in Study 1 (N = 173), and an actual pain manipulation combined with a behavioural measure of helping in Study 2 (N = 72), results from both studies confirmed the predictions. As expected, physical pain eliminated ingroup favouritism in helping, and identification mediated this effect in the ingroup condition but not in the outgroup condition. We discuss these findings in light of the apparently paradoxical relationship between social support and pain. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.