Modern Psychological Studies
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Place of Publication
Interpersonal rejection, exclusion, and loss are known to produce painful feelings (Eisenberger, Lieberman, & Williams, 2003), but little is know about the neural network underlying this type of pain. Recent evidence suggests this social pain may have important neural connections with physical pain (Eisenberger et al., 2003). The current literature review explores the connection between social pain and physical pain in neural activity, individual differences (e.g., pain sensitivity), situation appraisal, social support, and pain reducers (e.g., acetaminophen). The review examines the overlapping pain system as an evolutionary adaptation necessary for survival (MacDonald & Leary, 2005). Authentic experiences of social rejection (e.g., bullying) are explored and offer new directions for research (Sansone, Watts & Wiederman, 2013), and opposing evidence supporting a numbing effect of severe social rejection is discussed (Berstein & Claypool, 2012). The review concludes with a synthesis and discussion about why understanding social pain is important.
BF1 .M63 v. 20 no. 1 2014
Andrews, Laura A. and DiDonato, Theresa E.
"Shared neural circuits: The connection between social and physical pain,"
Modern Psychological Studies: Vol. 20:
1, Article 5.
Available at: https://scholar.utc.edu/mps/vol20/iss1/5