Approach and avoidance personality traits in acute pain and placebo analgesia

Publication date: Available online 16 January 2020Source: Personality and Individual DifferencesAuthor(s): Arianna Vecchio, Vilfredo De PascalisAbstractPain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential damage to the body. The experience of acute pain reflects the continuous processing of a complex hierarchical system of motivations to act that incorporates expectations and beliefs serving to limit the impact of adverse events. Research on placebo analgesia highlights that placebo analgesia can be modulated by dispositional characteristics that interact with environmental and personality-state variables. Generally, acute pain relief, and particularly placebo analgesia, is conceptualized as a self-regulated homoeostatic process associated with the achievement of a reward that serves to interrupt the ongoing pain sensation. Motivational states that drive the behaviour of aversion to acute pain and the attainment of pain relief or placebo analgesia can be conceptualized in terms of behavioural inhibition, behavioural approach, and the fight-flight-freeze system. It is desirable to conduct more research on placebo analgesia to evaluate the role of individual approach/avoidance behaviour to allow the planning of individual treatments to reduce pain.
Source: Personality and Individual Differences - Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Source Type: research

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