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Information processing biases towards pain related stimuli in pain patients

Pincus, Tamar; (1993) Information processing biases towards pain related stimuli in pain patients. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Chronic pain patients selective processing of pain related information was investigated in a series of experiments. No evidence was found for the existence of an attention bias towards pain stimuli on an emotional stroop task. However, pain patients exhibited a tendency to produce significantly more pain related associations to ambiguous cues, and to interpret more ambiguous homophones as pain related than control subjects. The results from a series of free recall tasks revealed that pain patients selectively recalled more pain related adjectives than controls. This last effect appears to be specific to information that was encoded in reference to themselves, and specific to information related to pain, rather than to depression, even in pain patients with elevated depression scores. Finally, pain patients did not differ from control subjects on implicit and cued memory tasks. Overall, results suggest that information processing biases towards pain stimuli are exhibited in chronic pain patients, and that these biases appear to be associated with elaboration rather than integration. The discussion focuses on the theoretical and clinical implications of these findings, and attempts to explain the results in light of schema theory.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Information processing biases towards pain related stimuli in pain patients
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Psychology; Pain processing
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10099483
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