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Connection between the body pose and pain threshold

Dušanka Novaković (2017) Connection between the body pose and pain threshold. MSc thesis.

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    The field which includes the study of body poses as they pertain to pain threshold perception is exceptionally poorly researched. One of a few studies which addressed this problem is the study performed by V. Bohns and S. Wiltermuth (2012) about how dominant or submissive poses affect pain threshold. The purpose of the master’s thesis was to replicate and improve the main experiment performed by V. Bohns and S. Wiltermuth (2012). First, we performed a preliminary online study which aided in picking the most dominant and the most submissive pose, as judged by a sample of Slovenian populace, which was completed by 98 participants aged between 18 and 64 years. The online study used 3 dominant and 3 submissive poses used in the aforementioned paper and the study done by D. Carney, A. Cuddy, and A. Yap (2010). Participants rated each pose on a scale from 1 to 11 based on how powerful or powerless it made them feel while they were holding the pose. Results showed that participants rated D1 as the most dominant pose and S1 as the most submissive pose. These two poses were then used in the main study, where we tested the hypothesis that adopting a randomly designated dominant pose increases acute pain threshold while adopting a randomly designated submissive pose lowers it. This study was completed by 129 participants who were between 18 and 61 years of age. We improved the V. Bohns' and S. Wiltermuth's study's protocol: by recording pain thresholds using a computer-controlled thermal sensor we ensured results that are more objective. Whilst adopting the poses for three repetitions we ensured an increase in the magnitude of any possible effects on the participants. Using a Medoc Pathways Pain & Sensory Evaluation System probe, all the participants had their hot and cold pain thresholds measured before and after adopting a randomly designated dominant or submissive pose. Our findings show that adopting a dominant pose increases the pain threshold for hot temperatures with statistical significance while adopting a submissive pose does not affect it. We excluded pain threshold for cold from further analysis because the device was not able to record it reliably. Our findings partially support our hypothesis and are in line with the results of V. Bohns' and S. Wiltermuth's study. The average results of self-reported feelings of power and powerlessness for each of both poses were comparable to the ratings gathered via the online survey. By studying physiological and psychological effects of a body pose in humans, our research ties together the fields of psychology and neuroscience. Our findings support the use of selected approaches in aid of the acute pain management in everyday life, as well as in medicine, physiotherapy, or sports.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: nonverbal communication, power poses, embodied cognition, pain threshold, thermal pain, medoc pathways pain & sensory evaluation system
    Number of Pages: 35
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    prof. dr. Mara BresjanacMentor
    doc. dr. Urška PuhComentor
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=search&base=50126&select=(ID=11822409)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 4862
    Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2017 11:19
    Last Modified: 20 Nov 2017 11:19
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/4862

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