Self-deception predicts self-report and endurance of pain

L. D. Jamner, G. E. Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Scopus citations


This study sought to test predictions made from disregulation and systems theories regarding self-deception and pain responsivity. Sixty-four subjects completed the L-scale of the Eysenck Personality Inventory and, based on their scores, were categorized as either High, Medium, or Low Deceptors. Both sensory threshold and three levels of affective pain judgements were determined using electrocutaneous nociceptive stimulation applied to the forearm. Results indicated that there were no differences among groups in their sensation thresholds. However, large differences in affective pain judgements emerged between High and Low Deceptors. High Deceptors differed significantly from Low Deceptors at the Tolerance (9.4 vs. 5.2 mA, p < 0.001),Pain threshld (7.9 vs. 3.8 mA, p < 0.001), and Discomfort (4.4 vs. 2.2 mA, p < 0.01) judgement levels. These findings are consistent with a systems model of pain perception and are discussed in terms of the role of pain in mediating the relationship between cognitive coping patterns and recovery from illness and surgery. A possible opiate-peptide hypothesis of repressive coping & disregulation of pain is proposed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-223
Number of pages13
JournalPsychosomatic medicine
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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