Clinical Psychology 3 (2010), 1-2, 65-82


The Role of Expectation in the Experience of Pain

Valentina Ružić - Centre for Education and Research, Naklada Slap, Zagreb

Fulltext (croatian, pages 65-82).pdf

The experience of pain can be affected by various factors, one of which are individual expectations regarding the intensity of painful stimuli. Previous studies have indicated the importance of expectation in the experience of pain, and the importance of context in which pain occurs. Generally speaking, the expectation of pain reduction may reduce the subjective experience of pain caused by unpleasant stimuli, while the expectation of increased pain may increase it. Individual experience of pain can be affected by the meaning of pain, knowledge of the time the pain will occur, intensity of pain and the expected efficacy of medication or treatment used to reduce pain. The most frequently expectations studied in the context of the placebo effect where they contribute to the action of an inactive substance or treatment for reducing pain perception in individuals. However, research of the influence of expectations outside the placebo effect provides an important theoretical and practical contribution to the understanding of pain perception and finding ways in which it can be reduced.

pain, expectation, placebo effect, reduction of pain intensity

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