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Papers of the Week

Papers: 11 May 2024 - 17 May 2024

2024 May 04

J Clin Med




Pain of Threatened Self: Explicit and Implicit Self-Esteem, Cortisol Responses to a Social Threat and Pain Perception.


Wojtyna E, Hyla M, Hachuła A


: Rejection, injustice, and exclusion from meaningful interpersonal relationships are often extremely painful and stress-generating experiences. This study aimed to define the role of explicit and implicit self-esteem in pain perception as a component of the physiological-psychological system that regulates the body’s response to stress associated with the threat of social rejection. : In total, 360 individuals participated in this study. The measurement of cortisol in saliva, the assessment of pain thresholds using thermal stimuli, the IAT to assess implicit self-esteem, and a questionnaire on global self-esteem and social pain were used. The study included three measurements: baseline and 15 and 45 min after the application of a laboratory socially threatening stimulus (the Trier Social Stress Test). : People experiencing chronic social pain (CSP) are more likely to have fragile self-esteem, higher pain thresholds, and tend to experience reduced pain tolerance in situations of acute social threat than people without CSP experience. In people with CSP and fragile self-esteem, after the introduction of a social threat, an increase in pain tolerance was observed along with a longer-lasting increase in cortisol levels. : Fragile self-esteem, along with feelings of chronic exclusion, injustice, and rejection, may prolong stress reactions and produce a hypoalgesic effect.