Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1853766
 


 



It Hurts When I Do this (or You Do that): Posture and Pain Tolerance


Vanessa K. Bohns


University of Waterloo - Department of Management Sciences

Scott S. Wiltermuth


University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business

2012

Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Forthcoming

Abstract:     
Recent research (Carney, Cuddy & Yap, 2010) has shown that adopting a powerful pose changes people’s hormonal levels and increases their propensity to take risks in the same ways that possessing actual power does. In the current research, we explore whether adopting physical postures associated with power, or simply interacting with others who adopt these postures, can similarly influence sensitivity to pain. We conducted two experiments. In Experiment 1, participants who adopted dominant poses displayed higher pain thresholds than those who adopted submissive or neutral poses. These findings were not explained by semantic priming. In Experiment 2, we manipulated power poses via an interpersonal interaction and found that power posing engendered a complementary (Tiedens & Fragale, 2003) embodied power experience in interaction partners. Participants who interacted with a submissive confederate displayed higher pain thresholds and greater hand-grip strength than participants who interacted with a dominant confederate.

Keywords: Complementarity, embodiment, power

Accepted Paper Series


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Date posted: May 29, 2011 ; Last revised: November 19, 2012

Suggested Citation

Bohns, Vanessa K. and Wiltermuth, Scott S., It Hurts When I Do this (or You Do that): Posture and Pain Tolerance (2012). Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Forthcoming . Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1853766

Contact Information

Vanessa K. Bohns (Contact Author)
University of Waterloo - Department of Management Sciences ( email )
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1
Canada
Scott S. Wiltermuth
University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business ( email )
701 Exposition Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

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