Emotional flexibility and recovery from pain

Astrid Meesters*, Linda M. G. Vancleef, Madelon L. Peters

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

This study aimed to investigate the relationship between two aspects of emotional flexibility (EF, i.e. flexible emotional responsiveness and affective flexibility) and tolerance for, and recovery from, experimentally-induced pain. Fifty-two adults completed a flexible emotional responsiveness task in which emotional responses on multiple dimensions were registered while watching positive and negative pictures. Affective flexibility was measured using a switching task with positive and negative pictures. Pain tolerance was assessed as the time participants endured an ischemic pain task and total time until recovery in terms of pain intensity and pain unpleasantness was registered. Flexible emotional responsivenessreflected in divergent corrugator responses to positive and negative stimuliwas associated with faster recovery from pain unpleasantness. Affective flexibility was associated with recovery in terms of pain intensity, with faster switches from neutral towards affective aspects of positive stimuli being predictive of faster recovery. Results did not provide evidence for an association between EF and pain tolerance. The findings suggest that EF may protect against pain persistence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)493-504
Number of pages12
JournalMotivation and Emotion
Volume43
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019

Keywords

  • Emotional flexibility
  • Task switching
  • EMG
  • Tourniquet
  • Pain recovery
  • ELECTROMYOGRAPHIC ACTIVITY
  • PSYCHOMETRIC PROPERTIES
  • MINDFULNESS MEDITATION
  • INDIVIDUAL-DIFFERENCES
  • EXECUTIVE FUNCTION
  • ATTENTION
  • INFLEXIBILITY
  • SENSITIVITY
  • INHIBITION
  • ACCEPTANCE

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