Navigation Links
The price of pain and the value of suffering
Date:4/22/2009

During these trying financial times, the cost of healthcare and how much we are willing to pay for it is at the top of our economic concerns. The financial value of pain has a wide ranging influence, affecting drug prices and injury compensation. But what about on an individual level is it possible to place a value on our health, to prevent pain and suffering? University College London psychologists Ivo Vlaev and Nick Chater, and neuroscientists Ben Seymour and Raymond J. Dolan were interested in just how much money volunteers were willing to pay to avoid pain and discomfort.

Study participants were given money, with the understanding that they could keep for themselves whatever cash remained. They experienced one pulse of electric shock and then had to indicate how much money they would pay in order to avoid receiving 15 more shocks of the same intensity. Then, a computer program would determine how much the volunteers would actually have to pay. The program would randomly select a dollar amount if that amount was higher than what the participants were willing to pay, then the participants would be shocked. However, if the computer's price was lower than the participant's price, then they would pay the computer's price and avoid the pain. The volunteers were informed that the computer selection would be completely random, so it was really in their best interest to select a price that accurately reflected how they value the pain from the electric shock. For each volunteer, this process was repeated a number of times, with differing intensities of shocks.

The results, described in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, reveal that demand for pain relief is almost completely dependent on pain experienced in the recent past and the available cash on hand. That is, the participants were willing to pay more money to avoid pain if that pain was more intense compared to previous trials. In addition, the price they were willing to pay was based on what they were given (money-in-the-pocket) rather than on their overall wealth.

These findings suggest that the value we place on relief from suffering is flexible and that activity of health markets cannot be predicted by the behavior of individuals. This is the first scientific study showing that our reaction towards pain is a relative judgment, based on our previous experience with that pain. The authors conclude that pain is a major health issue and with around $60 billion spent on painkillers worldwide each year, they note that these findings "are likely to have substantial economic implications."


'/>"/>

Contact: Barbara Isanski
bisanski@psychologicalscience.org
Association for Psychological Science
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. New Website Helps Families Find Better Healthcare at a Better Price
2. Tough Laws, Higher Prices Mean Fewer Kids Smoke
3. Healthcarebluebook.com: Consider Price Before You Receive a Test, Treatment or Surgery
4. NASDAQ Gives Dynatronics a Third Three-Month Extension for Minimum Bid Price Compliance
5. Peregrine Pharmaceuticals Receives Additional Time to Regain Compliance With NASDAQs Minimum Bid Price Rule
6. Online Rx Price Comparison Tools, Drug Discount Card Use Soars in Weak Economy
7. New Web Site Will Help Consumers Find Lowest Local Prices for Prescription Drugs
8. Roche Increases Offer Price for Genentech Shares to US$ 93.00 per Share and Extends Offer
9. Roche Announces Significant Price Reduction of Two ACCU-CHEK(R) Glucose Monitoring Kits to Help Customers With Diabetes During These Difficult Economic Times
10. New Super Bowl Ad Reminds Minnesotans: We All Pay the Price for Tobacco
11. Media Alert: PricewaterhouseCoopers Publishes Brief on the Impact of Government Health Reform on U.S. Employers
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... 2016 , ... On June 10-11, 2016, A Forever Recovery, a holistic treatment ... Longest Breakfast Table in Battle Creek, MI, where the rehabilitation facility is located. This ... of the world’s leading providers of cereal and other breakfast foods. Its residents often ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Experts from the American Institutes for Research ... June 26-28, 2016, at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. , AIR experts ... planning, healthcare costs and patient and family engagement. , AIR researchers will be ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. Omkar Marathe earned his Bachelors in ... School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in Internal Medicine at Scripps Green Hospital ... at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he had the opportunity to train in ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those who have experienced traumatic events ... turn to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. ... tools for healthy coping following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Dr. Amanda Cheng, ... treatment. Dr. Cheng has extensive experience with all areas of orthodontics, including robotic ... osteogenic orthodontics. , Micro-osteoperforation is a revolutionary adjunct to orthodontic treatment. It ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... Revolutionary technology includes multi-speaker listening ... industry leaders in advanced audiology and hearing aid technology, ... ™, the world,s first internet connected hearing aid that ...      (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160622/382240 ) , ... ,world firsts,: , TwinLink™ - the first ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Research ... "Surgical Procedure Volumes: Global Analysis (United States, China, Japan, ... report to their offering. ... tool for healthcare business planners, provides surgical procedure volume ... surgery trends with an in-depth analysis of growth drivers ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016  The National Pharmaceutical Council (NPC) today ... policy research organization as its newest member.  ... vice president and chief scientific officer, Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, ... NPC Board of Directors. ... joined us in support of our efforts to ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: