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Generating physical symptoms from visual cues: An experimental study

Ogden, J and Zoukas, S (2010) Generating physical symptoms from visual cues: An experimental study Psychology Health & Medicine, 14 (6). pp. 695-704.

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This experimental study explored whether the physical symptoms of cold, pain and itchiness could be generated by visual cues, whether they varied in the ease with which they could be generated and whether they were related to negative affect. Participants were randomly allocated by group to watch one of three videos relating to cold (e.g. ice, snow, wind), pain (e.g. sporting injuries, tattoos) or itchiness (e.g. head lice, scratching). They then rated their self-reported symptoms of cold, pain and itchiness as well as their negative affect (depression and anxiety). The researcher recorded their observed behaviour relating to these symptoms. The results showed that the interventions were successful and that all three symptoms could be generated by the visual cues in terms of both self-report and observed behaviour. In addition, the pain video generated higher levels of anxiety and depression than the other two videos. Further, the degree of itchiness was related to the degree of anxiety. This symptom onset process also showed variability between symptoms with self-reported cold symptoms being greater than either pain or itchy symptoms. The results show that physical symptoms can be generated by visual cues indicating that psychological factors are not only involved in symptom perception but also in symptom onset.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Psychology
Authors :
Ogden, J
Zoukas, S
Date : 10 February 2010
DOI : 10.1080/13548500903311547
Uncontrolled Keywords : Science & Technology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Public, Environmental & Occupational Health, symptom onset, perceptions, pain, cold, itch, CROSS-CULTURAL DIFFERENCES, PRIMARY-CARE, PAIN, GENDER, PREVALENCE, ANXIETY, EXAMPLE, STRESS
Related URLs :
Additional Information : This is an electronic version of an article published as Ogden J, Zoukas S (2010). Generating physical symptoms from visual cues: An experimental study. Psychology Health & Medicine 14(6):695-704. Available online at:
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 14 Nov 2012 11:37
Last Modified : 31 Oct 2017 14:47

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