When we see a loved one or a friend in pain from an injury, most people will empathise with this experience. Empathy is a complex social process involving both affective (sharing the emotions the other person is feeling) and cognitive (figuring out what emotions the other person is feeling) dimensions.
Emotion regulation refers to the process of modifying one’s emotional expressions and subsequent physiological responses. A key component of successful emotion regulation is inhibitory control, as we must inhibit inappropriate emotional responses and display appropriate and desirable emotional responses depending on the time and the place.
This study aims to investigate whether difficulties in self-reported emotion regulation are associated with empathy for others in pain, and the tendency to experience vicarious pain. Moreover, we seek to examine whether the relationship between emotion regulation and empathy for pain differs between different genders.
Read on for further information about the study. Otherwise, click here if you are ready to take part in the study.
Who is undertaking the research?
- Dr Lincoln Tracy - School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University
- Dr Bernadette Fitzgibbon - Pain, Addiction and Mental Health Group, Epworth Centre for Innovation and Mental Health
- Dr Melita Giummarra - School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University; Caulfield Pain Management and Research Centre, Alfred Health
- Mr DeWayne Williams - Department of Psychological Science, University of California, Irvine
- Professor Julian Thayer - Department of Psychological Science, University of California, Irvine
Who is eligible to participate?
We are seeking English-speaking individuals aged 18+ years with access to the internet to participate in our study. You will not be eligible to participate if you have been diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder, or a pain-related condition.
What is the purpose of this research?
This study aims to investigate whether self-reported emotion regulation can explain empathy for pain and vicarious pain sensation, and whether the relationship between emotion regulation and empathy for pain differs people of different genders.
What does participation involve?
Participants will be asked to complete a series of online questionnaires relating to mood, emotion regulation, and empathy. We will also ask you to provide simple demographic information about yourself (e.g., gender, age, and ethnicity). Your responses will be totally anonymous. Completing the online questionnaires should take no longer than 20 minutes.
What do I get out of the research?
You will not be paid a monetary reward for your participation in this study. However, you will be offered the chance to be entered in a prize draw to win one of three $100 Amazon vouchers. If you choose to enter the prize draw, you will be asked to enter your name and email address into a separate online questionnaire. Your contact details will not be linked to your questionnaire responses. We just need to know who the prize draw winners are, so they can receive their vouchers!
Okay, I’m ready to participate in the study!
Click here to access the online questionnaires if you are ready to take part in the study.
What if I want further information about the study?
Monash University Human Research Ethics Committee Project Number: 19971