Shared pain brings people together
- Published: Saturday, 22 November 2014 13:20
[This story is based on materials provided by Association for Psychological Science; follow this link: http://www.psychologicalscience.org/.]
What doesn't kill us may make us stronger as a group, according to findings from new research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
Going through painful experiences together can change a group’s behavior, promoting bonding and solidarity.
The research suggests that, despite its unpleasantness, pain may actually have positive social consequences, acting as a sort of “social glue” that fosters cohesion and solidarity within groups:
“Our findings show that pain is a particularly powerful ingredient in producing bonding and cooperation between those who share painful experiences,” says psychological scientist and lead researcher Brock Bastian of the University of New South Wales in Australia. “The findings shed light on why camaraderie may develop between soldiers or others who share difficult and painful experiences.”
Bastian and colleagues Jolanda Jetten and Laura J. Ferris of the University of Queensland examined the link between pain and social bonding in a series of experiments with undergraduate students.