Campus Location

Abilene Campus (Residential)

Date of Award

Winter 1-2018


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Science

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

Richard Beck

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

John Casada

Third Committee Member or Committee Reader

Scott Perkins


Empathy and its impact on pain perception has been studied narrowly with the focus being on participants receiving empathy during a pain procedure. This study reversed the focus and ran a standard cold pressor test (CPT) in the context of an empathy frame structured to elicit an empathic response for others from participants. It was hypothesized that the group receiving the empathic frame would have longer CPT times due to alterations in pain perception from empathy activation and these subjects’ self-reported state-trait empathy level would positively correlate with the increased times. 85 subjects participated with a control group of 43 and an experimental group of 42. State-trait empathy did not correlate with elongated CPT times, but between group CPT times were compared using an independent-samples t-test and it was found that the notably longer experimental group CPT times were statistically significant (P < .05).

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



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