Painkiller could also kill empathy

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by Plazma Inferno!, Aug 16, 2016.

  1. Plazma Inferno! Ding Ding Ding Ding Administrator

    Messages:
    4,609
    New study from Oxford University suggests that a common physical painkiller, acetaminophen (paracetamol) reduces (or even eliminate) empathy for pain in others.
    In two double-blind placebo-controlled experiments, participants rated perceived pain, personal distress and empathic concern in response to reading scenarios about another's physical or social pain, witnessing ostracism in the lab, or visualizing another study participant receiving painful noise blasts. As hypothesized, acetaminophen reduced empathy in response to others’ pain. Acetaminophen also reduced the unpleasantness of noise blasts delivered to the participant, which mediated acetaminophen's effects on empathy. Together, these findings suggest that the physical painkiller acetaminophen reduces empathy for pain and provide a new perspective on the neurochemical bases of empathy. Because empathy regulates prosocial and antisocial behavior, these drug-induced reductions in empathy raise concerns about the broader social side effects of acetaminophen, which is taken by almost a quarter of adults in the United States each week.

    http://scan.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2016/05/27/scan.nsw057
     

Share This Page