How Distraction Has On Altering Pain Perception Relative With An Individual 's Working Memory Capacity

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memory capacity of the individual and their ability to effectively engage in the distraction technique. This study aims to extend on previous research pertaining to working memory capacity, distractibility and pain perception. The objective of this study is to observe the effect distraction has on altering pain perception relative to an individual’s working memory capacity. In this study we will utilize the operational span task (OSPAN) developed by Turner and Engle (1989) to split the participants into high and low working memory span groups dependent on their OSPAN scores. Participants will then engage in a simulated pain task under two conditions: distraction and no distraction. This study will include 40 participants; 20 in the low working memory span group and 20 in the high working memory span group. We expect that the low working memory span group will, on average, report higher pain ratings than the high working memory span group in the experimental (distraction) condition. We hope that this study will show that the inverse relationship between working memory and distractibility will have an effect on how people perceive pain. We hope that the current study will guide future research in exploring alternative non-pharmacological methods to relieve pain.

Keywords: working memory, OSPAN, pain perception, distractibility
Effect of Working Memory Capacity and Distraction on Pain Perception
There are times in our lives when we might experience pain that is inescapable

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