Pain tolerance as a mediator of aggressive behavior
Item TypeGraduate Thesis
AdvisorBerman, Mitchell E.
CommitteeNadorff, Michael R.
Stafford, Emily S. H.
Research has shown that the experiences of pain and aggression are linked. Past research supports the notion that individuals with an aggressive history tend to have higher pain thresholds than their less aggressive counterparts. The aim of this study was to test the notion that past aggressive behavior is positively associated with higher pain tolerances, and that higher pain tolerance would be associated with the use of a clearly aggressive response on a laboratory task. Using data from a larger study on the neuroscience of human aggression (N = 80), a serial mediation model was tested using both objective and subjective indexes of pain tolerance as mediators. Results indicated that historic aggression was positively associated with both objective and subjective pain tolerance, and objective pain tolerance mediated the relationship between historic aggression and current aggression, whereas subjective pain tolerance did not.