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Want to know about hurt? Just ask me -- or anyone, really

August 29, 2008 |  6:00 am

NewbandagePsychologists at universities in the U.S. and Australia got together to figure out whether physical pain or emotional pain is more haunting.

The researchers -- from Purdue University, Macquarie University and the University of New South Wales (the latter two are in Australia) -- crafted experiments in which they asked participants to recall experiences involving physical pain and emotional pain.

The subjects, who later may have wished they'd instead gotten involved in a sleep-deprivation or electric-shock experiment, were asked to write about those experiences and then to describe how they felt.

And they said ... (wait for it) ... recalling the social pain made them feel lousier!

The results appear in the August issue of Psychological Science. Here's the release -- and a story published in Britain's Telegraph.

Not noted in the release or story is why it took researchers from three universities -- and four (four!) experiments -- to figure this out. After all, there's a reason some women have more than one kid (the perception of physical pain fades over time), and even longtime adults, not necessarily grownups, are still rankled by that thing their boyfriend or girlfriend said years ago. (You know what it was, buster.)

-- Tami Dennis

Photo: Just be glad that finger wasn't insulted. The pain would linger longer.

Credit: Los Angeles Times