Pain Meds and Experience (02-12-18)

Researchers and others struggling to make sense of experience-related data may find useful insights in a study conducted by Ratner and colleagues and published in Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences.  The Ratner group reports that “Over-the-counter pain medicine such as Ibuprofen and acetaminophen may influence how people process information, experience hurt feelings, and react to emotionally evocative images, according to recent studies. . . .Article authors Ratner et al. reviewed previous research suggesting that over-the-counter pain medicine may influence individuals’: . . . Ability to process information: Compared to those who took placebos, individuals who took a dose of acetaminophen made more errors of omission in a game where they were asked, at various times, either to perform or to not perform a task.  Reactions to emotional objects: Individuals who took a dose of acetaminophen rated pleasant and unpleasant photographs less extremely than those who took placebos. Discomfort from parting with possessions: When asked to set a selling price on an object they owned, individuals who took a dose of acetaminophen set prices that were cheaper than the prices set by individuals who took placebos.”

“Can Over-the-Counter Pain Meds Influence Thoughts and Emotions?”  2018.  Press release Sage Publishing,