There is no sweet escape from social pain: Glucose does not attenuate the effects of ostracism
Miller, Holly × Bourraseau, Camille Williams, Kipling Molet, Mikael #
Physiology & Behavior vol:124 pages:8-14
Ostracism causes social pain and is known to activate regions of the brain that are involved in the representation of physical pain. Previous research has observed that acetominophen (a common pain reliever) can reduce the pain of exclusion. The taste and consumption of glucose can also relieve physical pain, and the purpose of the cur- rent study was to examine whether it might also reduce the negative emotional effects of ostracism. In an appro- priately powered experiment, participants were given 25 g of glucose or a sucralose placebo before being ostracized while playing Cyberball. Strong effects of ostracism were observed, however, there was no effect of glucose on immediate or delayed self-reported needs or mood. These results are discussed in reference to the possibility that social pain is unlike physical pain since the latter is affected by glucose, which is believed to lessen pain by increasing endogenous opioid activity.