Does impatience affect pain perception?

This paper deals with pain anticipation experienced before medical procedures. Our experimental results show that individuals with lower discount factors are more prone to suffer pain in advance. We provide a framework to rationalize the connection between pain anticipation and impatience. In this set up, more impatient subjects, who only value very near events, take into account mainly the negative effects of medical procedures (just the costs) whereas more patient individuals have a net positive valuation of medical events (given that they value both the cost incurred now and all the benefits accrued in the future).

Source: “Time discounting and pain anticipation: Experimental evidence” from Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada

I ruptured a disc in my back years ago doing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Made a full recovery but it was ow ow ow ow. I have a low discount rate which now, in retrospect, explains a lot…

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