Introduction to the Coulter Principle

Introduction to the Coulter Principle:

The Coulter principle states that when a person experiences pain, their body produces certain chemicals which are not necessarily present in healthy individuals. These chemicals cause the pain response.

The chemical reactions take place without conscious control on the part of the individual experiencing pain. They do so regardless of whether they have been told to expect or avoid such stimuli (Coulter & Kupfer, 2010). The effect is called “emotional contagion” because it causes similar feelings to other people (Kupfer et al., 2008; Kupfer & Coulter, 2003).

Emotional contagion is one of the most well known examples of the phenomenon of emotion being contagious. Emotionally charged situations can influence others’ behavior even if they don’t share those emotions themselves (Batson et al., 2004).

In this study, we wanted to understand why some people experience pain while others do not. One possible explanation could be that there is something unique about how the brain processes pain sensations.

Another possibility would be that different people have different responses to pain depending on their genetic makeup and other factors (e.g., age, gender) (Pessoa et al., 2011).



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