Stranger things

Good Health Choices - - Be Informed -

Ran­dom acts of kind­ness are among the loveli­est things in this world, and now a new study shows that help­ing strangers may re­lieve their pain more ef­fec­tively than loved ones

can. The study, pub­lished in the jour­nal Royal So­ci­ety of Lon­don B: Bi­o­log­i­cal

Sciences, had par­tic­i­pants re­ceive pain on the back of their hands. Those who were then treated by some­one they didn’t know

rated their pain as less in­tense, com­pared to those who re­ceived help from

a per­son in their so­cial group. Re­searchers say it may come down to the

el­e­ment of sur­prise – par­tic­i­pants were sur­prised

to re­ceive as­sis­tance from a stranger. The fact they didn’t an­tic­i­pate this pos­i­tive out­come may have boosted the ef­fec­tive­ness of the treat­ment, as their brains acted to ac­com­mo­date the un­ex­pected turn of events.

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