Where Is Your Pain? A Cross-cultural Comparison of the Concept of Pain in Americans and South Koreans
Keywords:pain, concept of pain, semantics of pain, experimental philosophy, cross-cultural study, sound
Philosophical orthodoxy holds that pains are mental states, taking this to reflect the ordinary conception of pain. Despite this, evidence is mounting that English speakers do not tend to conceptualize pains in this way; rather, they tend to treat pains as being bodily states. We hypothesize that this is driven by two primary factors -- the phenomenology of feeling pains and the surface grammar of pain reports. There is reason to expect that neither of these factors is culturally specific, however, and thus reason to expect that the empirical findings for English speakers will generalize to other cultures and other languages. In this article we begin to test this hypothesis, reporting the results of two cross-cultural studies comparing judgments about the location of referred pains (cases where the felt location of the pain diverges from the bodily damage) between two groups -- Americans and South Koreans -- that we might otherwise expect to differ in how they understand pains. In line with our predictions, we find that both groups tend to conceive of pains as bodily states.
Arendt-Nielsen, L., Svensson, P. (2001). Referred muscle pain: basic and clinical findings. The Clinical Journal of Pain, 17 (1), 11-9.
Arico, A., Fiala, B., Goldberg, R., and Nichols, S. (2011). The folk psychology of consciousness. Mind & Language, 2 327-352.
Aydede, M. (2006). Introduction: A critical and quasi-historical essay on theories of pain, In M. Aydede (ed.), Pain: New papers on its nature and the methodology of its study. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Aydede, M. (2009). Pain. In E. Zalta (ed.), The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2013 Edition). http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2013/entries/pain/
Bain, D. (2013). What makes pains unpleasant? Philosophical Studies, 166(1). 69-89.
Buckwalter, W. and Phelan, M. (2013). Function and feeling machines: a defense of the philosophical conception of subjective experience. Philosophical Studies, 166(2), 349-361.
Callister, L. (2003). Cultural influences on pain perceptions and behaviors. Home Health Care Management & Practice, 15(3), 207-211.
Diller, A. (1980). Cross-Cultural Pain Semantics. Pain 9:9-26.
Fiala, B., Arico, A., and Nichols, S. (2014). You, robot. In E. Machery and E. O’Neill (eds.), Current Controversies in Experimental Philosophy, New York: Routledge.
Fiebich, A. and Coltheart, M. (2015). Various Ways to Understand Other Minds: Towards a Pluralistic Approach to the Explanation of Social Understanding. Mind and Language 30(3), 235-258
Free, M. (2002). Cross-cultural conceptions of pain and pain control. Proceedings (Baylor University. Medical Center). 15(2), 143.
Hall, R. (1989). Are pains necessarily unpleasant? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 49(4), 643-659.
Hill, C. (2006). Ow! The paradox of pain. In M. Aydede (ed.), Pain: New papers on its nature and the methodology of its study. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, pp. 75 - 98.
Hofstede, G. (2011). Dimensionalizing Cultures: The Hofstede Model in Context. Online Readings in Psychology and Culture, 2(1), 8.
Huebner, B. (2010). Commonsense concepts of phenomenal consciousness: does anyone care about functional zombies? Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, 9(1), 133-155.
Hyman, J. (2003). Pains and places. Philosophy, 73(1), 5-24.
Inglehart, R. and Baker, W. E. (2000). Modernization, cultural change, and the persistence of traditional values. American Sociological Review, 65(1), 19.
Jack, A. and Robbins, P. (2012). The phenomenal stance revisited. Review of Philosophy and Psychology, 383-403.
Jackson, F. (1980). A note on physicalism and heat. Australasian Journal of Philosophy. 58(1), 26-34.
Ketterer, H., Han, K., and Weed, N. C. (2010). Validation of Korean MMPI-2 Hwa-Byung scale using a Korean normative sample. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 16 (3), 379-385.
Kim, J. W., Jung, I. C., Kang, H. W., Lee, S. G., and Chung, S. Y. (2013). Clinical guidelines for Hwabyung. The Korean Society of oriental Neuropsychiatry. Hwabyung Research Center.
Kitayama, S., Duffy, S., Kawamura, T., and Larsen, J.T. (2003). Perceiving an object and its context in different cultures: A cultural look at the New Look. Psychological Science, 14: 201-206.
Knobe, J., and Prinz, J. (2008). Intuitions about consciousness: experimental studies. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, 7: 67-83.
Kripke, S. (1980). Naming and Necessity. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Lee, J. H., Heo, N., Lu, J., and Portman, T. A. (2012). Qualitative exploration of acculturation and life-span issues of elderly Asian Americans. Adultspan Journal, 12 (1), 4-23.
Lin, K. M. (1983). Hwa-Byung: A Korean Culture-Bound Syndrome? American Journal of Psychiatry, 140(1), 105-107.
Machery, E. and Sytsma, J. (2011). Robot pains and corporate feelings. The Philosophers’ Magazine, 1st Quarter, 78-82.
Markus, H. R., and Kitayama, S. (1991). Culture and the self: Implications for cognition, emotion, and motivation. Psychological Review, 98(2), 224-253.
Martinez Mateo, M., Cabanis, M., and Krach, S. (2012). Difference and the self: individualism and collectivism in cultural neuroscience. Department of Social Sciences, Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main, F1000Posters 201 3: 919.
Mesquita, B. and Ellsworth, P. C. (2001). The role of culture in appraisal. In K. R. Scherer, A. Schorr, and T. Johnstone (eds.), Appraisal Processes in Emotion, Oxford: OUP.
Moore, R. and Brodsgaard, I. (1999). Cross-cultural investigations of pain. Epidemiology of pain, 53-80.
Nagasako, E., Oaklander, A., and Dworkin, R. (2003). Congenital insensitivity to pain: an update. Pain, 10 213-219.
Nielsen, C. Staud, R., and Price, D. (2009). Individual differences in pain sensitivity: Measurement, causation, and consequences. The Journal of Pain, 10(3), 231 -237.
Nisbett, R.E. and Miyamoto, Y. (2005). The influence of culture: holistic versus analytic perception. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 9(10), 467-473.
Nisbett, R.E. and Masuda, T. (2003). Culture and point of view. PNAS 100(19), 11163-11170.
Nisbett, R.E., Choi, I., Peng, K., and Norenzayan, A. (2001). Culture and Systems of Thought: Holistic Versus Analytic Cognition. Psychological Review 10 2: 291-310.
Park, J.-S., Park, S., Cheon, C.-H., Jang, B.-H., Lee, S.-H., Lee, S.H., Chung, S.-Y., Kim, J.-W., Jeon, C.-Y., Park, J.-H., Shin, J.-C., and Ko, S.-G. (2012), Effect of oriental medicine music therapy on patients with Hwa-byung: a study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Trials, 13(1), 161.
Park, Y. C. (2004). Hwabyung. Symptoms and diagnosis. Psychiatry Investigation, 1(1), 25-28.
Phelan, M., Arico, A., and Nichols, S. (2013). Thinking things and feeling things: on an alleged discontinuity in the folk metaphysics of mind. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, 12(4), 703-725.
Reuter, K. (2011). Distinguishing the appearance from the reality of pain. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 18(9-10), 94-109.
Reuter, K, Phillips, D., and Sytsma, J. (2014). Hallucinating Pain. In J. Sytsma (ed.), Advances in Experimental Philosophy of Mind, London: Bloomsbury.
Roberson, D. (2005). Color Categories Are Culturally Diverse in Cognition as Well as in Language. Cross-Cultural Research 39(1), 56-71.
Schroll-Machl, S. (2008). Kulturstandards Ostasiens. In Pradel, U.-H., Süssenguth, W., Piontek, J., Schwolgin, A. (Hrsg.), Praxishandbuch Logistik, Ergänzungslieferung Oktober, Deutscher Wirtschaftsdienst, Abschnitt II.9.3., S. 1 - 10.
Schubert, K. and Klein, M. (2011). Das Politiklexikon. Liberalismus, Marxismus, Protestantismus. In Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung. Lizenzausgabe, Dietz Verlag Bonn, 5th edition.
Sytsma, J. (2009). Phenomenological obviousness and the new science of consciousness. Philosophy of Science, 76(5), 958-969.
Sytsma, J. (2010a). Dennett’s theory of the folk theory of consciousness. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 17(3-4), 107-30.
Sytsma, J. (2010b). Folk psychology and phenomenal consciousness. Philosophy Compass, 5(8), 700-711.
Sytsma, J. (2012). Revisiting the valence account. Philosophical Topics, 40(2), 179-198.
Sytsma, J. (2014a). The robots of the dawn of experimental philosophy of mind. In E. Machery and E. O’Neill (eds.), Current Controversies in Experimental Philosophy, New York: Routledge.
Sytsma, J. (2014b). Attributions of Consciousness. WIREs Cognitive Science, 5(6), 635-648.
Sytsma, J. (2014c). Advances in Experimental Philosophy of Mind. London: Bloomsbury.
Sytsma, J. and Machery, E. (2009). How to study folk intuitions about consciousness. Philosophical Psychology, 22(1), 21-35.
Sytsma, J. and Machery, E. (2010). Two conceptions of subjective experience. Philosophical Studies, 151(2), 299-327.
Sytsma, J. and Machery, E.(2012). On the relevance of folk intuitions: a reply to Talbot. Consciousness and Cognition, 21(2), 654-660.
Sytsma, J. and Livengood, J. (2016). The New Experimental Philosophy: An Introduction and Guide. Peterborough, ON: Broadview Press.
Talbot, B. (2012). The irrelevance of folk intuitions to the hard problem of consciousness. Consciousness and Cognition, 21(2), 644-650.
Thomas, A. (2005). Kulturvergleichende Psychologie. 2. Auflage. Hogrefe, GÖttingen.
Varnum, M.E.W., Grossmann, I., Kitayama, S., and Nisbett, R.E. (2010). The Origin of Cultural Differences in Cognition: The Social Orientation Hypothesis. Current Directions in Psychological Science 1(19), 9-13.
Tye, M. (2006). Another look at representationalism about pain. In M. Aydede (ed.), Pain: New Papers on its Nature and the Methodology of its Study. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Wierzbicka, A. (2014). “Pain” and “suffering” in cross-linguistic perspective. International Journal of Language and Culture, 1(2), 149-173.
Xiaohong, W. and Qingyuan, L. (2013). The Confucian Value of Harmony and its Influence on Chinese Social Interaction. Cross-Cultural Communication 9(1), 60-66.