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Interesting article - I was struck especially by the assertion that when we believe pain was deliberately inflicted (whether it was or not), it is felt "harder" than if we believe it was NOT intended.  It tallies with my opinion about determinism: when I am actively aware that other's responses are not "chosen", it does make it much easier to "shrug off" their actions.

Couple that "expectation" of intended pain with the fact that those who experienced an insecure childhood are more likely to be "rejection sensitive", and I can see why people from some backgrounds are more likely to feel they are being rejected - and to have it hurt more - than others.  It certainly tallies with my experience as a Rep: those who have experienced worse external lives appear[1] to experience more issues at work.  I wonder if there is a wider application to this - that those who expect good things have a better/easier life than those who expect bad things?

All that said....I'm a little wary of the article.  The author's qualifications are in English rather than Psychology or Biology.  The article is 4 years old.  Most of the links are broken (perhaps implying that the research has since been found to be incorrect?)  I could only get one link to work, and that one causes me some concerns - though to be fair, the authors themselves admit it: (my bold)

"However, we must acknowledge that these studies are retrospective and correlative and, as such, are subject to problems associated with faulty recall and spurious association. It is possible that individuals who show a tendency toward psychopathology in childhood are targeted as “odd” by peers and subjected to VA (39). It is also conceivable that a preexisting abnormality in the CC enhanced risk for psychopathology and peer abuse. Path analysis delineates a mathematical solution to a series of equations not a causal pathway. Causality cannot be inferred from this retrospective experimental design. Prospective studies are needed to tease out these possibilities."
Another aspect they don't appear to consider is the "rejection sensitivity" factor.  Their tentative conclusions are that (based on significantly post-event questionnaires) that perceived verbal abuse leads to  later issues.  It could be the case that innate sensitivity to the same actual levels of verbal abuse might cause more of that abuse to be later remembered.

I don't disagree that words have power, and can change our feelings.  There have been enough books I've read that have made me cry, or made me feel great, to want to deny that (choosing to focus on books as there is no direct connection between author and reader, and no associated physical or verbal cues).  But that said, other people read the same books without those feelings, so I have to ask: is the reaction due to the words, or due to the individual's reaction to the words?

It does indeed seem that words can affect us - however it does equally appear (from the article, and from my experience) that individual reactions to the same words can and does vary according to the history of the person concerned.  Possibly that accounts for why some people are pulled into religion, while others are not?
 1. Just an impression - not something I've run any numbers on
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junebug72 That's an excellent analysis of the article August 12, 2017, 04:58:47 AM