ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2015, Vol. 23 ›› Issue (9): 1608-1616.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2015.01608

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Empathetic Social Pain: Evidence from Neuroimaging

SHI Yanwei; XU Fuming; WANG Wei; LI Yan; LIU Chenghao   

  1. (School of Psychology, Central China Normal University; Key Laboratory of Human Development and Mental Health of Hubei Province; Key Laboratory of Adolescent Cyberpsychology and Behavior (CCNU), Ministry of Education, Wuhan 430079, China)
  • Received:2015-01-30 Online:2015-09-15 Published:2015-09-15
  • Contact: XU Fuming, E-mail:


Social pain refers to a special negative emotional reaction to perception that one is rejected by desired relationships or devalued by desired partners or groups. According to the existing findings, social pain may be induced by certain neural activities, such as individual experience of social exclusion, witness of others’ being excluded, that is to say, empathy. Moreover, social pain could be mitigated by attachment, self-esteem, and the like. Further researches are expected to investigate the neural mechanisms of social pain in different ages, and explore the relationship between social pain and personality disorder.

Key words: social pain, social exclusion, empathy, fMRI