2021 Student Research Conference:
34th Annual Student Research Conference

Measuring Pain and Anxiety with Cross-Modal Matching


Connor J. Firth*, Annie T. Schwend, Nate B. Aldrich, Jordan M. Clement, Emelia K. Durham, Norah A. Kovac, Triston C. Robison, and Katherine E. Speak
Prof. Karen Vittengl, Faculty Mentor

This study compared measures of pain and anxiety. Participants (N=33) enrolled in this study via SONA systems. Campus closure in 2020 ended data collection prematurely.  Students completed COPE and GAD inventories. They then placed their hands in an ice-bucket. Subjects reported pain on a 0-10 numerical rating scale and by matching the volume of a white noise generator to their pain. Strong correlations between cross-modal matching and numerical ratings of pain, but not complete covariance, were found (r = 0.688, p < 0.01). Cross-modal measures of anxiety were also taken and demonstrated some validity, correlating highly with GAD (r = 0.463, p < 0.01), inverse to GPA (r = -0.438, p = 0.015), and marginally inverse to COPE (r = -0.332, p = 0.059). These results suggest that cross-modal matching is effective for measuring pain and anxiety, but is not quite the same as a numerical rating.

Keywords: pain, anxiety, cross-modal matching, numerical rating, cold pressor, COPE inventory

Topic(s):Psychology

Presentation Type: Asynchronous Virtual Poster

Session: 18-7
Location: https://flipgrid.com/fc0c5b54
Time: 0:00

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