PhD conferral Ms Jantine J.L.M. Boselie, MSc.
Supervisor: prof.dr. M.L. Peters
Co-supervisor: dr. L.M.G. Vancleef
Keywords: pain, optimism, executive functioning, cognitive processes, quality of life, intervention
“Filling the Glass: optimism as a protective factor against pain-induced executive functioning impairments”
The primary function of pain is to alert us to danger. This makes pain hard to ignore. Executive functioning – an umbrella term for cognitive processes such as memory – deteriorates as a result of pain perception. Optimistic people have a more positive outlook on life and the future. Results show that optimism protects against pain caused by deteriorating executive task performance in healthy participants. However, improving optimism in patients with chronic pain does not appear to improve executive functioning. Optimism is a promising factor that can help people lead the lives they choose, despite the pain they experience.