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From Pain to Pleasure: How Painful Experiences May Benefit Our Lives

May 30th, 4:00 pm PT, 7:00 pm ET
Recorded in May 30th, 4:00 pm PT, 7:00 pm ET



Pain is something that most people try to avoid. The experience of pain, however, may be better understood as providing an important avenue through which we find enjoyment in life. Focusing on acute physical pain, but also painful experiences more generally, and drawing on both experimental studies and surveys of real-world experiences, I will provide evidence that pain can restore virtue, enhance pleasure, draw us closer to others, increase pro-social behaviour, and promote positive group processes. I will argue that pain is not simply incidental to these positive outcomes, but plays a central role in their production.

In this webinar you will learn:

  • To take a different perspective on pain
  • About research which identifies some of the positive consequences that pain can have
  • To think about the differences between good pain and bad
  • To consider whether pain is something that we need in order to feel happy in life – which it is in fact a necessary ingredient for our experience of pleasure

Dr. Brock Bastian

Melbourne School of Psychological Science

Brock Bastian received his PhD in social psychology from The University of Melbourne in 2007. Since then he has held research fellowships at the University of Queensland and a Future Fellowship at the University of New South Wales. As of 2016 he returned to the University of Melbourne. His research broadly focuses on pain, happiness, and morality and has received broad attention from the media and popular press. He has been the recipient of early career research awards from the Australian Psychological Society, the Society for Australasian Social Psychologists, and the University of Queensland. Most recently he was awarded the Wegner Theoretical Innovation Prize from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology for his work on pain. He is currently working on a book The Other Side Of Happiness focusing on the upside of pain to be published by Penguin UK.

Partially funded by:​


Last Modified: 1/26/2018 3:58 PM