Development of Implicit Links Between Effort, Pain, and Recovery

Noriko Toyama*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This article describes three studies that examined Japanese children’s and adults’ intuitive perceptions regarding the links between pain, effort, and healing. A total of 79 six-year-olds, 81 nine-year-olds, 74 twelve-year-olds, and 66 adults were presented with scenarios involving modern and traditional medical interventions and were examined with regard to how the level of pain and effort presented in the scenarios influenced their views of healing. It was consequently found that the 6-year-olds tended to judge painful interventions as aversive, while adults considered them to be effective. Furthermore, overall, effortful interventions were believed to be more efficacious than painful ones. The children and adults appeared to assume that people who have tried hard and expended considerable effort deserve to be healed quickly. These results are in accord with the coexistence model, which posits that an individual can have coexisting scientific and folk beliefs across his/her life course.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e919-e936
JournalChild Development
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jul 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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