Symptom reporting in response to social exclusion: a sign of distress or a distress signal
Excessive illness behavior is problematic because it is costly, difficult to treat and common. In addition, previous studies show that interpersonal vulnerabilities are related to high symptom reporting. The aim of this study is to investigate the ability of two theories, the Social pain Physical Pain Overlap Theory (SPOT) and the Interpersonal Theory, to predict physical reporting. While SPOT theory defines physical distress as a byproduct of Anterior Cingulate Cortex (ACC) activation in the brain, according to the Interpersonal theory, it is a self-protective strategy against the interpersonal stressors. Even though results did not reveal a straightforward evidence for the predictions, the vulnerability factors interacted with the publicness of the symptom reporting, along the same lines as the interpersonal theory.