I’d almost call this an interesting experiment:The Lone Wolf or the Support Group Enthusiast?. Except it still seems too neat and tidy in dividing up the world into two groups and testing to see how the two groups react.
In essence, the researcher looked to see whether how different people felt in response to pain stimuli in different environments. Essentially, did those who prefer to deal with things alone (the Lone Wolf) or those who prefer to talk through difficulties with a sympathetic friend (the Support Group Enthusiast) feel more or less pain when someone else was with them and when that person was had greater empathy or less empathy.
The results are somewhat unsurprising – Lone Wolves feel less pain if no-one is around, Support Group Enthusiasts feel less pain in the presence of a empathic observer. Given the subjectiveness of pain and the enforced split between people, I’m most surprised that researchers were surprised.
I’m more disappointed, given the comments I’ve made previously about Myers-Briggs, that some of the comments are immediately falling into the trap of making this about the introversion-extraversion axis in Myers-Briggs.