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Table 2 Putative predictors of pain sensitivity and placebo responsiveness

From: A virtual experimenter to increase standardization for the investigation of placebo effects

Questionnaire/scale Construct Example item
Trait questionnaires, answered in online survey before coming to the lab
 Pain Related Self Statements inventory (PRSS) Coping with pain, catastrophizing about pain “If I stay calm and relax, things will be better.”
 Pain Vigilance and Awareness Questionnaire (PVAQ) Attentional focus on pain “I am quick to notice changes in location or extent of pain.”
 Pain Sensitivity Questionnaire (PSQ) Sensitivity to various painful stimuli “Imagine you trap your finger in a drawer.”
 Beliefs about Medicines Questionnaire (BMQ) Attitudes towards medical profession and pharmaceutics “Medicines do more harm than good.”
 Beliefs in Expectation Biases Beliefs to what extent perception is influenced by expectations “In general, people are likely to experience the mood (good or bad) they expect to experience.”
 International Personality Item Pool Big Five scales (IPIP B5) Extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, emotional stability, intelligence/imagination “I feel comfortable around people.”
 Internality, Powerful Others, and Chance scales (IPC) Attribution of events to personal control, other individuals, chance “Whether people act according to my wishes depends mainly on myself.”
 Revised Life Orientation Test (LOT-R) Positive/negative expectation of outcomes = dispositional optimism/pessimism “I’m always optimistic about my future.”
State questionnaires, answered during the lab visit
 State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) Acute and general anxiety “I get in a state of tension or turmoil as I think over my recent concerns and interests.”
 Multidimensional Mood Questionnaire (MDMQ) Good/bad mood, calmness/nervousness, wakefulness/tiredness “Right now I feel […] content.”