Experiments

Redhead/Pain Tolerance

posted: 04/11/12
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As seen in MythBusters: No Pain, No Gain"
DCL

Finding: BUSTED

Explanation: A 2009 study found that redheads are twice as likely to avoid dentist visits as people with other hair colors, because they're more anxious about painful procedures. Why? Supposedly, carrot-tops can't stand discomfort.

Ready to overcome that wimpy reputation, ginger-haired MythBuster Adam Savage especially was hoping to bust the myth that redheads have a low pain tolerance. Along with Jamie Hyneman, he gathered two dozen redheaded men and women to see what they were made of.

The MythBusters subjected participants to a cold pressor test, a common pain-induction technique used by researchers that clocks how long people can keep their hands dunked in ice water. Making Adam proud, the redheads outperformed the non-redhead control group and endured the bone-chilling bath longer.

The jury is out, however, on whether the MythBusters could replicate those results at a dentist's office.

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