How would you explain to a person who could never experience pain, what pain is?
Do the following:
1. Get a dairy food that is extremely spoiled.
2. Get the person to fill his or her mouth with this delightful food.
(ESSENTIAL: The food has to remain in the person’s mouth! Under no circumstances can the person spit out the food and clean his her mouth.)
3. Chew the food.
This test is a good model for the nature of pain.
Pain is aversive. We want to avoid pain. Eating spoiled food is the same: we want to avoid at all costs putting, much less chewing and swallowing, bad food.
Having a really bad taste in your mouth is like having a pain in your body.