Roger Ebert's own battle with a life-threatening disease may have desensitized him to the pain of others, psychologists tell PopEater a day after the famed film critic came under fire for a comment about the death of 'Jackass' star Ryan Dunn.

"People who have survived numerous hardships and tragedies as Roger has, often times are either extremely sensitive to the pain and tragedy of others, or can become hardened to the pain of life including the pain of others," explains clinical psychologist Dr. Jeffrey Gardere. "Roger Ebert has stared down death and pain and may now have a more tough-as-nails, survivor approach to life."

In his battle with cancer, Ebert has been through a series of surgeries, first to remove his malignant thyroid in 2002, then his salivary glands in 2003 and his jaw in 2006. He is clearly no stranger to adversity and he has looked death in the face on numerous occasions. That, Gardere tells us, could be the reason he lacked a sensitivity switch this week when discussing the death of Ryan Dunn.