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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 77130 Find in a Library
Title: Skin Conductance Recovery Time and Personality in a Group of Criminals
Journal: Psychophysiology  Volume:17  Issue:2  Dated:(1980)  Pages:105-111
Author(s): S E Levander; D S Schalling; L Lidberg; A Bartfai; Y Lidberg
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 7
Sponsoring Agency: Bank of Sweden Tercentary Foundation
Stockholm, Sweden
Swedish Medical Research Council
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study, in which the recovery time of skin conductance (SC) response to tone stimuli in criminals is compared to other SC measures (e.g., tonic level) and to self-reports, indicates a link between long recovery and psychopathic personality.
Abstract: The half-time measure of the recovery rate (rec t/2) of skin conductance responses to 93dB tone stimuli was obtained in a group of 25 male criminals. The subjects, referred by the courts to the forensic psychiatric clinic in Stockholm for a psychiatric evaluation before passing sentence, were between 18 and 30 years old, in good physical health, and of normal intelligence. Two subjects had committed assaults, one had committed robbery, and the remaining had committed thefts and forgery. Personality variables were measured using the Gough Delinquency Scale (De scale) and the Marke-Nyman Temperament Inventory (MNT). Rec t/2 of the response to the first (unexpected and thus presumably more aversive) tone was longer than the rec t/2 of the following 20 tones. The difference between these two rec t/2 measures was used as a 'reactivity' estimate. The rec t/2 was also studied in relation to self-report personality variables related to socialization, impulsivity, empathy and neuroticism. The findings showed that the rec t/2 measures were negatively related to SC level and spontaneous fluctuations but unrelated to SC response measures. Subjects with self-report scores indicating lower socialization had a longer mean rec t/2 and lower rec t/2 'reactivity' than those higher in socialization. A similar trend was obtained for subjects with scores indicating high impulsivity. The article states that further studies concerning the effect of rec t/2 of various situational factors in interaction with psychopathy-related personality measures and clinical and record-based ratings of psychopathy should be conducted. The issue of central process vs. peripheral (hydration) interpretation of recovery time (The Bundy-Fitzgerald effect) is discussed. Statistical data, about 30 references, and eight reference notes are included. (Author abstract modified)
Index Term(s): Biological influences; Nonbehavioral correlates of crime; Sweden
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