• The assistance of Carol Briley, Linda Clampit, Johnny Humphreys, Kelly McDonald, Rene Pingenot, Kurt Solis, and Roger Stevenson is gratefully acknowledged.

  • This research and the preparation of this report was supported in part by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health, MH 13630, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NGR 44–003–031. The Common Research Computer Facility, Texas Medical Center, supported in part by a grant from the USPHS, FR 00254, was used for statistical analyses.

Address requests for reprints to: Dr. Robert Roessler, Department of Psychiatry, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77025.


Skin conductance (SC) and heart rate (HR) responses to rest, to a bland and to a stressor motion picture film were examined in 20 student subjects (Ss). Ss were divided equally into a high ego strength (Es) and a low Es group on the basis of their scores on the Barron scale of the MMPI. These groups were balanced for film presentation order and did not differ significantly on trait anxiety as measured by the Taylor manifest anxiety scale. The Zuckerman multiple affect adjective check list was administered before and after both the stressor and the bland film. High Es Ss were more responsive in SC and HR under all three conditions and showed a greater range of SC values than did low Es Ss. Subjective states paralleled physiological states. High Es Ss reported significantly greater state anxiety than did low Es Ss.