This work was supported by grants MH17069, MH48657, MH52384, and MH65137 from the National Institutes of Mental Health and by funds from the Graduate Research Partnership Program and the Hathaway endowment at the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities. We thank Edward Bernat and Steve M. Malone for their invaluable technical consultation and assistance in data reduction. Portions of this work were presented at the Developmental and Neuroscience Perspectives on Psychopathy conference in Madison, Wisconsin, July 17–19, 2003, at the 42nd meeting of the Society for Psychophysiological Research in Chicago, Illinois, October 29–November 2, 2003, and were submitted in partial fulfillment of Stephen D. Benning's Master's degree.
Psychopathy, startle blink modulation, and electrodermal reactivity in twin men
Article first published online: 7 NOV 2005
Volume 42, Issue 6, pages 753–762, November 2005
How to Cite
Benning, S. D., Patrick, C. J. and Iacono, W. G. (2005), Psychopathy, startle blink modulation, and electrodermal reactivity in twin men. Psychophysiology, 42: 753–762. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8986.2005.00353.x
- Issue published online: 7 NOV 2005
- Article first published online: 7 NOV 2005
- (Received November 8, 2004; Accepted June 17, 2005)
- Skin conductance;
- Psychopathic Personality Inventory;
- Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire;
- Community sample
Psychopathy is a personality disorder with interpersonal–emotional and antisocial deviance facets. This study investigated these facets of psychopathy prospectively using normal-range personality traits in a community sample of young adult men who completed a picture-viewing task that included startle blink and skin conductance measures, like tasks used to study psychopathy in incarcerated men. Consistent with prior research, scores on the interpersonal–emotional facet of psychopathy (“fearless dominance”) were associated with deficient fear-potentiated startle. Conversely, scores on the social deviance facet of psychopathy (“impulsive antisociality”) were associated with smaller overall skin conductance magnitudes. Participants high in fearless dominance also exhibited deficient skin conductance magnitudes specifically to aversive pictures. Findings encourage further investigation of psychopathy and its etiology in community samples.