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Psychol Bull. 2004 Jul;130(4):531-52.

Psychophysiology of aggression, psychopathy, and conduct problems: a meta-analysis.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY 11794, US.


A meta-analysis of 95 studies was conducted to investigate the relations of heart rate (HR) and electrodermal activity (EDA) with aggression, psychopathy, and conduct problems. Analyses revealed a complex constellation of interactive effects, with a failure in some cases of autonomic patterns to generalize across antisocial spectrum behavior constructs. Low resting EDA and low task EDA were associated with psychopathy/sociopathy and conduct problems. However, EDA reactivity was positively associated with aggression and negatively associated with psychopathy/sociopathy. Low resting HR and high HR reactivity were associated with aggression and conduct problems. Physiology--behavior relations varied with age and stimulus valence in several cases. Empirical and clinical implications are discussed.

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