Preliminary psychomotor stress studies with subnormal psychopathic subjects
Tong, John E.
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IN a series of research studies concerned with stress reactivity in adult male patients of subnormal intelligence quotient (I.Q.) and of known delinquent or psychopathic history, it has been established that stability, and possibly prognosis, are related to behavioural and physiological measures of stress reactivity1,2. Stress reactivity has been regarded as a continuous single variable, and it seems that instability corresponds with very high or very low reactivity, and stability with moderate reactivity, findings which are similar to those of Lykken3, for primary and neurotic sociopaths, and the views of Eysenck4,5 and Franks6,7, concerning introversion-extraversion and conditionability. In general, physiological measures, such as the conditioning-rate of the galvanic skin response, correlate more highly with various social criteria than do behavioural measures. This is for three reasons: (a) the physiological techniques reduce extraneous stimulus and response factors to a minimum; (b) the techniques are applicable to subjects of quite low I.Q., for example, down to 60; (c) the responses usually indicate a required range of scores from unreactivity to high reactivity. © 1960 Nature Publishing Group.