Analysis of Correlations Between Low Resting Heart Rate, Personality Tendencies, and Decision Making

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Montana State Univeristy


Low resting heart rate has been found as a prevalent biological marker for personality tendencies along the antisocial spectrum. Additional characteristics that emerge along the antisocial spectrum include superficial charm, grandiose sense of self-worth, stimulation seeking, and a lack of empathy for others. Studies suggest that this lack of empathy could play a role in jury decisions. This research examines possible correlations between people’s resting heart rates, personality tendencies, and decisions made on court cases. We hypothesize that low resting heart rate will correlate to high prevalence of the three researched personality traits as well as less empathetic decision making in the court case analysis. In order to test the hypothesis, we ran a social survey that collected data on low-resting heart rates, personality traits, and evaluations of court cases. We focused on three main personality tendencies seen in the antisocial personality disorder spectrum: callousness, deceitfulness, and thrill seeking. The court cases selected were particularly difficult scenarios that hinged on perspective. Our goal was to examine the degree to which low resting heart rates, personality traits, and extreme sentencing showed a statistical relationship. Understanding the ways in which biomarkers affect decision making could benefit the legal system tremendously.




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