Relationship between Neuroticism, Threat of shock and Heart Rate Variability Reactivity
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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The aim of the present study was to investigate the relationship between Neuroticism, non-executive functioningand heart rate variability (HRV) in both threat and non-threat situations. Sixty-five male sailors fromthe Royal Norwegian Navy participated in the study. Participants were randomly assigned into non-threat andthreat groups. Neuroticism was measured by the NEO-PI-R and, based on the median-split of Neuroticism,groups were divided into 2 additional groups. A Visual Search Task was used to measure non-executivefunctioning. HRV reactivity was measured during baseline-, test- and recovery-conditions. Overall, the resultsrevealed that there were no differences between any of the groups in terms of the performance onthe Visual Search Task: this was true for both accuracy data and mean reaction time. However, the resultsshowed that the High Neuroticism Threat Group had a significant increase in HRV from test-condition torecovery. This may indicate that the High Neuroticism Threat Group found the whole task condition morestressful due to the threat situation.