The Effect of Personality on Startle Response
Journal of Advanced Student Sciences (JASS)
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The emotion of fear is often accompanied by increased heart rate, sweating, and trembling. Fear can be the result of startling events experienced in everyday life. Expression of different personality traits may correlate with variation in the degree of physiological response to a startle stimulus. The purpose of this study was to determine if personality is a moderating factor in startle response following a frightening stimuli. We hypothesized that those higher in neuroticism would have more dramatic physiological responses, while those higher in extraversion and openness to experience would display a smaller physiological response. Thirty-one participants completed the Big Five personality test prior to listening to a fear-provoking auditory stimuli. Analysis of experimental results revealed that participants scoring higher in extraversion exhibited a significantly greater degree of muscle contraction (p = 0.039) and larger increase in heart rate (p = 0.007) in response to a startle stimulus. Participants scoring higher in agreeableness also showed a significantly larger increase in heart rate (p = 0.003).
electrodermal activity (EDA)
An article that appeared in JASS, issue 2018