The utility of physiological measures in assessing the empathic skills of incarcerated violent offenders

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Ressource 1Download: Palix, Abu-Akel, et al IJOTCC 2021.pdf (215.26 [Ko])
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Serval ID
serval:BIB_01BF9CA4DBEA
Type
Article: article from journal or magazin.
Collection
Publications
Institution
Title
The utility of physiological measures in assessing the empathic skills of incarcerated violent offenders
Journal
International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology
Author(s)
Palix Julie, Abu-Akel Ahmad, Moulin Valérie, Abbiati Milena, Gasser Jacques, Hasler Christopher, Marcot Dominique, Mohr Christine, Dan-Glauser Elise
Publication state
Published
Issued date
11/02/2021
Peer-reviewed
Oui
Language
english
Abstract
Purpose: Since lack of empathy is an important indicator of violent behaviors, researchers need consistent and valid measures. This study evaluated the practical significance of a potential physiological correlate of empathy compared to a traditional self-report questionnaire in 18 male violent offenders and 21 general population controls.
Methods: Empathy skills were assessed with the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI) questionnaire. Heart-Rate Variability (HRV) was assessed with an electrocardiogram. The RMSSD (Root Mean Square of the Successive beat-to-beat Differences), an HRV index implicated in social cognition, was calculated.
Results: There were no group differences in IRI scores. However, RMSSD was lower in the offender group. Positive correlations between RMSSD and IRI subscales were found for controls only.
Conclusions: Psychometric measures of empathy do not discriminate incarcerated violent offenders, and the incorporation of psychophysiological measures, such as HRV, could be an avenue for forensic research on empathy to establish translatable evidence-based information.
Keywords
Violence, Offenders, Empathy, Heart Rate Variability, RMSSD
Open Access
Yes
Create date
17/01/2021 12:11
Last modification date
13/02/2021 7:08
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