I Can Stomach That! Fearlessness About Death Predicts Attenuated Facial Electromyography Activity in Response to Death-Related Images

Elizabeth A. Velkoff, Lauren N. Forrest, Dorian R. Dodd, April R. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective measures of suicide risk can convey life-saving information to clinicians, but few such measures exist. This study examined an objective measure of fearlessness about death (FAD), testing whether FAD relates to self-reported and physiological aversion to death. Females (n = 87) reported FAD and disgust sensitivity, and facial electromyography was used to measure physiological facial responses consistent with disgust while viewing death-related images. FAD predicted attenuated expression of physiological death aversion, even when controlling for self-reported death-related disgust sensitivity. Diminished physiological aversion to death-related stimuli holds promise as an objective measure of FAD and suicide risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-322
Number of pages10
JournalSuicide and Life-Threatening Behavior
Volume46
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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