Problems of Forensic Sciences

Correlation of resting heart rate with a criminal sentence in young adult incarcerated criminal offenders

Data publikacji: 12.2022

Problems of Forensic Sciences (Z Zagadnień Nauk Sądowych), 2022, 130-131, s. 117 - 133



Paweł Przybylski
Uniwersytet SWPS, Wydział Zamiejscowy w Katowicach
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3467-9301 Orcid
Wszystkie publikacje autora →
Danuta Rode
Uniwersytet SWPS, Wydział Zamiejscowy w Katowicach
https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5729-8168 Orcid
Wszystkie publikacje autora →


Criminal sentence is supposed to be just reflection of the gravity of the violations of social norms by an individual in given circumstances. It therefore should be a reliable base for measurement of antisocial tendencies in offenders. Decades of research consistently show that autonomic under-arousal is a significant predictor of crime, violence and antisocial behaviour (AB). No research to date tried to study relationship between length of criminal sentences and physiological measures of autonomic nervous system (ANS) activity. Our study aimed to check if parameters of criminal sentences are good quantification of antisocial tendencies by correlating it with their known physiological correlate – resting heart rate (HR). We correlated sum of sentences, largest individual sentence and legal limits for most serious offence as documented in criminal records with resting HR in 74 young adult incarcerated criminal offenders aged 18–20. In line with the hypothesis we obtained Pearson’s coefficients of r = -.443; r = -.451 and r = -.397 respectively as well as Spearman’s coefficients ρ = -.408; ρ = -.492 and ρ = -.406 respectively, all significant at p < .001.
Our research shows that resting heart rate can be a robust predictor of criminal conduct when the latter is quantified precisely and objectively with criminal records. This directs further research in this field towards measuring AB using methods less sensitive to impression management and informant bias, not relying on self-report but on documented behaviour vides empirical support to the validity of codified principles of criminal law as ways of expressing offenders’ level of social misconduct.


* Research was financed from a SWPS University for Social Sciences and Humanities grant for statutory research WP/2018/A/94. Authors declare no further financial sources or potential conflicts of interest to disclose.


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Informacje: Problems of Forensic Sciences (Z Zagadnień Nauk Sądowych), 2022, s. 117 - 133

Typ artykułu: Oryginalny artykuł naukowy



Correlation of resting heart rate with a criminal sentence in young adult incarcerated criminal offenders



Paweł Przybylski
Uniwersytet SWPS, Wydział Zamiejscowy w Katowicach
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3467-9301 Orcid
Wszystkie publikacje autora →

Uniwersytet SWPS, Wydział Zamiejscowy w Katowicach, SWPS


Danuta Rode
Uniwersytet SWPS, Wydział Zamiejscowy w Katowicach
https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5729-8168 Orcid
Wszystkie publikacje autora →

Uniwersytet SWPS, Wydział Zamiejscowy w Katowicach, SWPS

Publikacja: 12.2022

Otrzymano: 28.07.2022

Zaakceptowano: 30.09.2022

Status artykułu: Otwarte __T_UNLOCK

Licencja: CC BY-NC-ND  ikona licencji

Udział procentowy autorów:

Paweł Przybylski (Autor) - 50%
Danuta Rode (Autor) - 50%

Korekty artykułu:


Języki publikacji:

Angielski, Polski

Liczba wyświetleń: 449

Liczba pobrań: 368

Sugerowane cytowania: Vancouver

Przybylski P, Rode D.

Correlation of resting heart rate with a criminal sentence in young adult incarcerated criminal offenders

. Problems of Forensic Sciences (Z Zagadnień Nauk Sądowych). 2022;2022 (130-131): 117-133