Denial and the discrepancy between heart rate and reported negative affect: a study of convergent and discriminant validity

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry



Document Type


Medical Subject Headings

Adolescent; Adult; *Denial (Psychology); *Heart Rate; Humans; MMPI; Male; Personality Disorders; Personality Inventory


Mental and Social Health | Psychiatry | Psychiatry and Psychology


This study examined the convergent and divergent validity of heart-rate (HR)-based response discrepancy scores as measures of denial. After standardizing measures of stressor-related anxiety, hostility, and HR, response discrepancy scores were calculated by subtracting each measure of negative affect from the HR value. Analyses revealed the response discrepancy scores to correlate positively with measures of denial, negatively with a measure of trait anger, and to not correlate with measures of the nondefensive need for approval and the positive trait of curiosity. These findings support the construct validity of response discrepancy scores as markers of denial.


Citation: Psychother Psychosom. 1992;58(3-4):202-7. DOI:10.1159/000288628

At the time of publication, Monika Kolodziej was not yet affiliated with the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

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PubMed ID