If you suffer from a low resting heart rate, there's a chance your stalking might surpass social media creeping. A new study found that guys with lower heart rate exhibit more antisocial behavior, including the tendency for stalking.
According to a release from Sam Houston State University, which conducted the study, this specific group of men were not only more likely to engage in stalking, but they were also less fearful and more likely to pursue victims in order to find stimulation. They were also more impulsive. Researchers say this tendency is based on arousal theory, which is the belief that we humans seek to increase, and not decrease stimulation, writes Psychology Today.
“Participants whose heart rate was one standard deviation below the mean or lower had nearly three times the odds of having engaged in stalking as compared with all other participants, suggesting that low resting heart rate is associated with increased prevalence of stalking behavior,” says study co-author Danielle Boisvert in a statement. “Overall, our findings suggest that while heart rate is generally found to be associated with aggression and antisocial behavior across the sexes, these associations may be sex specific when discussing stalking perpetration.”
The team recruited 384 college students who completed a survey about stalking while having their heart rate monitored. Questions included whether the subjects have ever followed, watched or spied on another person, or tried to communicate with someone in a variety of ways even the other person wasn’t receptive. Thirty two people exhibited stalking behaviors, which was split with 15 females and 17 males.
Aside from these antisocial behaviors, a slow heart rate can be totally normal, or a sign of health problems. According to WebMd, the average heart rate is between 60 to 100 beats per minute, but many younger people and athletes, who are very fit, can have heart rates less than 60 beats per minute.
Sometimes, a slow heart rate can be an indicator that your pacemaker isn’t working correctly or the electrical pathways in your heart aren’t functioning as normal. In severe forms of bradycardia, or slow heart rate, the heart rate is so slow that there isn’t enough blood supplied to satisfy your body’s needs, reports the medical site.
Older people often have reduced heart rates, too writes the Cleveland Clinic.
“As people get older, there is occasional normal wear and tear on the electrical system of the heart,” cardiologist Jose Baez-Escudero, MD, says in a blog post on the hospital’s website. “As a result, the normal rhythm tends to slow down.”
The hospital says that it may be time to worry if you’re experiencing a lack of energy, low stamina, chest pains or heart palpitations.
As for the psychological associations of low heart rate, the study authors estimate that about 20 million women and six million men in the United States have been stalked. For more information, and resources on stalking, visit the Stalking Resource Center.