Pain processing and antisocial behavior: A multimodal investigation of the roles of boldness and meanness

Personal Disord. 2022 Nov;13(6):685-696. doi: 10.1037/per0000556. Epub 2022 Mar 10.


Antisocial behavior has been linked to an increased tolerance of painful stimuli; however, there is evidence that pain behavior is multidetermined. The current study used pain measures from 3 different modalities (pain tolerance, pain ratings, electrocortical reactivity) and assessed triarchic traits of boldness and meanness to clarify the dispositional basis of associations between pain processing and antisocial behavior. High boldness was significantly associated with blunted early neural response to painful and nonpainful stimuli as well as increased pain tolerance. High meanness was associated with blunted elaborative processing of painful images, lower ratings of perceived pain for self and others, and increased pain tolerance. Meanness also accounted for variance shared between pain processing and antisocial behavior. Findings demonstrate that boldness and meanness contribute to pain processing in different ways and suggest that meanness may uniquely account for the association between blunted pain processing and antisocial behavior. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Antisocial Personality Disorder*
  • Humans
  • Pain
  • Personality*
  • Phenotype