A Behavior Analytically Modified Implicit Association Test for Measuring Sexual Categorization of Children
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The current study assessed the sexual categorization of children among a random sample of adults from the general population. Twenty-seven males and 27 females (N = 54) were exposed to a categorization task that assessed their ability to discriminate adult-from child-related words and sexual from nonsexual words. Then, in a modified Implicit Association Test they were required to respond with a particular key press to individual child-and adult-related stimuli paired with either sexual or nonsexual stimuli. In another block of testing the pairs of stimuli requiring a common key response were juxtaposed. There was more effective acquisition of common response functions for child/nonsexual than for child/sexual stimulus pairs for all participants combined. This effect was also observed for female participants separately but not for males. These findings support the utility of behavior-analytic variations of the Implicit Association Test but raise important considerations regarding their use as forensic and diagnostic tools.
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