Measuring Deviant Sexual Interest Using the Emotional Stroop Task

Shelley Price, Anthony R. Beech, Ian J. Mitchell, Glyn W. Humphreys

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    5 Citations (Scopus)


    The emotional Stroop task has been used to assess deviant sexual interests of sexual abusers. Two limitations noted in the literature are difficulties surrounding the choice of word stimuli and the task’s inability to elicit significant differences between offender subtypes thus far. The purpose of this study was to examine differences in emotional Stroop bias between three adult groups using new, empirically-derived, word stimuli intended to reflect sexual interests more specific to sexual abusers. Significant differences were found between sexual abusers and non-offending controls for affective and sexual word stimuli. The results further support differential processing biases between sexual offenders and non offenders however difficulties in differentiating between offender groups are still evident. Implications of these findings are discussed and recommendations for future research are made.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)970-987
    JournalCriminal Justice and Behavior
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

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    • emotional Stroop
    • offenders
    • sexual offenders
    • sexual interest
    • cognitive assessment.


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