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Cognitive assessment of deviant sexual interest using the emotional stroop and fMRI

Price, Shelley (2011)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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This thesis examines differences in information-processing of sexual material using the emotional Stroop task to determine whether it is a reliable tool to be used in the assessment of deviant sexual interest for sexual abusers. Chapter one reviews the Stroop task and provides guidance to researchers for developing Stroop studies. Chapter two provides an overview of the methodologies and reports on the development of new word stimuli to measure sexual interest specific to sexual abusers. In Chapter three, adult sexual abusers demonstrated Stroop bias towards general sexual word content and words reflecting sexual interest more specific to sexual abusers. Chapter four found that the emotional Stroop task used in this thesis was not a suitable tool for use with adolescent samples. Chapter five compared the adult and adolescent datasets and found that offender groups exhibit a general slowing effect overall and that differences in Stroop bias were evident between different age cohorts. Chapters six/seven identified areas of the brains of sexual abusers that are disinhibited when processing emotional/sexual word content during the completion of the task. The thesis concludes with a discussion of the overall findings, limitations of the research, implications of the findings, and suggestions for future research.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Mitchell, Ian John
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
Department:School of Psychology
Subjects:BF Psychology
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:1541
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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