Understanding the cognitive processes associated with sexual fantasies: towards a dual process model

Bartels, Ross Matthew (2014). Understanding the cognitive processes associated with sexual fantasies: towards a dual process model. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis proposes a theoretical model of sexual thoughts and fantasies; the Dual-Process of Sexual Thinking (DPM-ST). In brief, the DPM-ST argues that associative processes generate spontaneous sexual thoughts, whereas controlled processes underlie the act of sexual fantasising. The empirical chapters aimed to empirically test some of the DPM-ST's main assumptions using offender and non-offender samples. In Chapter 3, support was found for the hypothesis that child abusers hold distorted sex-related associations. The results of Chapter 4 supported the idea that the use of deviant sexual fantasies is more likely if individuals have a greater proclivity to fantasise and hold explicit attitudes related to the deviant sexual fantasy. Chapter 5 supported the hypothesis that sexual fantasising is a controlled process requiring working memory resources. The results of Chapter 6 did not support the hypothesis that sexually fantasising about dominance activates 'self-powerful' associations. In Chapter 7, the results supported the hypothesis that abusers who repeatedly use sexual fantasies about children hold a stronger association between 'children' and 'sexual fantasy'. Finally, Chapter 8 concluded the thesis by discussing the findings in terms of their theoretical and clinical implications. The limitations of the thesis are also outlined, along with various ideas for future research.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Psychology
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/5126


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