Using cognitive science methods to assess the role of social information processing in sexually coercive behavior

  • Treat T
  • McFall R
  • Viken R
 et al. 
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Abstract

74 undergraduate men completed cognitive performance tasks assessing perceptual organization, classification, and category learning, as well as self-report measures relevant to sexual coercion. The stimuli were slides of Caucasian women who varied along affect and physical exposure (i.e., sensuality) dimensions. Data were analyzed using a weighted multidimensional scaling model, signal-detection theory analyses, and a connectionist learning model (RASHNL; J. K. Kruschke and M. K. Johansen, 1999). Individual differences in performance on the classification and category-learning tasks were congruent with individual differences in perceptual organization. Additionally, participants who showed relatively more attention to exposure than to affect were less sensitive to women's negative responses to unwanted sexual advances. Overall, the study demonstrates the feasibility and utility of cognitive science methods for studying information processing in psychopathology, (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2002 APA, all rights reserved)journal abstract

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Authors

  • Teresa A. Treat

  • Richard M. McFall

  • Richard J. Viken

  • John K. Kruschke

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