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Implicit and explicit measurements of sexual preference in gay and heterosexual men: a comparison of priming techniques and the Implicit Association Task

Snowden, Robert Jefferson, Wichter, Jan and Gray, Nicola Susan 2008. Implicit and explicit measurements of sexual preference in gay and heterosexual men: a comparison of priming techniques and the Implicit Association Task. Archives of Sexual Behavior 37 (4) , pp. 558-565. 10.1007/s10508-006-9138-z

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Abstract

The present study examined how well implicit measures were able to predict sexual orientation. Most previous research in the sexual orientation domain has been dependent upon self-report, which requires explicit, conscious awareness of sexual orientation and/or erotic preferences. On the other hand, implicit measurements are thought to be able to reflect immediate automatic reactions that may not be available to introspection. A total of 50 heterosexual and 25 homosexual men completed two implicit measures: the Implicit Association Task (IAT) and the Priming Task (PT). Sexual orientation was determined by self-report. In the PT, participants classified words as either sexually attractive or unattractive. Each word was preceded by a “prime” that was a picture of either a male or a female. The IAT consisted of classifying these same words as sexually attractive or unattractive, and classifying the pictures as either male or female. Both the IAT and the PT had very good ability to predict sexual orientation with Area Under the Curves (AUC) of 0.97 and 0.86, respectively. Unlike many other reports of implicit measures of behavior, the IAT and the PT correlated strongly with each other, and also with the explicit measurements of sexual orientation. It was concluded that these implicit measures can provide a valuable tool for research into sexual orientation and erotic preference that can complement existing measures, such as self-report questionnaires and physiological changes in sexual arousal in response to erotic stimuli.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Uncontrolled Keywords: Implicit measurement; Sexual orientation; Erotic preference
Publisher: Springer
ISSN: 0004-0002
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2017 14:17
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/28464

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