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Differentiating sexual preference in men: Using dual task rapid serial visual presentation task


Zappalà, Angelo; Antfolk, Jan; Bäckström, Anna; Dombert, Beate; Mokros, Andreas; Santtila, Pekka (2013). Differentiating sexual preference in men: Using dual task rapid serial visual presentation task. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 54(4):320-327.

Abstract

Cognition research suggests that allocating attention resources to evolutionarily relevant stimuli is facilitated suggesting that sexual stimuli interfere with human information processing. In a group of gay (n = 13) and straight men (n = 13) recruited in Finland, Germany and Italy, we investigated if and how sexually relevant visual stimuli affect information processing of both a target one (T1) and a subsequent target two (T2) in a dual target rapid serial visual presentation procedure. We hypothesized that: (1) due to the attentional blink (AB) phenomenon, the accuracy of reporting of T2 would decrease when following accurately identified sexually preferred T1 compared to accurately identified non-sexually preferred T1; 2) due to the pop out effect, the accuracy of reporting of T1 and T2 would be relatively increased when T1 and T2 were sexually preferred by the participants compared to when they were not. Our findings did not support hypothesis 1 but supported hypothesis 2. We further found that the pop out effect had a good capacity to differentiate sexual preference between the groups of gay and straight men. We conclude that dual target rapid serial visual presentation can be used as an attention-based measurement to differentiate sexual preference in men. Limitations and the applicability in the field of measuring sexual preference were discussed.

Abstract

Cognition research suggests that allocating attention resources to evolutionarily relevant stimuli is facilitated suggesting that sexual stimuli interfere with human information processing. In a group of gay (n = 13) and straight men (n = 13) recruited in Finland, Germany and Italy, we investigated if and how sexually relevant visual stimuli affect information processing of both a target one (T1) and a subsequent target two (T2) in a dual target rapid serial visual presentation procedure. We hypothesized that: (1) due to the attentional blink (AB) phenomenon, the accuracy of reporting of T2 would decrease when following accurately identified sexually preferred T1 compared to accurately identified non-sexually preferred T1; 2) due to the pop out effect, the accuracy of reporting of T1 and T2 would be relatively increased when T1 and T2 were sexually preferred by the participants compared to when they were not. Our findings did not support hypothesis 1 but supported hypothesis 2. We further found that the pop out effect had a good capacity to differentiate sexual preference between the groups of gay and straight men. We conclude that dual target rapid serial visual presentation can be used as an attention-based measurement to differentiate sexual preference in men. Limitations and the applicability in the field of measuring sexual preference were discussed.

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3 citations in Web of Science®
3 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, and Psychosomatics
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Date:2013
Deposited On:20 Feb 2014 11:08
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 17:38
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:0036-5564
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/sjop.12050

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