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See detailVicarious Viewing Time: Prolonged Response Latencies for Sexually Attractive Targets as a Function of Task- or Stimulus-Specific Processing
Imhoff, Roland; Schmidt, Alexander F. UL; Weiss, Simone et al

in ARCHIVES OF SEXUAL BEHAVIOR (2012), 41(6), 1389-1401

The amount of time an individual spends gazing at images is longer if the depicted person is sexually appealing. Despite an increasing use of such response latencies as a diagnostic tool in applied ... [more ▼]

The amount of time an individual spends gazing at images is longer if the depicted person is sexually appealing. Despite an increasing use of such response latencies as a diagnostic tool in applied forensic settings, the underlying processes that drive the seemingly robust effect of longer response latencies for sexually attractive targets remain unknown. In the current study, two alternative explanations are presented and tested using an adapted viewing time paradigm that disentangled task- and stimulus-specific processes. Heterosexual and homosexual male participants were instructed to rate the sexual attractiveness of target persons differing in sex and sexual maturation from four experimentally assigned perspectives-heterosexual and homosexual perspectives for both sexes. This vicarious viewing time paradigm facilitated the estimation of the independent contributions of task (assigned perspective) and stimuli to viewing time effects. Results showed a large task-based effect as well as a relatively smaller stimulus-based effect. This pattern suggests that, when viewing time measures are used for the assessment of sexual interest, it should be taken into consideration that response latency patterns can be biased by judging images from a selected perspective. [less ▲]

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See detailViewing Time Effects Revisited: Prolonged Response Latencies for Sexually Attractive Targets Under Restricted Task Conditions
Imhoff, Roland; Schmidt, Alexander F. UL; Nordsiek, Uta et al

in ARCHIVES OF SEXUAL BEHAVIOR (2010), 39(6), 1275-1288

Sexually attractive stimuli are watched longer than unattractive stimuli. The processes underlying this robust and reliable viewing time effect are presently not well understood. In the present research ... [more ▼]

Sexually attractive stimuli are watched longer than unattractive stimuli. The processes underlying this robust and reliable viewing time effect are presently not well understood. In the present research comprising four experiments (total N = 250), four classes of potential explanations are proposed and the derived implications were experimentally tested. Contrary to explanations based on either deliberate delay or attentional adhesion to sexually attractive stimuli, prolonged response latencies were also found under restricted task conditions. Sexually preferred targets elicited longer response latencies in a self-paced evaluation task when stimulus pictures were presented for 750 ms (Experiment 1) or for 500 ms and followed by a pattern mask (Experiment 2). Prolonged latencies for sexually preferred targets were also observed when sexual attractiveness was rated in a speeded binary decision task with a response window of 1000 ms (Experiment 3). Eventually, it was shown that the response latency effect in the speeded binary choice task was still preserved when only the heads of target individuals were presented instead of the bodies (Experiment 4). Mate identification and schematic processes are discussed as the remaining plausible mechanisms for prolonged response latencies for sexually attractive targets under restricted conditions. [less ▲]

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