Children Induce an Enhanced Attentional Blink in Child Molesters

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Abstract

The attentional blink (AB) is a robust phenomenon that has been consistently reported in the cognitive literature. The AB is found when two target images (T1, T2) are presented within 500 ms of each other and errors are induced on the perceptual report of T2. The AB may increase when T1 has some salience to the viewer. This study examined the effects of using pictures of children as T1 on the AB in a sample of child molesters. A larger AB emerged in this sample when T1was a picture of a child compared with when T1 was a picture of an animal. It is argued that this task may be potentially useful to assess child molesters' level of interest in children.

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