Reaction Time and Item Presentation Factors in the Self-Report of Partner Aggression

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Abstract

The Conflict Tactics Scales (CTS) have used different formats intended to maximize the accuracy and disclosure of relationship aggression. The original CTS presented items in a hierarchical order, seeking to establish a “context of legitimation.” The CTS2 presented items in an interspersed order to reduce denial response sets. The current study used computer administration of the CTS and sought to determine whether the two presentation formats described above result in differing self-reports of aggression and to explore possible causes of such an effect, such as differences in reaction time. Results indicated that item order did not significantly affect reports of aggression, but increasing participants' reaction times by experimental manipulation of the minimum item display duration resulted in increased self-reports of aggression.

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