Date of Degree

5-2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Program

Psychology

Advisor

Elizabeth L. Jeglic

Subject Categories

Clinical Psychology | Psychology

Keywords

Deviant; Disclosure; Fantasy; Sexual

Abstract

The assessment of deviant sexual fantasy and interests is an important component in sex offender risk assessment and subsequent treatment planning. However, clinicians and researchers have long acknowledged that sex offenders often distort or underreport details related to their sex offenses, particularly details relating to offense-related deviant sexual fantasy and interests. Some of the common methods used to minimize underreporting of deviant sexual fantasy and interests include the use of phallometry (or plethysmography) and polygraphy; however, not all assessment/treatment facilities or private practitioners providing services to sex offenders have access to such resources. Thus, the development of more efficient, cost-effective and less invasive methods for the assessment of deviant sexual fantasy and interests would be valuable. As a first step in a program of research attempting to address this issue, the current research project sought to determine if techniques derived from clinical, social, and marketing psychology--Foot-in-the-Door (FITD), Door-in-the-Face (DITF), Normalization (Norm), and Bogus Pipeline (BPL)--could be adapted for use with a self-report questionnaire to increase disclosure rates of deviant sexual fantasy among non-offenders. It was hypothesized that participants exposed to these adapted techniques would endorse greater rates of deviant sexual fantasy than participants in the control condition. Six hundred seventy eight undergraduate participants were recruited and randomly assigned to one of five conditions (control, FITD, DITF, Norm, or BPL). Each participant completed a battery of questionnaires online, including sexual fantasy and detailed demographic questionnaires. A between-groups design was utilized to assess the effectiveness of these techniques. Overall, no significant differences between groups were found and results indicated equivalent disclosure rates across all experimental conditions. Potential reasons for the obtained results are offered and future directions for this line of research are proposed.

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