Do child molesters hold distorted beliefs? What does their memory recall tell us?

Gannon, Theresa A. and Wright, Daniel B. and Beech, Anthony R. and Williams, Sian E. (2006) Do child molesters hold distorted beliefs? What does their memory recall tell us? Journal of Sexual Aggression, 12 (1). pp. 5-18. ISSN 1355-2600. (The full text of this publication is not available from this repository)

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Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13552600500451655

Abstract

Do child molesters hold distorted beliefs (or cognitive distortions) that support their sexual offending? To test this hypothesis, we asked 28 child molesters and 20 inmate controls to read a description of child molestation. Within this vignette, we planted 10 ambiguous descriptions. If child molesters' information processing were driven by cognitive distortions, we hypothesized that they would use this knowledge to disambiguate and cognitively distort each description. This was tested by examining participants' free recall of the vignette. Chi-square tests of association showed that both child molesters and inmate controls had various memory distortions for the vignette, but could not be differentiated based on the numbers of cognitive distortions in their recall classifications. In other words, our findings did not support the widely held cognitive distortion hypothesis—a finding which could promote substantial revision of both how we view child molesters' “cognitive distortions”, and how we treat them.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Ros Beeching
Date Deposited: 29 Aug 2008 14:43
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2014 11:17
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/4285 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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