Differentiating sexual preference in men: Using dual task rapid serial visual presentation task

A1 Journal article (refereed)

Internal Authors/Editors

Publication Details

List of Authors: Zappala A, Antfolk J, Backstrom A, Dombert B, Mokros A, Santtila P
Publication year: 2013
Journal: Scandinavian Journal of Psychology
Journal acronym: SCAND J PSYCHOL
Volume number: 54
Issue number: 4
Start page: 320
End page: 327
Number of pages: 8
ISSN: 0036-5564


Cognition research suggests that allocating attention resources to evolutionarily relevant stimuli is facilitated suggesting that sexual stimuli interfere with human information processing. In a group of gay (n=13) and straight men (n=13) recruited in Finland, Germany and Italy, we investigated if and how sexually relevant visual stimuli affect information processing of both a target one (T1) and a subsequent target two (T2) in a dual target rapid serial visual presentation procedure. We hypothesized that: (1) due to the attentional blink (AB) phenomenon, the accuracy of reporting of T2 would decrease when following accurately identified sexually preferred T1 compared to accurately identified non-sexually preferred T1; 2) due to the pop out effect, the accuracy of reporting of T1 and T2 would be relatively increased when T1 and T2 were sexually preferred by the participants compared to when they were not. Our findings did not support hypothesis 1 but supported hypothesis 2. We further found that the pop out effect had a good capacity to differentiate sexual preference between the groups of gay and straight men. We conclude that dual target rapid serial visual presentation can be used as an attention-based measurement to differentiate sexual preference in men. Limitations and the applicability in the field of measuring sexual preference were discussed.


attentional blink, Attention-based measurement, pop out effect, rapid serial visual presentation, sexual preference

Last updated on 2019-21-11 at 03:56