Measuring males' and females' implicit theories of intimate partner violence: An exploratory study


Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a serious problem in the United States. The present study investigates whether a subset of unconscious cognitions known as implicit theories contribute to IPV. Thirty-three male and female university students completed a lexical decision task (LDT), which uses reaction times to gauge the degree of support for statements related to IPV. Findings indicated that IPV perpetrators held some implicit theories more strongly than non-perpetrators. Implications for treatment and research are discussed, as is the value of using tools like the LDT to measure otherwise elusive cognitive structures supporting deviant behavior.

Victims and Offenders
Caitlin S. Ducate
Caitlin S. Ducate
PhD Candidate of Criminal Justice

I am a Ph.D. candidate at Indiana University. My research interests include how cognitive schemata such as identity influence criminal offending behavior.