Departmentkolloquium: The validation of a thematic-apperceptive method to measure sexual motivation (Jessica Hinzmann & Oliver C. Schultheiss)
Kurze Zusammenfassung des Vortrags The validation of a thematic-apperceptive method to measure sexual motivation – Jessica Hinzmann & Oliver C. Schultheiss – Implicit motives are commonly assessed with story-telling methods that use content-coding to quantify the strength of a motive in an individual. This measurement technique showed promising results regarding the explanatory and predictive power of motives such as the need for power, achievement, and affiliation. Because no such measure exists for the need for sex yet, our aim is to validate the story-telling method for sexual motivation. We use a causal validation model that holds that a valid measure is one that is sensitive in a causal manner to changes of the attribute its targets. However, effects of experimental arousal and story content are not enough; they may exist due to non-motivational factors. We therefore argue for a triangulation between experimental manipulation, the test itself, and affect. Specifically, affect serves as an indicator of whether the manipulation has hit the targeted attribute (motivation) and serves as a mediator between manipulation and test. In a series of studies using various experimental manipulation strategies (priming, audio stories, movies) we consistently found that participants who were presented with sexual stimuli showed an increase of sexual imagery in their stories compared to participants presented with control stimuli. This effect was mediated by subjective (self-report) and psychophysiological (facial electromyography, pupil dilation) measures of affect. These results suggest that the story-telling method for sexual motivation works and that it may be used as a valid measure of nSex.