Is the Implicit Association Test for Aggressive Attitudes a Measure for Attraction to Violence or Traumatization?

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Zeitschrift für Psychologie. 2017, 225(1), pp. 54-63. ISSN 0044-3409. eISSN 2151-2604. Available under: doi: 10.1027/2151-2604/a000281
Zusammenfassung

Traumatic exposure is particularly devastating for those who, at a young age, have become combatants or experienced massive adversity after abduction by armed movements. We investigated the impact of traumatic stressors on psychopathology among war-affected young men of Northern Uganda, including former child soldiers. Adaptation to violent environments and coping with trauma-related symptoms often result in an increasing appetite for violence. We analyze implicit attitudes toward violence, assessed by an Implicit Association Test (IAT), among 64 male participants. Implicit attitudes varied as a function of the number of experienced traumatic event types and committed offense types. As the number of traumatic experiences and violence exposure increased, more appetitive aggression was reported, whereas the IAT indicated increasingly negative implicit attitudes toward aggression. The IAT was also the strongest predictor of cortisol levels. Diffusion-model analysis was the best way to demonstrate IAT validity. Implicit measures revealed the trauma-related changes of cognitive structures.

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150 Psychologie
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posttraumatic stress disorder, appetitive aggression, Implicit Association Test (IAT), combatants
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ISO 690BLUEMKE, Matthias, Anselm CROMBACH, Tobias HECKER, Inga SCHALINSKI, Thomas ELBERT, Roland WEIERSTALL, 2017. Is the Implicit Association Test for Aggressive Attitudes a Measure for Attraction to Violence or Traumatization?. In: Zeitschrift für Psychologie. 2017, 225(1), pp. 54-63. ISSN 0044-3409. eISSN 2151-2604. Available under: doi: 10.1027/2151-2604/a000281
BibTex
@article{Bluemke2017-07Impli-40004,
  year={2017},
  doi={10.1027/2151-2604/a000281},
  title={Is the Implicit Association Test for Aggressive Attitudes a Measure for Attraction to Violence or Traumatization?},
  number={1},
  volume={225},
  issn={0044-3409},
  journal={Zeitschrift für Psychologie},
  pages={54--63},
  author={Bluemke, Matthias and Crombach, Anselm and Hecker, Tobias and Schalinski, Inga and Elbert, Thomas and Weierstall, Roland}
}
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