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Assessing the implicit attitudes and beliefs of offenders has proved difficult over decades of work and research with offender samples. The purpose of this paper is to outline the research related to the use of the emotional Stroop task and to encourage researchers and practitioners to use it as a measure to assess the implicit attitudes of offenders within their assessments. We consider the factors that may influence Stroop results along with the research considerations that need to be taken into account when using an emotional Stroop paradigm. Currently, a significant limitation of the emotional Stroop task is a lack of standard word stimulus sets that are able to distinguish between offender types. This limitation could seriously impede further development of this tool. Suggestions for future research are proposed. © 2012 Copyright National Organisation for the Treatment of Abusers.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of Sexual Aggression

Publication Date





253 - 268