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Identifying objective markers of sexual arousal: Using eye-tracking, pupillometry, and heart rate variability

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Identifying objective markers of sexual arousal: Using eye-tracking, pupillometry, and heart rate variability

Elalouf, Karine (2018) Identifying objective markers of sexual arousal: Using eye-tracking, pupillometry, and heart rate variability. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Sexual arousal has long been defined as a mind/body connection that consists of experiencing both subjective awareness of one’s sexual arousal and the subsequent genital response (Schacter & Singer, 1982). However, new research interested in this construct has demonstrated that not everyone experiences sexual arousal in the same way. Notably, women often do no experience this mind/body connection, where they experience a lack of concordance between their subjective and objective sexual arousal (Chivers & Bailey, 2005; Chivers, 2010). For example, experiencing vaginal engorgement when not subjectively aroused. Traditional objective measures (e.g. vaginal plethysmography) can capture these genital responses that do not reflect subjective appraisals. The purpose of this thesis is to explore different objective measures (i.e.: Eye Movement Variability; EMV, Pupillometry, and Heart Rate Variability; HRV) in the aim of finding one that would measure objective sexual arousal that was concordant with the subjective experience. The results of this experiment allowed us to determine that HRV may only be a suitable objective measure for assessing negative affect. In addition, they show that negative arousal may decrease EMV as positive arousal can. Finally, there was a correspondence between pupillary responses and arousing instances. Unfortunately, due to statistical limitations, we were unable to find quantitative correspondences between the subjective and objective assessments. Additionally, we were interested in the use of video stimuli instead of images. Where these do offer notable advantages such as time efficiency and the possibility of presenting a large array of stimuli, they lack ecological validity. With the addition of sound and a storyline, videos may offer more context and may also elicit stronger emotive responses (Rupp & Wallen, 2008). As such, we aimed to create a bank of validated videos. Results of this experiment allowed us to obtain the videos used for the second study of this thesis.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Psychology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Elalouf, Karine
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Psychology
Date:21 November 2018
Thesis Supervisor(s):Johnson, Aaron
ID Code:985423
Deposited By: KARINE ELALOUF
Deposited On:17 Jun 2019 16:41
Last Modified:17 Jun 2019 16:41
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