Development and validation of videotaped scenarios: A method for targeting specific participant groups

Nora E. Noel, Stephen A. Maisto, James D. Johnson, Lee A. Jackson, Christopher D. Goings, Brett T. Hagman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Researchers using scenarios often neglect to validate perceived content and salience of embedded stimuli specifically with intended participants, even when such meaning is integral to the study. For example, sex and aggression stimuli are heavily influenced by culture, so participants may not perceive what researchers intended in sexual aggression scenarios. Using four studies, the authors describe the method of scenario validation to produce two videos assessing alcohol-related sexual aggression. Both videos are identical except for the presence in one video of antiforce cues that are extremely salient to the young heterosexual men. Focus groups and questionnaires validate these men's perceptions that (a) the woman was sexually interested, (b) the sexual cues were salient, (c) the antiforce cues were salient (antiaggression video only), and (e) these antiforce cues inhibited acceptance of forced sex. Results show the value of carefully selecting and validating content when assessing socially volatile variables and provide a useful template for developing culturally valid scenarios.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)419-436
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2008


  • Alcohol
  • Laboratory analogue research
  • Scenario validation
  • Sexual aggression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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