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About Jeffrey E. Hecker

My research focuses upon risk assessment for individuals who have committed sexual offenses. One line of research deals with adolescents who have committed sexual offenses. With my collaborator, Sue Righthand, we are evaluating the predictive validity of the Juvenile Sex Offender Assessment Protocol – II. The current study is an archival investigation of records of adolescents convicted of sexual offenses between 1995 and 2002. J-SOAP-II ratings are being made based upon psychological evaluations and other records collected at the time of their sentencing. We will be examining arrest records for these youth over the subsequent five to 12 years. The second line of research is laboratory-based. We are developing an alternative measure of sexual interest that utilizes the startle eye blink as a measure of attraction to sexual stimuli. The size of a man’s eye blink when startled is modulated by his emotional state. If startled while looking at an image he finds attractive, his eye blink will be relatively small. In contrast, the blink is large if he is startled while attending to an aversive image. The emotion-modulation of the startle eye blink does not appear to be under conscious control. We are exploring ways that the relationship between startle eye blink and emotional state can be used to assess men’s interest in normative and deviant sexual stimuli.


Present Professor of Psychology, University of Maine Department of Psychology
Present Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, University of Maine


Contact Information

Phone: (207) 581-2033