Implicit thinking about implicit theories in intimate partner violence

Elizabeth Gilchrist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


This paper reviews the literature pertaining to cognitive structures of intimate partner violence (IPV) offenders. Relevant theoretical propositions, attitudinal studies and clinical material are described, and implicit theories (ITs) which appear to be linked with IPV are identified and discussed. Ten potential ITs are identified: 'violence is normal', 'women are dangerous', 'uncontrollability', 'need for control', 'women are objects', 'entitlement/respect', 'sex drive is uncontrollable', 'real man', 'grievance/revenge', and 'nature of harm'. The similarities across ITs of IPV offenders and those hypothesised for perpetrators of other offences are identified and discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-145
Number of pages15
JournalPsychology, Crime and Law
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009


  • cognitive structures
  • implicit theories
  • psychology
  • domestic violence


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