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Implicit Association Test

  • By: Dana R. Carney, Brian A. Nosek, Anthony G. Greenwald & Mahzarin R. Banaji
  • In: Encyclopedia of Social Psychology
  • Edited by: Roy F. Baumeister & Kathleen D. Vohs
  • Subject:Social Psychology (general)
Definition

Psychologists have long suspected the existence of thoughts and feelings that are not accessible by simply asking a person to report them. It may be that people are unwilling to report what they think and feel. Or, even more likely, people may not be aware of everything that they think and feel. Beginning in the 1980s, efficient alternatives to self-report measures were invented to study implicit or unconscious forms of thoughts and feelings. One such measure is the Implicit Association Test (IAT).

The IAT requires respondents to rapidly sort items from four different categories into groups. For example, imagine sorting a deck of playing cards—with red hearts, red diamonds, black clubs, and black spades—two times. For the first time, all the hearts and diamonds are sorted ...

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