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Nosek & Hansen (2008a, 2008b): Attitudes and Knowledge in the Implicit Association Test

Brian Nosek & Jeffrey Hansen
Computer Resource; Online
Brian Nosek & Jeffrey Hansen
The associations in our heads belong to us: Searching for attitudes and knowledge in implicit evaluation (Cognition & Emotion Abstract) Explicitly, humans can distinguish their own attitudes from evaluations possessed by others. Implicitly, the viability of a distinction between attitudes and evaluative knowledge is less clear. We investigated relations between explicit attitudes, cultural knowledge and the Implicit Association Test (IAT). In seven studies (158 samples, N=107,709), the IAT was reliably and variably related to explicit attitudes, and explicit attitudes accounted for the relationship between t he IAT and cultural knowledge. We suggest that people do not have introspective access to the associations formed via experience in a culture. Ownership of mental associations is established by presence in mind and influence on thinking, feeling and doing. Regardless of origin, associations are influential depending on their availability, accessibility, salience, and applicability. Distinguishing associations as ‘‘not mine’’ is a self-regulatory act and contributes to the distinction between explicit evaluation, where such acts are routine, and implicit evaluation, where they are not. ************************************************* Personalizing the Implicit Association Test Increases Explicit Evaluation of Target Concepts (EJPA Abstract) In an effort to remove a presumed confound of extrapersonal associations, Olson and Fazio (2004) introduced procedural modifications to attitude versions of the Implicit Association Test (IAT). We hypothesized that the procedural changes increased the likelihood that participants would explicitly evaluate the target concepts (e.g., rating Black and White faces as liked or disliked). Results of a mega-study covering 58 topics a nd six additional studies (Total N = 15,667) suggest that: (a) after personalizing, participants are more likely to explicitly evaluate target concepts instead of categorizing them according to the performance rules, (b) this effect appears to account for the personalized IAT’s enhanced correlations with self-report, (c) personalizing does not alter the relationship between the IAT and cultural knowledge, and (d) personalized and original procedures each capture unique attitude variation. These results provide an alternative interpretation of the impact of personalizing the IAT. Additional innovation may determine whether personalizing implicit cognition is viable.
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