Volume 14, Issue 1 (Spring 2012)                   2012, 14(1): 75-87 | Back to browse issues page

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Nejat P, Hatami J. Implicit Association Test (IAT): Between-Constructs Comparison and Subjects’ Responding Strategies. Advances in Cognitive Science. 2012; 14 (1) :75-87
URL: http://icssjournal.ir/article-1-462-en.html
1- M.Sc. Psychology, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.
2- Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology and Educational Sciences, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.
Abstract:   (240 Views)
Objective: Implicit Association Test or IAT is a test used in the field of social cognition to implicitly assess identity, attitude and stereotype. The aim of this study was to examine the construct validity of this test from two specific aspects – i.e., between-constructs differentiation of IAT’s polarity strengths, and response strategies used by subjects.
Method: 229 undergraduate students responded to three IATs assessing gender identity, major identity and gender-major stereotype. Participants were subsequently interviewed on how they responded to the IATs. Repeated measures ANOVAs using IAT type as a within-subjects factor were run to compare IATs in mean reaction time and polarity strength. In addition, the method of Generalized Estimating Equations was used to predict IAT’s polarity strength, using reaction time as a within-subjects covariate. Subjects’ responses in the interviews were used as the basis for categorizing response strategies.
Results: The polarity strength, as well as the mean reaction time belonging to the stereotype IAT was smaller compared to those of identity IATs. On the between-constructs scale, IATs’ strength polarity was not independent of their reaction time. In the section dedicated to strategies, approximately half of the subjects mentioned specific cognitive-affective strategies. Strategies were categorized to visual, articulatory and memory-based. Memory-based strategies were further divided into three categories.
Conclusion: The current study does not confirm the validity of IAT in differentiating cognitive constructs of stereotype and identity, because the observed difference in the polarity strength of these constructs was not independent of a subject’s overall speed of responding. The fact that nearly half of the subjects used specific cognitive strategies stipulates attention and can have implications for IAT’s claim to assess the strength of implicit associations. Furthermore, the study of the strategies suggests that Baddely’s model of working memory (2001) can serve as an appropriate model to explain the strategies employed by subjects for responding to IAT.
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Subject: Special
Received: 2011/11/22 | Accepted: 2012/01/21 | Published: 2012/03/20

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