An investigation into the influence of target category manipulation on the results obtained in the implicit association test (IAT) in race and gender domains.
Tooke, Larry Frank.
MetadataShow full item record
The Implicit Association Test (IAT) is a computer-based psychological test that measures implicit attitudes, stereotypes and beliefs. In an effort to better understand the applicability and limitations of the IAT researchers have investigated the effects of manipulating a variety of procedural variables that comprise the IAT, not least the IAT categories and the exemplars that are instances of those categories. This study investigated the effects of manipulating the IAT's target categories that define the attitudinal domain that the IAT measures. Experiments were devised to determine the IAT's sensitivity to minor and major semantic manipulations to its target categories while keeping exemplars and attribute categories constant. It was found that the IAT was sensitive to major semantic differences in its target categories, but was apparently insensitive to minor semantic category differences, implying that it is unable to discriminate between subtle distinctions in attitude. It was hypothesised that this latter finding could have been partly due to a temporary cognitive re-definition of the categories in accordance with the salient characteristics of the exemplars.