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Single category and comparative measures of implicit social cognition
PCOM Scholarly Papers
  • Stephen R. Poteau, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Document Type
Conference Proceeding
Publication Date
The Implicit Association Test (IAT) has proven to be a useful measure of implicit social cognition in a variety of contexts and domains. However, the IAT is limited to measuring the relative strengths of pairs of associations rather than absolute strengths of associations with a single concept. Recently, a Single Category Implicit Association Test (SC-IAT) has been developed to assess the evaluative associations with a single attitude object (Karpinski & Steinman, 2005; see also the Single Target-IAT, Wigboldus, Holland, & Knippenberg, 2005). To investigate the predictive utility of the IAT and the SC-IAT, participants completed a Bush-Kerry IAT, Bush and Kerry SC-IATs and explicit attitude measures. Participants also indicated their current level of satisfaction with President Bush and indicated whom they would vote for if a presidential election were today. The IAT was only modestly correlated with the difference between the Bush and Kerry SC-IATs, r = .284, p < .05. Controlling for explicit attitudes, the IAT predicted voting preferences, p < .01, whereas the SC-IAT measures did not, ps > .62. On the other hand, controlling for explicit attitudes, the Bush SC-IAT significantly predicted job satisfaction ratings for Bush, p = .05, whereas the IAT did not, p > .10. These results suggest that the IAT is particularly well suited to investigate constructs that are inherently comparative, whereas the SC-IAT is well suited to investigate constructs that are not inherently comparative.

Presented at the 7th Annual Meeting of the Society of Personality and Social Psychology, Palm Springs, California

Citation Information
Stephen R. Poteau. "Single category and comparative measures of implicit social cognition" (2006)
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