Academic journal article The Psychological Record

The Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure: Exploring the Impact of Private versus Public Contexts and the Response Latency Criterion on Pro-White and Anti-Black Stereotyping among White Irish Individuals

Academic journal article The Psychological Record

The Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure: Exploring the Impact of Private versus Public Contexts and the Response Latency Criterion on Pro-White and Anti-Black Stereotyping among White Irish Individuals

Article excerpt

**********

Numerous studies using the well-known Implicit Association Test, or IAT, have indicated that white participants tend to show a relatively strong pro-white/anti-black bias (see Dasgupta, McGhee, & Greenwald, 2000; Greenwald et al., 2002; Monteith, Voils, & Ashburn-Nardo, 2001; Livingston, 2002; Ottaway, Hayden, & Oakes, 2001). In the study conducted by Dasgupta et al., for example, participants were required on some blocks of trials to categorize unfamiliar black faces or names typical of black people together with unpleasant words, and unfamiliar white faces or names typical of white people together with pleasant words. On other blocks of trials, categorizing black stimuli with pleasant words and white stimuli with unpleasant words was required. Results showed that participants responded faster on blocks that involved categorizing pleasant words with "white" and unpleasant words with "black" than vice versa. Furthermore, this pro-white/anti-black bias occurred for participants who explicitly stated that they held no racist attitudes.

Implicit assessment methodologies such as the IAT were developed in part because explicit attitudes, often measured using self-report questionnaires, were deemed to be highly sensitive to the effects of social desirability and impression management. For example, research has shown that participants assessed in a public environment show more positive attitudes toward certain social groups on explicit measures than do participants assessed in a private environment (e.g., Blanchard, Crandall, Brigham, & Vaughn, 1994; Plant & Devine, 1998). In other words, it appears that when individuals are informed that their responses on a standard measure of racial stereotyping are going to be open to public scrutiny, rather than kept private, they tend to respond with more positive or less negative attitudes toward the outgroup. The basic assumption behind implicit measures is that they are immune, or at least far less sensitive, to such context effects. Recently, however, the IAT has been found to be susceptible to a public/private manipulation (Boysen, Vogel, & Madon, 2006; sec Gawronski, LeBel, & Peters, 2007, for a review that questions the common assumption that implicit measures are immune or less sensitive to social desirability concerns).

In the study conducted by Boysen et al. (2006), the IAT was administered in both public and private assessment situations to measure bias toward homosexuality. In the public condition, participants were told that the experimenter would examine their IAT results and thus know their level of bias. In contrast, participants in the private condition were told that the experimenter would not examine their IAT performance, and thus their bias would remain unknown. The results showed that the public context significantly decreased the level of bias toward homosexuality relative to the private context. Critically, this finding suggests that the IAT may have some of the same drawbacks as explicit measures (see also Lowery, Hardin, & Sinclair, 2001; Richeson & Ambady, 2003).

An alternative implicit measure has recently been offered, the Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP; Barnes-Holmes, Barnes-Holmes, Power, Hayden, Milne, & Stewart, 2006), which emerged from relational frame theory (RFT; Hayes, Barnes-Holmes, & Roche, 2001), a behavior-analytic account of human language and cognition. (For a brief historical review of the emergence of the IRAP from RFT, see Barnes-Holmes, Hayden, Barnes-Holmes, & Stewart, 2008; see also http://psychology.nuim.ie/ IRAP/Related_Research.shtml.) The IRAP is a computer-based procedure in which participants must respond in ways that are deemed to be either consistent or inconsistent with their preexperimental learning histories. The first study to employ the IRAP (Barnes-Holmes et al., 2008) involved presenting four words on each trial: an attribute stimulus (i. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.