On the Predictive Utility of the
Implicit Association Test: Current
Research and Future Directions
Michael J. Sargent
Agreat deal of research in marketing and socialpsychology has investigated the effectiveness of persuasive appeals when the source of the appealis a member of astigmatized group. For example, do White message recipients respond more favorably to White spokespersons, Black spokespersons, ordoes it not matter? When might it matter moreorless?
One approach common to several studies of this issue has been to examine the impact of Whites'racialprejudice on the ir evaluations of advertisements featuring Black or White individuals. The results of the se investigations have been mixed. Cagley and Cardozo (1970), for example, exposed White participants to three print ads: one featuring only Black models, one featuring only White models, and one with a racially heterogeneous cast. Cagley and Cardozoalso measured participants' racialprejudice by usingaself-report measure. The Yfound that low-prejudice individuals responded similarly to all three ads, but high-prejudice individuals responded more favorably to the all-White ad than to either of the others. In contrast, Bush, Hair, and Solomon (1979) found little evidence that high-prejudice Whites evaluated advertisements more favorably if the yfeatured White models than if the yfeatured Blacks. Similarly, Whittler (1989) found little evidence that high-prejudice Whites discriminatedin the ir evaluation of ads featuring Black and White actors. Although on one product, high-prejudice Whites reported greater difficulty identifying with the Black actor, the ir product evaluations and evaluations of the advertisement by the actor's race. Consistent with this result, Whittler and Di Meo (1991) found that high-prejudice Whites evaluated a product equally favorably, regardless of whether a Black or White spokesperson