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Z Exp Psychol. 2001;48(2):135-44.

How robust is the IAT? Measuring and manipulating implicit attitudes of East- and West-Germans.

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Technical University of Berlin, Institute for Psychology, FS 001, Franklinstr. 5-7, D-10587 Berlin.


We investigated consequences of priming East-West-German related self-knowledge for the strength of implicit, ingroup-directed positive evaluations among East- and West-Germans. Based on previous studies we predicted opposite effects of self-knowledge priming for East- and West-Germans. Since in general the East-German stereotype is regarded as more negative than the West-German one, bringing to mind East-West-related self-knowledge (relative to neutral priming) was expected to attenuate ingroup favoritism for East-Germans, but to increase it for West-Germans. After having fulfilled the priming tasks, participants worked on an IAT-version in which the to be classified stimuli were East- or West-German city names (dimension 1) and positive or negative adjectives (dimension 2). Results of Experiment 1 showed (a) that East- and West-German students implicitly evaluated their ingroups as more positive than the outgroups and (b) confirmed the predictions of the priming influence. Experiment 2 replicated these findings with more representative samples from East- and West-Germany. The results are discussed with regard to underlying processes of implicit attitudes in intergroup contexts.

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