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J Pers Soc Psychol. 2007 Sep;93(3):353-68.

Process components of the Implicit Association Test: a diffusion-model analysis.

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  • 1Institut für Psychologie, Methodenlehre und Sozialpsychologie, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Germany.


The authors present a diffusion-model analysis of the Implicit Association Test (IAT). In Study 1, the IAT effect was decomposed into 3 dissociable components: Relative to the compatible phase, (a) ease and speed of information accumulation are lowered in the incompatible phase, (b) more cautious speed-accuracy settings are adopted, and (c) nondecision components of processing require more time. Studies 2 and 3 assessed the nature of interindividual differences in these components. Construct-specific variance in the IAT relating to the construct to be measured (such as implicit attitudes) was concentrated in the compatibility effect on information accumulation (Studies 2 and 3), whereas systematic method variance in the IAT was mapped on differential speed-accuracy settings (Study 3). Implications of these dissociations for process theories of the IAT and for applications are discussed.

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