The IAT is a tool in the development of theories of implicit social cognition, a body of results that suggest that many cognitive processes that affect behavior are unconscious in nature and are inaccessible to observation by the actor. These implicit processes affect perception, influence behavior, and color interpretation of past events. The IAT has been profiled in major media outlets (e.g. in the Washington Post ) and in the popular book Blink, where it was suggested that one could score better on the implicit racism test by visualizing respected black leaders such as Nelson Mandela. The most prominent implicit association test is one that measures bias on race. Other popular tests look at gender and age bias.
The IAT was introduced in 1998 by Anthony Greenwald, Debbie McGhee, and Jordan Schwartz. Project Implicit, a research and educational outreach program that allows individuals to take the test over the web, is run by social psychologists Greenwald, Mahzarin Banaji, and Brian Nosek.
The IAT has also been used in clinical psychology research. Recent work led by Bethany Teachman at the University of Virginia has shown that implicit associations may be maintaining or causal factors in the development of anxiety disorders.
A recent meta-analysis has suggested that the IAT is a better predictor of some forms of behavior (e.g. discrimination) than traditional 'explicit' self-report methods, but there are some questions as to the fitness of the explicit measures used in the studies reviewed by this meta-analysis (e.g., "feeling thermometers). The IAT has been used to measure attitudes toward objects in the environment, self-esteem, self-identity, and stereotypes. In applied settings, the IAT has been used in marketing and industrial psychology.
Variations of the IAT include the Go/No-go Association Test (GNAT) and the Brief-IAT.
Using the Implicit Association Test and the Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure to Measure Attitudes toward Meat and Vegetables in Vegetarians and Meat-Eaters
Mar 22, 2010; The current study aimed to assess the implicit attitudes of vegetarians and non-vegetarians towards meat and vegetables, using...