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Concept: Implicit Association Test


BACKGROUND: Patients with schizophrenia and their families have suffered greatly from stigmatizing effects. Although many efforts have been made to eradicate both prejudice and stigma, they still prevail even among medical professionals, and little is known about how contact with schizophrenia patients affects their attitudes towards schizophrenia. METHODS: We assessed the impact of the renaming of the Japanese term for schizophrenia on clinical residents and also evaluated the influence of contact with schizophrenia patients on attitudes toward schizophrenia by comparing the attitudes toward schizophrenia before and after a one-month clinical training period in psychiatry. Fifty-one clinical residents participated. Their attitudes toward schizophrenia were assessed twice, before and one month after clinical training in psychiatry using the Implicit Association Test (IAT) as well as Link’s devaluation-discrimination scale. RESULTS: The old term for schizophrenia, “Seishin-Bunretsu-Byo”, was more congruent with criminal than the new term for schizophrenia, “Togo-Shitcho-Sho”, before clinical training. However, quite opposite to our expectation, after clinical training the new term had become even more congruent with criminal than the old term. There was no significant correlation between Link’s scale and IAT effect. CONCLUSIONS: Renaming the Japanese term for schizophrenia still reduced the negative images of schizophrenia among clinical residents. However, contact with schizophrenia patients unexpectedly changed clinical residents' attitudes towards schizophrenia negatively. Our results might contribute to an understanding of the formation of negative attitudes about schizophrenia and assist in developing appropriate clinical training in psychiatry that could reduce prejudice and stigma concerning schizophrenia.

Concepts: Health care provider, Medicine, Effect, Effectiveness, Implicit Association Test, Anti-psychiatry, Mental status examination


An illusory sensation of ownership over a surrogate limb or whole body can be induced through specific forms of multisensory stimulation, such as synchronous visuotactile tapping on the hidden real and visible rubber hand in the rubber hand illusion. Such methods have been used to induce ownership over a manikin and a virtual body that substitute the real body, as seen from first-person perspective, through a head-mounted display. However, the perceptual and behavioral consequences of such transformed body ownership have hardly been explored. In Exp. 1, immersive virtual reality was used to embody 30 adults as a 4-y-old child (condition C), and as an adult body scaled to the same height as the child (condition A), experienced from the first-person perspective, and with virtual and real body movements synchronized. The result was a strong body-ownership illusion equally for C and A. Moreover there was an overestimation of the sizes of objects compared with a nonembodied baseline, which was significantly greater for C compared with A. An implicit association test showed that C resulted in significantly faster reaction times for the classification of self with child-like compared with adult-like attributes. Exp. 2 with an additional 16 participants extinguished the ownership illusion by using visuomotor asynchrony, with all else equal. The size-estimation and implicit association test differences between C and A were also extinguished. We conclude that there are perceptual and probably behavioral correlates of body-ownership illusions that occur as a function of the type of body in which embodiment occurs.

Concepts: Psychology, Perception, Reality, Implicit Association Test, Virtual reality, Result, Illusion, Attitude


Intuitive childhood beliefs in dualism may lay the foundation for implicit soul and afterlife beliefs, which may diverge from explicit beliefs formed later in adulthood. Brief Implicit Association Tests were developed to investigate the relation of implicit soul and afterlife beliefs to childhood and current beliefs. Early but not current beliefs covaried with implicit beliefs. Results demonstrated greater discrepancies in current than in childhood soul and afterlife beliefs among religious groups, and no differences in implicit beliefs. These findings suggest that implicit soul and afterlife beliefs diverge from current self-reported beliefs, stemming instead from childhood beliefs.

Concepts: Present, Time, Philosophy of mind, Religion, Implicit Association Test, Past, Soul


Although considered a predominantly automatic social behaviour, gaze following (GF) is sensitive to complex social factors like political affiliation and ideology. The present study aimed to determine whether the differential proneness to in-group leaders' gaze is related to attitudes towards politicians as measured by other implicit procedures. A GF paradigm was used to test the extent to which electors were prone to gaze following when attending to two female candidates who competed for the position of governor in an Italian election campaign. Results showed that GF significantly predicts voting intentions. Also, it was found that GF is significantly and positively correlated with the Implicit Association Test (IAT). Hierarchical multiple regression models illustrated that GF and IAT uniquely predict voting intentions, accounting for a substantial proportion of variance. Thus GF and IAT, even though significantly related, seem to account for different aspects of the attitudes towards candidates. A multivariate regression model showed that, while IAT scores are predicted by explicit emotions toward the candidate, GF is predicted by the candidates' perceived influence within their political coalition.

Concepts: Psychology, Regression analysis, Linear regression, Prediction, Prediction interval, Implicit Association Test, Forecasting, Elections


Do we actively maintain monogamous relationships by force of will, or does monogamy flow automatically? During functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), male participants in a romantic relationship performed the Implicit Association Test (IAT) to evaluate implicit attitudes toward adultery and a go/no-go task to measure prefrontal activity implicated in explicit executive control. Subsequently, they were engaged in a date-rating task in which they rated how much they wanted to date unfamiliar females. We found that the individuals with higher prefrontal activity during go/no-go task could regulate the interest for dates with unattractive females; moreover, the individuals with both a stronger negative attitude toward adultery and higher prefrontal activity could regulate their interest for dates with attractive females, and such individuals tended to maintain longer romantic relationships with a particular partner. These results indicate that regulation of amorous temptation via monogamous relationship is affected by the combination of automatic and reflective processes.

Concepts: Marriage, Magnetic resonance imaging, Interpersonal relationship, Polyamory, Monogamy, Human sexuality, Implicit Association Test


Why do people take longer to associate the word “love” with outgroup words (incongruent condition) than with ingroup words (congruent condition)? Despite the widespread use of the implicit association test (IAT), it has remained unclear whether this IAT effect is due to additional mental processes in the incongruent condition, or due to longer duration of the same processes. Here, we addressed this previously insoluble issue by assessing the spatiotemporal evolution of brain electrical activity in 83 participants. From stimulus presentation until response production, we identified seven processes. Crucially, all seven processes occurred in the same temporal sequence in both conditions, but participants needed more time to perform one early occurring process (perceptual processing) and one late occurring process (implementing cognitive control to select the motor response) in the incongruent compared with the congruent condition. We also found that the latter process contributed to individual differences in implicit bias. These results advance understanding of the neural mechanics of response time differences in the IAT: They speak against theories that explain the IAT effect as due to additional processes in the incongruent condition and speak in favor of theories that assume a longer duration of specific processes in the incongruent condition. More broadly, our data analysis approach illustrates the potential of electrical neuroimaging to illuminate the temporal organization of mental processes involved in social cognition.

Concepts: Psychology, Brain, Cognition, Cognitive science, Perception, Mind, Face perception, Implicit Association Test


Implicit bias can adversely affect health disparities. The implicit association test (IAT) is a prompt to stimulate reflection; however, feedback about bias may trigger emotions that reduce the effectiveness of feedback interventions. Exploring how individuals process feedback about implicit bias may inform bias recognition and management curricula. The authors sought to explore how health professionals perceive the influence of the experience of taking the IAT and receiving their results.

Concepts: Health care, Psychology, Health disparities, Management, Emotion, Implicit Association Test, Explorer, Smalltalk


Research on implicit attitudes has raised questions about how well people know their own attitudes. Most research on this question has focused on the correspondence between measures of implicit attitudes and measures of explicit attitudes, with low correspondence interpreted as showing that people have little awareness of their implicit attitudes. We took a different approach and directly asked participants to predict their results on upcoming Implicit Association Test (IAT) measures of implicit attitudes toward 5 social groups. We found that participants were surprisingly accurate in their predictions. Across 4 studies, predictions were accurate regardless of whether implicit attitudes were described as true attitudes or culturally learned associations (Studies 1 and 2), regardless of whether predictions were made as specific response patterns (Study 1) or as conceptual responses (Studies 2-4), and regardless of how much experience or explanation participants received before making their predictions (Study 4). Study 3 further suggested that participants' predictions reflected unique insight into their own implicit responses, beyond intuitions about how people in general might respond. Prediction accuracy occurred despite generally low correspondence between implicit and explicit measures of attitudes, as found in prior research. Altogether, the research findings cast doubt on the belief that attitudes or evaluations measured by the IAT necessarily reflect unconscious attitudes. (PsycINFO Database Record © 2013 APA, all rights reserved).

Concepts: Scientific method, Prediction, Futurology, Future, Prophecy, Question, Implicit Association Test, All rights reserved


The autobiographical Implicit Association Test (aIAT; Sartori et al., 2008) is a variant of the Implicit Association Test (IAT; Greenwald et al., 1998) that is used to establish whether an autobiographical memory is encoded in the respondent’s mind/brain. More specifically, with the aIAT, it is possible to evaluate which one of two autobiographical events is true. The method consists of a computerized categorization task. The aIAT includes stimuli belonging to four categories, two of them are logical categories and are represented by sentences that are always true (e.g., I am in front of a computer) or always false (e.g., I am climbing a mountain) for the respondent; two other categories are represented by alternative versions of an autobiographical event (e.g., I went to Paris for Christmas, or I went to New York for Christmas), only one of which is true. The true autobiographical event is identified because, in a combined block, it gives rise to faster reaction times when it shares the same motor response with true sentences. Here, we reviewed all the validation experiments and found more than 90% accuracy in detecting the true memory. We show that agreement in identifying the true autobiographical memory of the same aIAT repeated twice is, on average, more than 90%, and we report a technique for estimating accuracy associated with a single classification based on the D-IAT value, which may be used in single subject’s investigations. We show that the aIAT might be used to identify also true intentions and reasons and conclude with a series of guidelines for building an effective aIAT.

Concepts: Implicit Association Test, Identification, The Cure


In our daily lives, information concerning temperature is often provided by means of colour cues, with red typically being associated with warm/hot, and blue with cold. While such correspondences have been known about for many years, they have primarily been studied using subjective report measures. Here we examined this correspondence using two more objective response measures. First, we used the Implicit Association Test (IAT), a test designed to assess the strength of automatic associations between different concepts in a given individual. Second, we used a priming task that involved speeded target discrimination in order to assess whether priming colour or thermal information could invoke the crossmodal association. The results of the IAT confirmed that the association exists at the level of response selection, thus indicating that a participant’s responses to colour or thermal stimuli are influenced by the colour-temperature correspondence. The results of the priming experiment revealed that priming a colour affected thermal discrimination reaction times (RTs), but thermal cues did not influence colour discrimination responses. These results may therefore provide important clues as to the level of processing at which such colour-temperature correspondences are represented.

Concepts: Chemical reaction, Temperature, The Association, Implicit Association Test, Objective pronoun, Synesthesia