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A closer look at the discrimination outcomes in the IAT literature
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology. (Linnaeus University Centre for Labour Market and Discrimination Studies)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6456-5735
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology. (Linnaeus University Centre for Labour Market and Discrimination Studies)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6134-0058
2016 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, ISSN 0036-5564, E-ISSN 1467-9450, Vol. 57, no 4, p. 278-287Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

To what extent the IAT (Implicit Association Test, Greenwald et al., 1998) predicts racial and ethnic discrimination is a heavily debated issue. The latest meta-analysis by Oswald et al. (2013) suggests a very weak association. In the present meta-analysis, we switched the focus from the predictor to the criterion, by taking a closer look at the discrimination outcomes. We discovered that many of these outcomes were not actually operationalizations of discrimination, but rather of other related, but distinct, concepts, such as brain activity and voting preferences. When we meta-analyzed the main effects of discrimination among the remaining discrimination outcomes, the overall effect was close to zero and highly inconsistent across studies. Taken together, it is doubtful whether the amalgamation of these outcomes is relevant criteria for assessing the IAT's predictive validity of discrimination. Accordingly, there is also little evidence that the IAT can meaningfully predict discrimination, and we thus strongly caution against any practical applications of the IAT that rest on this assumption. However, provided that the application is thoroughly informed by the current state of the literature, we believe the IAT can still be a useful tool for researchers, educators, managers, and students who are interested in attitudes, prejudices, stereotypes, and discrimination.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 57, no 4, p. 278-287
Keywords [en]
Implicit association test, ethnic discrimination, racial discrimination, meta-analysis
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Social Sciences, Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-55772DOI: 10.1111/sjop.12288ISI: 000379940000002PubMedID: 27109866Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84978481217OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-55772DiVA, id: diva2:955837
Available from: 2016-08-26 Created: 2016-08-26 Last updated: 2017-11-21Bibliographically approved

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Carlsson, RickardAgerström, Jens

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