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Implicit Testing

Implicit Testing Developed out of the field of cognitive psychology, Implicit Association Tests capture rapid ‘associative’ response reactions to semantically relevant attributes and stimuli. Participants may be unaware that they hold these associations, or may be unwilling to share them consciously.

The IAT is thought to measure implicit attitudes: "introspectively unidentified (or inaccurately identified) traces of past experience that mediate favorable or unfavorable feeling, thought, or action toward social objects." In research, the IAT has been used to develop theories to understand implicit cognition (i.e. cognitive processes of which a person has no conscious awareness). These processes may include memory, perception, attitudes, self-esteem, and stereotypes. Because the IAT requires that users make a series of rapid judgments, researchers believe that IAT scores may also reflect attitudes which people are unwilling to reveal publicly. The IAT may allow researchers to get around the difficult problem of social-desirability bias and for that reason it has been used extensively to assess people's attitudes towards commonly stigmatized groups.

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