Event: Undergraduate Research Symposium
Date: May 18, 2019
Location: UCI Student Center
Presenter: Madison Ramos
Mentor: Susanne Jaeggi
Title: The Effect of Inhibitory Control on Socially-Sensitive Implicit Association Test Effect Sizes
In recent years, scientific literature has called into question the constructive validity of the Implicit Association Test (IAT), a psychological test used to measure implicit biases. Previous findings suggest that inhibitory control may covary with implicit biases measured in socially-based IATs. This study investigates the effects of inhibitory control on IAT effect sizes and the correlation between explicit and implicit attitudes towards homosexuals. Based on previous literature, greater inhibitory control should be correlated with smaller implicit preferences suggesting a lack of constructive validity in how the sexuality IAT measures implicit preferences towards certain sexualities. Likewise, a correlation between greater ingroup favoritism and slower performance during inhibitory control tasks should garner greater implicit preference as the effects of ingroup favoritism are expected to override the effects of inhibitory control. Contrary to our hypothesis, the preliminary data does not suggest a significant interaction between inhibitory control and implicit preference. However, there is a significant difference between implicit ingroup favoritism and implicit preference towards homosexuals. This may be due to participants’ preference for the sexuality they identify with, rather than categorizing based on general attitudes towards any specific sexuality. We expect to continue to see a relationship between implicit ingroup favoritism and implicit preference for both groups, as well as a greater effect of inhibitory control on IAT scores with a larger sample size.