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Title: Advancing the applicability of absolute implicit measures : using the Simple Implicit Procedure (SIP) to measure responses to pathogen threats
Author: O'Shea, Brian
ISNI:       0000 0004 6496 6402
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2017
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In all areas of psychological research, particularly in the area of implicit cognition, investigations depend on the tools of measurement. A central aim of the work presented in this thesis was to improve the accuracy and usability of tools that measure implicit cognition. This development was situated in the context of parasite-stress theory (PST) and racial prejudice. Chapter 1 explains the origins of research on implicit cognition and what makes a measure implicit. Chapter 2 introduces PST, which predicts that increased exposure to infectious diseases will lead to avoidance of, or disdain towards, out-groups because such avoidance will reduce the likelihood of contracting an illness. This prediction was confirmed for both implicit and explicit attitudes, using complementary correlational and experimental methodologies. The findings reported in Chapter 3 indicate that participants remember positive statements better than they remember negative statements and hence display a Positive Framing Bias (PFB) in the Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP). Chapter 4 introduces the Simple Implicit Procedure (SIP) which is user-friendly and is not subject to the PFB. Estimates of implicit attitudes obtained from the SIP correlate with explicit measures, provide increased specificity of where an individual’s implicit biases lie, have acceptable reliability and are not limited by practice/experience effects. The SIP can assist researchers in devising strategies aimed at understanding and ameliorating the precise mechanisms driving prejudice. Chapter 5 describes how using nouns, verbs or adjectives in implicit measures can affect outcomes. In Chapter 6, the SIP was used to show that females’ racial biases remain stable over time, even when primed with diseases. Males appear to be particularly susceptible to expressing increased prejudice when primed with disease images. In summary, this thesis identifies various response biases that can greatly influence the results obtained from measures of implicit attitudes. Recommendations for overcoming these biases are described.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology