Consequences of discrepant implicit and explicit attitudes
Smith, Colin Tucker, Department of Psychology, University of Virginia
Nosek, Brian, Department of Psychology, University of Virginia
As conceptions of attitudes expand to incorporate evaluations that are relatively automatic and non-conscious, theorists have begun to look at the consequences of discrepancies between these implicit evaluations and self-reported attitudes as a form of attitude ambivalence. The current work evaluates whether existing theory about attitude ambivalence accurately anticipates the consequences of implicit-explicit discrepancy. Across five studies, implicit-explicit discrepancy was unrelated to other ambivalence measures, and predicted no characteristic consequences of ambivalence. In Study 1, participants completed multiple ambivalence measures in addition to implicit and explicit attitude measures for four attitude topics. Using structural equation modeling, ambivalence measures formed a single latent construct. However, discrepancy between implicit and explicit attitudes was not related to the ambivalence construct. In addition, as anticipated by ambivalence theories, the ambivalence factor was related to mood, but implicit/explicit discrepancy was not. Study 2 replicated the findings of Study 1 with selfesteem. In Study 3, ambivalence measures had negative consequences on information processing but, again, implicit-explicit discrepancy did not. In Study 4, participants with implicit-explicit discrepancy toward math and liberal arts took longer to complete a math test, but did not feel less confident about their performance. Finally, in Study 5, an analysis of data for 95 different attitude topics showed that participants with implicitexplicit discrepancies did not report a decreased sense of certainty with regard to those attitudes. Taken together, these studies are strong evidence that implicit-explicit Implicit-explicit discrepancy iii discrepancy is not related to explicit ambivalence, and that the potential consequences of implicit-explicit discrepancy are not redundant with those of explicit ambivalence.
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PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
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