Measuring individual differences in implicit cognition: the implicit association test

J Pers Soc Psychol. 1998 Jun;74(6):1464-80. doi: 10.1037//0022-3514.74.6.1464.


An implicit association test (IAT) measures differential association of 2 target concepts with an attribute. The 2 concepts appear in a 2-choice task (2-choice task (e.g., flower vs. insect names), and the attribute in a 2nd task (e.g., pleasant vs. unpleasant words for an evaluation attribute). When instructions oblige highly associated categories (e.g., flower + pleasant) to share a response key, performance is faster than when less associated categories (e.g., insect & pleasant) share a key. This performance difference implicitly measures differential association of the 2 concepts with the attribute. In 3 experiments, the IAT was sensitive to (a) near-universal evaluative differences (e.g., flower vs. insect), (b) expected individual differences in evaluative associations (Japanese + pleasant vs. Korean + pleasant for Japanese vs. Korean subjects), and (c) consciously disavowed evaluative differences (Black + pleasant vs. White + pleasant for self-described unprejudiced White subjects).

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Asian Americans / psychology
  • Attitude*
  • Ethnicity / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Japan / ethnology
  • Korea / ethnology
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Psychometrics / methods*
  • Reaction Time
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Self Concept*
  • Stereotyping*
  • Washington
  • Whites / psychology
  • Word Association Tests*