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Its a pretty good question really - personally I don't doubt we have 'implicit' biases and the notion that race could be an important factor seems uncontroversial to me given the ubiquity of heuristics and the importance that race/culture plays in social cognition. However, not sure that you could aggregate the 20 million people who may have taken the IAT as indicative of the power of the IAT 'effect' given the myriad forms of the IAT and types of research examining its validity (or otherwise). The real question for me is 'does the IAT measure implicit bias' and not 'does implicit bias exist'? The question seems more than a little circular as often the only evidence for an implicit bias was your IAT score. This seems, by definition to be necessarily the case, as researchers like Payne acknowledge - implicit measures do not correlate with explicit measures. So how could we determine convergent validity for the IAT? It simply cannot be a psychometric test of anything until this is demonstrated. It is also not clear to me how a researcher can assume that responses on the IAT are purely the results of an 'implicit' cognitive process. How would any research establish that- why could it not be explicit - or more likely some combination of both? Also the principal dependent measure in many (all?) IAT tests is reaction time. Although much beloved by generations of cognitive scientists I have never heard a convincing rationale that could explain why reaction time is so unquestioningly accepted as the gold-standard operationalisation of implicit bias? I don't know the answer to my real question and suspect it cannot be know. What I am sure about though is we should be very wary of Social Psychologists bearing gifts - but then perhaps I'm a little biased :-)
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Apr 5, 2018