A Comparison of Implicit and Explicit Weight Bias Essay

1315 WordsJan 25, 20086 Pages
A Comparison of Implicit and Explicit Measures of Weight Bias Renee Szostak Abstract In the present study, the results of the fat-thin Implicit Association Test (IAT) were compared with the results of explicit surveys in ten Indiana University undergraduates. The purpose of this study was to determine if there was a significant correlation between subjects' results on the IAT and their responses in the explicit survey. Our survey was designed to measure the same bias that the IAT was measuring. We hypothesized that there would be a correlation between subjects' responses to the explicit surveys and the IAT but that the explicit survey responses would be less biased towards fat people than the results provided by the IAT due to…show more content…
Stereotypes and negative attitudes concerning obese people have been found at both the implicit and explicit levels (Schwartz et al.,2005). Implicit attitudes are the attitudes that people unconsciously hold towards something. They are said to reflect thoughts and feelings that people are either unwilling or unable to report due to self presentation concerns or because they are unaware of the biases they have in the first place (Schwartz et al., 2005). Explicit attitudes are the attitudes that people consciously hold towards something and are obtained using self-report measures. In accordance with this previous research, the purpose of this study was to compare the implicit and explicit attitudes people held concerning fat people and thin people. To test these differences, we administered surveys that contained questions pertaining to peoples' explicit attitudes towards fat people as well as the implicit association test, or IAT. The IAT is used to measure implicit attitudes that people are either unwilling to admit due to either presentation concerns or because they are unaware of their unconscious biases(Schwartz et al. 2005) Previous studies have found that implicit and explicit measures of attitudes are often uncorrelated. Implicit measures consistently show higher levels of negative bias towards fat people than explicit measures and seem to be more accurate predictors of biased behavior (Wang
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