The Validity of the IAT and the AMP as Measures of Racial Prejudice

18 Pages Posted: 23 Dec 2020 Last revised: 29 Mar 2021

See all articles by Katherine Clayton

Katherine Clayton

Stanford University; Dartmouth College

Jordan Horrillo

Stanford University, Department of Political Science

Paul M. Sniderman

Stanford University - Department of Political Science

Date Written: December 10, 2020

Abstract

Implicit measures such as the Implicit Association Test (IAT) and the Affect Misattribution Procedure (AMP) have been hailed as promising methods for gauging subconscious or covert racial prejudice. However, their validity has been contested. Using data from the ANES 2008--2009 panel study and the 2008 ANES time series study, we demonstrate that: (1) although they purport to measure the same thing, the relationship between the IAT and the AMP in a high-quality nationally representative sample of white respondents is substantively indistinguishable from zero; (2) both the IAT and the AMP classify an improbable proportion of white Americans as having more positive attitudes toward Black Americans than white Americans; and (3) substantial numbers of white Americans that the IAT and the AMP classify as free of prejudice openly endorse explicitly negative stereotypes of Black Americans.

Keywords: implicit bias, racial prejudice, implicit association test, affect misattribution procedure

JEL Classification: C83, D72

Suggested Citation

Clayton, Katherine and Horrillo, Jordan and Sniderman, Paul M., The Validity of the IAT and the AMP as Measures of Racial Prejudice (December 10, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3744338 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3744338

Katherine Clayton (Contact Author)

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Dartmouth College ( email )

Hanover, NH 03755
United States

Jordan Horrillo

Stanford University, Department of Political Science ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Paul M. Sniderman

Stanford University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States
650-723-1806 (Phone)
650-723-1808 (Fax)

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