Reactions to the implicit association test as an educational tool: A mixed methods study

Amy L. Hillard, Carey S. Ryan, Sarah J. Gervais

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


We examined reactions to the Race Implicit Association Test (IAT), which has been widely used but rarely examined as an educational tool to raise awareness about racial bias. College students (N=172) were assigned to read that the IAT reflected either personal beliefs or both personal and extrapersonal factors (single vs. multiple explanation conditions). They then completed the IAT and quantitative measures of affect, attitudes, and belief in bias. A subset of participants (n=32) also wrote reaction papers, which were used to develop qualitative themes to more fully describe reactions to the IAT. Quantitative results revealed that participants with a stronger implicit preference for European Americans more strongly believed in implicit bias in the multiple (vs. single) explanation condition. Mixed methods analyses using data transformation and typology development indicated that participants whose qualitative IAT responses were more negative were subsequently more likely to help an African American.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)495-516
Number of pages22
JournalSocial Psychology of Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Diversity training
  • Implicit bias
  • Mixed methods
  • Prejudice reduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Reactions to the implicit association test as an educational tool: A mixed methods study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this