Implicit measures of attitudes toward gambling: An exploratory study
Gambling researchers have used self-report measures in order to assess gamblers' attitudes toward gambling. Despite their efficiency, self-report measures of attitudes often suffer self-presentation and social desirability bias when they are used to assess socially sensitive or stigmatized issues. This concern has led to the recent development of indirect, non-reactive measures of attitudes in psychology. These implicit measures of attitudes tend to reveal automatic, impulsive mental processes, whereas the self-report measures tap conscious, reflective processes (F. Strack & R. Deutsch, 2004). In this paper, we demonstrate how response latency-based measures can be used to investigate attitudes toward gambling. We report findings of our empirical study, in which evaluative priming (Fazio et al., 1995) and the Single Category Implicit Association Test (SC-IAT; Karpinski & Steinman, 1996) were used to assess implicit attitudes toward gambling, and the Single Target IAT was adapted to assess implicit arousal-sedation associations of gambling. With a sample of 102 undergraduate students, we found that latency-based measures of attitudes toward gambling were not significantly correlated with self-report measures. Moderate-to-high-risk gamblers held more positive attitudes toward gambling in the SC-IAT and exhibited more positive and more negative attitudes toward gambling in the evaluative priming task than did low-risk gamblers.
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