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Stress‐testing the affect misattribution procedure: Heterogeneous control of affect misattribution procedure effects under incentives


The affect misattribution procedure (AMP) is widely used to measure sensitive attitudes towards classes of stimuli, by estimating the effect that affectively charged prime images have on subsequent judgements of neutral target images. We test its resistance to efforts to conceal one's attitudes, by replicating the standard AMP design while offering small incentives to conceal attitudes towards the prime images. We find that although the average AMP effect remains positive, it decreases significantly in magnitude. Moreover, this reduction in the mean AMP effect under incentives masks large heterogeneity: one subset of individuals continues to experience the 'full' AMP effect, while another reduces their effect to approximately zero. The AMP thus appears to be resistant to efforts to conceal one's attitudes for some individuals but is highly controllable for others. We further find that those individuals with high self-reported effort to avoid the influence of the prime are more often able to eliminate their AMP effect. We conclude by discussing possible mechanisms.

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