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The role of recoding in implicit social cognition: Investigating the scope and interpretation of the ReAL model for the implicit association test.

  • Author(s): Calanchini, Jimmy;
  • Meissner, Franziska;
  • Klauer, Karl Christoph
  • et al.

The ReAL model is a multinomial processing tree model that quantifies the contribution of three qualitatively distinct processes-recoding, associations, and accuracy-to responses on the implicit association test (IAT), but has only been validated on a modified version of the IAT procedure. The initial goal of the present research was to validate an abbreviated version of the ReAL model (i.e., the Brief ReAL model) on the standard IAT procedure. Two experiments replicated previous validity evidence for the ReAL model on the modified IAT procedure, but did not produce valid parameter estimates for the Brief ReAL model on the standard IAT procedure. A third, pre-registered experiment systematically manipulated all of the task procedures that vary between the standard and modified IAT procedures-response deadline, number of trials, trial constraints-to determine the conditions under which the Brief ReAL model can be validly applied to the IAT. The Brief ReAL model estimated theoretically-interpretable parameters only under a narrow range of IAT conditions, but the ReAL model generally estimated theoretically-interpretable parameters under most IAT conditions. We discuss the application of these findings to implicit social cognition research, and their implications to social cognitive theory.

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