chapter  7
16 Pages

Operative and Meta-Attitudinal Manifestations of Attitude Accessibility: Two Different Constructs, Not Two Measures of the Same Construct

Psychology has a long history of studying the workings of the human mind by asking research participants to describe their thoughts, feelings, and preferences. In the arena of attitude research, the most popular measures have relied on participants to describe their evaluations of objects via explicit measures (e.g., Likert, 1932; Osgood, Suci, & Tanenbaum, 1957; Thurstone, 1927a, 1927b). In contrast, researchers in many areas of psychology have gauged psychological processes and constructs indirectly, often by observing behaviors in a controlled environment (e.g., Bargh, Chen, & Burrows, 1996; Lieberman, Solomon, Greenberg, & McGregor, 1999). In the attitude domain, recent years have seen a surge of interest in implicit measures, such as the Implicit Association Test (Greenwald, McGhee, & Schwartz, 1998), Payne, Cheng, Govorun, and Stewart’s (2005) affect misattribution paradigm, and Fazio’s (1995) affective priming paradigm. These measures typically involve assessing aspects of task performance that are not under conscious control and that do not make participants overtly aware that their attitudes are being measured. Researchers interested in assessing attitudes have studied this distinction extensively (e.g., Fazio, Jackson, Dunton, & Williams, 1995; Greenwald & Banaji, 1995; Greenwald et al., 2002).