Reliability and validity of the Single-Target IAT (ST-IAT): assessing automatic affect towards multiple attitude objects



In contrast to the original Implicit Association Test (IAT), the Single-Target Implicit Association Test (ST-IAT) measures the evaluation of a target object without the need to simultaneously evaluate a counter-category. The present research investigates (a) whether position within a series of several ST-IATs affects reliability and validity, and (b) whether the ST-IAT exhibits adequate construct validity if the target objects are closely interrelated. We address these questions by taking five interrelated yet distinct political parties in Germany as an exemplary domain. The ST-IAT reliably and validly assessed attitudes towards political parties (Study 1). Serial position effects did not affect the results. The ST-IATs mostly captured a specific party evaluation and exhibited discriminant validity. At the same time, discriminant validity was limited among parties within one wing of the political left–right spectrum that underlies implicit and explicit party evaluations (Study 2). If used with caution, the ST-IAT can be a valuable supplement to implicit measures in the case of multiple single-target assessments. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.