The extrinsic affective Simon task as an instrument for indirect assessment of prejudice

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Abstract

We report one study that explored the applicability of the Extrinsic Affective Simon Task (EAST) as an indirect measure of prejudice. The EAST detected known differences in reactions revealing that a Turkish outgroup was spontaneously evaluated more negatively than the German ingroup. More importantly, EAST effects were meaningfully correlated with measures of explicit prejudice expression. This relation, however, was moderated by participants' motivation to control prejudice expression. In addition, we tested considerations regarding the role of a task-switch account for the explanation of EAST scores and found that only EAST scores of task-switch trials were related to explicit prejudice expression. This supports a task-switch explanation of the EAST. Results indicate that the EAST is suitable for the assessment of interindividual differences in intergroup prejudice. Implications for the indirect assessment of automatic prejudice activation are discussed. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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