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ABSTRACT

Direct measures of attitudes, such as self-reported evaluations of consumer products and brands, are vulnerable to biases that undermine their validity (i.e., social desirability, self-deception, and self-ignorance). In contrast, indirect measures, many of which rely on reaction time to index underlying associations, resist such biases. Here, one such indirect measure, the Implicit Association Test (IAT), is highlighted, and its promise and pitfalls in market research, evaluated. It is concluded that the IAT can serve as a viable and valuable methodological tool. Its diagnostic and predictive advantages, which have been empirically established, outweigh its practical and theoretical drawbacks, which can be satisfactorily addressed.