The artificial dispute over Implicit Personality Theory: An answer to Jackson, Strieker, and Mirels


Requests for reprints should be sent to Oliver C. S. Tzeng, Department of Psychology, Purdue University School of Science, 1201 E. 38 Street, Indianapolis, Indiana, 46205.


In their evaluation of Tzeng and Tzeng's (1982) concerns over the level of sophistication currently evident in the study of Implicit Personality Theory (IPT), Jackson and Strieker (1982) and Mirels (1982a) reaffirm their disputed positions at the opposing extremes of the myth-vs.-fact continuum of IPT. The present paper re-examines major measurement and statistical issues in the empirical study of IPT that are still unacknowledged by either Jackson and Strieker, or Mirels, or both. It is demonstrated that their dispute is artificial and can be accounted for by their lack of measuremental sophistication and their statistical partialities. Researchers are cautioned to consider more than “mechanical computability” and “statistical adoptability” in conducting and/or judging similar empirical studies.