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Implicit Attitudes Reflect Associative, Non-associative, and Non-attitudinal Processes


Correspondence address: Department of Psychology, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA, USA. Email:


It is a common assumption that responses on implicit measures are proxies for automatically activated associations stored in memory. Consequently, explanations for implicit attitude malleability, variability, and prediction have assumed differences in underlying associations. However, a growing body of evidence challenges the assumption that implicit attitude change is driven only by associative processes. This paper reviews evidence from research with the Quadruple Process model on the influence of associative and non-associative processes on implicit task performance. We also describe recent research on non-attitudinal processes that do not pertain directly to the attitude object of interest but that, nevertheless, influence implicit task performance. Implications for the interpretation of implicit measures and implicit attitude change are discussed.

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