The BIAT and the AMP As Measures of Racial Prejudice in Political Science: A Methodological Assessment
24 Pages Posted: 23 Dec 2020 Last revised: 24 Nov 2021
Date Written: November 24, 2021
Political scientists often use measures such as the Brief Implicit Association Test (BIAT) and the Affect Misattribution Procedure (AMP) to gauge hidden or subconscious racial prejudice. However, the validity of these measures has been contested. Using data from the 2008–2009 ANES panel study—the only study we are aware of in which a high-quality, nationally representative sample of respondents took both implicit tests—we show that: (1) although political scientists use the BIAT and the AMP to measure the same thing, the relationship between them is substantively indistinguishable from zero; (2) both measures classify an unlikely proportion of whites as more favorable toward Black Americans than white Americans; and (3) substantial numbers of whites that either measure classifies as free of prejudice openly endorse anti-Black stereotypes. These results have important implications for the use of implicit measures to study racial prejudice in political science.
Keywords: implicit bias, racial prejudice, brief implicit association test, affect misattribution procedure
JEL Classification: C83, D72
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation