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

See all articles by Katherine Clayton

Katherine Clayton

Stanford University; Dartmouth College

Jordan Horrillo

Stanford University, Department of Political Science

Paul M. Sniderman

Stanford University - Department of Political Science

Date Written: November 24, 2021

Abstract

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

Clayton, Katherine and Horrillo, Jordan and Sniderman, Paul M., The BIAT and the AMP As Measures of Racial Prejudice in Political Science: A Methodological Assessment (November 24, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3744338 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3744338

Katherine Clayton (Contact Author)

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Dartmouth College ( email )

Hanover, NH 03755
United States

Jordan Horrillo

Stanford University, Department of Political Science ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Paul M. Sniderman

Stanford University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States
650-723-1806 (Phone)
650-723-1808 (Fax)

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