The development and validation of an implicit measure of competence need satisfaction
Research on self-determination theory has typically relied on explicit measures when examining the concept of competence need satisfaction. As a result, we know relatively little about competence need satisfaction that arises under conditions of automaticity. Across four studies, we developed and validated implicit measures of competence need satisfaction by drawing on two tasks: a relational variant of the implicit association test (IAT; Study 1, 3, and 4) and the implicit relational assessment procedure (IRAP; Study 2–3). Results across these studies revealed that both implicit measures were either unrelated or moderately related to their explicit counterpart. They were also unrelated to one another. Unlike the IRAP, the IAT was found to be reliable, to display discriminant validity, and to yield meaningful but modest relations with constructs in a nomological network. Together, these results provide modest support for the usefulness of the competence need satisfaction IAT but not of the competence need satisfaction IRAP as an implicit measure of the need for competence. Future research examining the unique predictive value of this IAT is needed, together with research on possible explanations for the low reliability of the IRAP.
KeywordsCompetence Implicit association test Implicit relational assessment procedure Self-determination theory Implicit
Preparation of this paper was supported by Grant 12X5818N of the Research Foundation—Flanders and Methusalem Grant BOF16/MET_V/002 of Ghent University.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
Research involving human and animal rights
This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.
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