The Psychological Record

, Volume 66, Issue 2, pp 291–299 | Cite as

The IRAP Is Nonrelative but not Acontextual: Changes to the Contrast Category Influence Men’s Dehumanization of Women

  • Ian HusseyEmail author
  • Dearbhaile Ní Mhaoileoin
  • Dermot Barnes-Holmes
  • Tomu Ohtsuki
  • Naoko Kishita
  • Sean Hughes
  • Carol Murphy
Original Article


The Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP) is frequently employed over other measures of so-called implicit attitudes because it produces 4 independent and “nonrelative” bias scores, thereby providing greater clarity around what drives an effect. Indeed, studies have sometimes emphasized the procedural separation of the four trial types by choosing to report only the results of a single, theoretically meaningful trial type. However, no research to date has examined the degree to which performance on a given trial type is impacted upon by other stimulus categories employed within the task. The current study examined the extent to which response biases toward “women” are influenced by two different contrast categories: “men” versus “inanimate objects.” Results indicated that greater dehumanization of women was observed in the context of the latter relative to the former category. The findings highlight that the IRAP may be described as a nonrelative, but not acontextual, measure of brief and immediate relational responses.


Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure Relational Frame Theory Dehumanization of women 


Compliance with Ethical Standards


The first author was supported by a Government of Ireland Scholarship from the Irish Research Council.

Conflict of Interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Association for Behavior Analysis International 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Experimental-Clinical and Health PsychologyGhent UniversityGentBelgium
  2. 2.Maynooth UniversityMaynoothIreland
  3. 3.Waseda UniversityShinjukuJapan
  4. 4.University of East AngliaNorwichUK

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