A Derived Transformation of Evaluative Preferences Using Implicit Association Tests
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In the current experiment, multiple implicit association tests (IATs) were employed to examine the transformation of emotional functions across stimuli that have been related along a comparatively valenced (“happier” to “unhappier”) dimension. Ten human participants were exposed to a matching-to-sample (MTS) procedure where they were trained to select the more positively valenced (“happier”) stimulus in the presence of a yellow contextual cue or otherwise to select the more negatively valenced (“unhappier”) stimulus in the presence of a red cue. Next, the cues were employed to establish the relations A > B, B > C and C > D where “>” indicates “happier than.” Following tests for mutual and combinatorial entailment, participants underwent two single-category IATs, where the A-D and B-C stimulus pairs were alternatively paired with happy and unhappy words. Our results indicate that individuals who demonstrated evidence of mutual and combinatorial entailed relations paired Stimulus A (more so than Stimulus D) and Stimulus B (more so than Stimulus C), with happy words more fluently then with unhappy words.
KeywordsImplicit association test Comparative relations Valence
The current study was conducted as part of the doctoral research program undertaken by the first author at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. The research was initially funded by the John Hume scholarship and subsequently by the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology. The author thanks Bryan Roche for the clarification of select conceptual issues.
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