Explicit control of implicit responses: Simple directives can alter IAT performance

Matthew Wallaert, Andrew Ward, Traci Mann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Research has begun to reveal the malleability of implicit prejudice. One measure of this construct, the race Implicit Association Test (IAT), represents a widely-used tool to assess individuals' positive and negative associations with different racial groups. In two studies, we demonstrate the capacity of salient pressures to alter implicit racial responses. In Study 1, an enhancement of promoting pressures through an explicit instruction to stereotype was sufficient to increase pro-White bias on the IAT. In Study 2, an enhancement of inhibiting pressures through a simple instruction to avoid stereotyping was sufficient to reduce pro-White bias. Taken together, the studies suggest that implicit prejudice is amenable to voluntary control through the use of simple, direct means.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)152-157
Number of pages6
JournalSocial Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2010


  • Attention
  • IAT
  • Implicit prejudice
  • Self-control


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