DOI: 10.1177/0146167205275613 ISSN:

A Meta-Analysis on the Correlation Between the Implicit Association Test and Explicit Self-Report Measures

Wilhelm Hofmann, Bertram Gawronski, Tobias Gschwendner, Huy Le, Manfred Schmitt
  • Social Psychology

Theoretically, low correlations between implicit and explicit measures can be due to (a) motivational biases in explicit self reports, (b) lack of introspective access to implicitly assessed representations, (c) factors influencing the retrieval of information from memory, (d) method-related characteristics of the two measures, or (e) complete independence of the underlying constructs. The present study addressed these questions from a meta-analytic perspective, investigating the correlation between the Implicit Association Test (IAT) and explicit self-report measures. Based on a sample of 126 studies, the mean effect size was .24, with approximately half of the variability across correlations attributable to moderator variables. Correlations systematically increased as a function of (a) increasing spontaneity of self-reports and (b) increasing conceptual correspondence between measures. These results suggest that implicit and explicit measures are generally related but that higher order inferences and lack of conceptual correspondence can reduce the influence of automatic associations on explicit self-reports.