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Reporting Tendencies Underlie Discrepancies between Implicit and Explicit Measures of Self-Esteem
Michael A. Olson, Russell H. Fazio and Anthony D. Hermann
Vol. 18, No. 4 (Apr., 2007), pp. 287-291
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40064605
Page Count: 5
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The assumption that implicit measures assess associations that are not accessible to consciousness abounds in current social cognition research. In the present report, we question this assumption, focusing on the construct of implicit self-esteem as a case in point. Although researchers often argue that implicitly measured self-esteem is unconscious, we provide evidence that it is not, and that discrepancies between implicit and explicit measures of self-esteem are the result of reporting tendencies. Study 1 demonstrated that individuals for whom explicitly measured self-esteem is relatively high and implicitly measured self-esteem is relatively low admit to overpresenting themselves. In Study 2, implicit and explicit measures of self-esteem were related when subjects were urged to avoid over- or underpresenting themselves when responding to the explicit measures. We discuss the critical distinction between awareness of one's attitudes and awareness of their influence.
Psychological Science © 2007 Association for Psychological Science