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Applying a single category implicit association test methodology to organ donation attitudes – assessing the gap between implicit and explicit beliefs

Stevens, Claire (2013) Applying a single category implicit association test methodology to organ donation attitudes – assessing the gap between implicit and explicit beliefs. Oxford Brookes University.

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Abstract

Implicit methods such as the Single Category Implicit Association Test (SC-IAT) have been used in attitudinal research to gauge biases and beliefs towards a number of topics. This type of research is particularly useful in areas where attitude and behaviour are not congruent. One example of such an attitude behaviour gap is in the domain of organ donation. People report to have highly positive attitudes towards organ donation; however this positivity does not translate to high levels of organ donation. An SC-IAT was conducted alongside a questionnaire so that implicit and explicit attitudes could be assessed. In total 94 participants took part. In line with previous research, questionnaire responses indicated high levels of positive attitudes towards organ donation across the entire sample. However the SC-IAT scores indicated a variety of implicit attitudes ranging from negative associations to organ donation (shown by participants being quicker at pairing organ donation images with words of a negative valence), to positive associations (shown by participants being quicker at pairing organ donation images with words of a positive valence). People whose SC-IAT scores were in the upper third (i.e. positive), also reported strong positive explicit attitudes and were more likely to be organ donors. People whose SC-IAT scores were in the lower third (i.e. negative) also had positive explicit attitudes. However their positive attitudes were less strong than those of the former group and they were less likely to be organ donors. The implications of the results for further research are discussed as well as their implications for improving organ donation rates.

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