International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy

Volume 14 Num. 3 - October 2014


Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure and Attractiveness Bias: Directionality of Bias and Influence of Gender of Participants

Volume 14 Num. 3 - October 2014 - Pages 333-351


Carol Murphy , Saoirse MacCarthaigh , Dermot Barnes-Holmes


The behaviorally-based Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP) was used for the first time in the area of attractiveness bias with adult participants (N=47). Alternate IRAP trial-blocks required participants to affirm relations consistent (attractive-successful) and inconsistent (unattractive-successful) with attractiveness bias; shorter mean response latencies (faster responding) across consistent trial-blocks were interpreted in terms of implicit stereotype. Participants also completed a Likert-type scale rating of the successfulness of attractive versus unattractive individuals. Statistical analyses were conducted with implicit and explicit data, and both indicated attractiveness bias for male and female participants. Directionality of implicit bias was analyzed via the IRAP 4 trial-type methodology to determine if bias was pro-attractive or anti-unattractive, or if it was evident in both directions; a statistically significant implicit proattractive and antiunattractive bias was shown for male and female participants, and the effect was greater for male participants. Modest correlations were found between implicit and explicit data. Findings are discussed regarding a comprehensive and nuanced account of attractiveness bias, directionality, and contextual influences.

Key words:

attractiveness bias, implicit bias, IRAP, RFT

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