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Implicit Association Testing

Consumers often rely on “gut feeling” or “intuition” – or sometimes simply habit. These decision dynamics can be difficult to measure with conventional explicit question-and-answers.

The solution is to utilize implicit psychometric techniques from cognitive psychology that are focused on identifying non-conscious associations that respondents can’t (or won’t) tell us.

implicit associations wheels on a desk

When is implicit association testing useful?

Implicit psychometrics are best used to understand “gut reactions” from consumers. This can be better understand low-effort decision processes where consumers make decisions without devoting an abundance of mental energy to evaluate their options. Additionally, implicit psychometrics avoid social desirability of options, wherein respondents claim that they would make a decision based on what they should do, rather than what they want to do.

The benefits of implicit association testing

Uncover hidden associations

People often don't know how they make decisions, or why some things influence their behavior. Implicit association testing will help identify these hidden factors.

Avoid misleading respondents

Because of the way that implicit association testing is conducted, it is very difficult to mislead respondents. This means you can have confidence in the findings.

Make for easy comparisons

Implicit association testing is self-calibrating to the individual, so results can be compared across stimulus, groups, and demographics without the need for separate benchmarks.

Our perspective on implicit association testing

Implicit psychometric techniques are designed to detect the strength of a person’s non-conscious and automatic association between two ideas based on reaction time analysis. We utilize the Implicit Priming Task to uncover these non-conscious associations. The underlying premise is that when we unconsciously associate two concepts (for example, a brand and an attribute), we react very quickly without thinking much. If, however, they two ideas are contradictory, then we need more time to react because the two concepts interfere with each other. Using these techniques we can measure the gut reactions and intuition that consumers rely on to make many non-critical decision.