Toward the use of approach/avoidance tendencies as attitude measures: Individual‐ and group‐level variability of the ingroup bias

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Approach/avoidance paradigms could constitute an interesting alternative in measuring intergroup attitudes, notably if they overcome one criticism often addressed toward classic indirect tasks: Measuring attitudes beyond the influence of cultural knowledge. Using intergroup stimuli and a population likely to be exposed to a similar cultural knowledge, we observed two informative results regarding this issue: Approach/avoidance effects measured by the Visual Approach/Avoidance by the Self Task (VAAST) varied across participants (i.e., consistent with the variability of intergroup attitudes; Experiment 1) and both participants of dominant and non‐dominant groups produced an ingroup bias (Experiment 2). A last experiment (Experiment 3) showed that compatibility scores in the VAAST predict trustworthiness ratings of the ingroup/outgroup. This experiment also investigated potential differences between the VAAST and the IAT. These results suggest that approach/avoidance tasks (notably the VAAST) could be relevant to assess personal attitudes when it comes to normatively sensitive topics.

European Journal of Social Psychology
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