The IRAP is nonrelative but not acontextual: changes to the contrast category influence men’s dehumanization of women

Ian Hussey, Dearbhaile Ní Mhaoileoin, Dermot Barnes-Holmes, Tomu Ohtsuki, Naoko Kishita, Sean Hughes, Carol Murphy

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The Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP) is frequently employed over other measures of so-called implicit attitudes because it produces four independent and “non-relative” bias scores, thereby providing greater clarity around what drives an effect. Indeed, studies have sometimes emphasized the procedural separation of the four trial-types by choosing to report only the results of a single, theoretically meaningful trial-type. However, no research to date has examined the degree to which performance on a given trial-type is impacted upon by other stimulus categories employed within the task. The current study examined the extent to which response biases toward “women” are influenced by two different contrast categories: “men” versus “inanimate objects”. Results indicated that greater dehumanization of women was observed in the context of the latter relative to the former category. The findings highlight that the IRAP may be described as a non-relative, but not a-contextual, measure of brief and immediate relational responses.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-299
Number of pages9
JournalThe Psychological Record
Issue number2
Early online date22 Feb 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016


  • Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure
  • Relational Frame Theory
  • Dehumanization of women

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