Measuring Adolescents' Smoking-related Social Identity Preferences with the Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP) for the First Time: A Starting Point that Explains Later IRAP Evolutions

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APA Citation: 

Vahey, N., Boles, S., & Barnes-Holmes, D. (2010). Measuring Adolescents' Smoking-related Social Identity Preferences with the Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP) for the First Time: A Starting Point that Explains Later IRAP Evolutions. International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy, 10, 453-474.

Publication Topic: 
ACT: Conceptual
ACT: Empirical
Behavior Analysis: Conceptual
Behavior Analysis: Empirical
Contextual Methodology and Scientific Strategy
RFT: Conceptual
RFT: Empirical
Publication Type: 
Article
Language: 
English
Language: 
EspaƱol
Keyword(s): 
Adolescents, Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure, smoking, social identity, Relational Frame Theory
Abstract: 

This preliminary study is the first to illustrate the conceptual rationale for, and methodological
potential of, an Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure designed to measure adolescents’
smoking-related social identity preferences (SIP-IRAP). Even with a small sample comprising
of eight adolescent smokers and eight nonsmokers, the IRAP data tentatively suggested that
adolescent smokers have a tendency to relate the sample word ‘Smoker’ as “Similar” to social
acceptance words, but adolescent nonsmokers do not. The IRAP further distinguished smokers
from nonsmokers by their tendency to relate ‘Nonsmoker’ as ‘Similar’ to social rejection words.
The current study, in its presentation of an uncomplicated “preparation-IRAP” for participants
to rehearse before taking the SIP-IRAP, constitutes the earliest attempt to optimise participant
performance on the original IRAP methodology. Given that the raison d’etre of the IRAP is to
continually optimise experimental control over the measurement of verbal biases, we use the
current study as a basis for explicating the chronology and evolving rationale for subsequent
evolutions of the IRAP methodology currently entering the literature. A central aim of our
account is to use IRAP first principles to collate and interpret such recent optimisations of the
IRAP methodology, in order to recommend how best to use the IRAP in future investigations
probing the verbal networks of adolescent smokers. The current preliminary study particularly
emphasized the importance for optimising the precision of the IRAP, of using adjunctive
participant preparation procedures. The current paper suggests how with optimizations, the
IRAP is likely to provide additional predictive utility over self-report measures for adolescents,
particularly when applied to relatively stigmatized or impulsive behaviours.

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