Vahey, Barnes-Holmes, Barnes-Holmes & Stewart, 2009

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APA Citation: 

Vahey, N. A., Barnes-Holmes, D., Barnes-Holmes, Y., & Stewart, I. (2009). A first test of the Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP) as a measure of self-esteem: Irish prisoner groups and university students. The Psychological Record, 59, 371-388.

Publication Topic: 
Behavior Analysis: Empirical
RFT: Empirical
Publication Type: 

The study aimed to test the validity of the Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP) as a computerized response-latency-based measure of implicit self-esteem. University undergraduates and two sets of Irish convicted prisoners participated. One set of prisoners was resident in the main block of a medium-security Irish prison and the other set was resident in a privileged lower security “Open Area” within the same prison. The IRAP involved asking participants to respond to tasks that presented “Similar” or “Opposite” at the top of the screen and a range of positive or negative target stimuli in the centre (e.g., “Good” versus “Bad”). Participants responded by choosing between the options “Participant’s Name” versus “Not Participant’s Name”. Half of the IRAP trials (‘Consistent’) involved confirming self-positive relations and the other half (‘Inconsistent’) involved confirming self-negative relations. It was predicted that the students, and the prisoners in the Open Area, would show stronger IRAP effects (shorter latencies during consistent versus inconsistent trials) than the Main Block prisoners. This prediction was supported. The observed moderate positive correlation between the IRAP and an explicit measure provided additional support for the convergent validity of the IRAP as a measure of self-esteem. The findings provide preliminary support for the analytic utility of the IRAP and suggest future avenues of investigation afforded by the IRAP’s design.

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