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... The IAT is a computer-based assessment program that measures the speed with which participants associate certain concepts (e.g., " White " and " non-White " and " good " and " bad " ). The IAT does not require the participants to report their underlying attitudes and when the relationship between implicit attitudes (as revealed by the IAT) and self-report attitudes are investigated , it seems that there is often considerable divergence between the two (Beattie and Sale 2009; Beattie and Sale 2011; Beattie 2011). Explicit attitudes are those that an individual is consciously aware of and can articulate, whereas implicit attitudes may fall outside of an individual's conscious control (Gregg 2008); they are thought to emerge from automatic and affective responses to a target object. ...
... Consistent with previous research on implicit racial attitudes (Greenwald et al., 1998; Mitchell et al. 2003; Nosek et al. 2007), we observed that irrespective of ethnicity, participants across the sample held a moderate pro-White bias (D = 0.68). In line with the wider literature , considerable divergence between implicit and explicit attitudes was also observed (see Nosek et al. 2002; Park et al. 2007; Beattie and Sale 2009; Beattie 2010 Beattie , 2011 Beattie , 2013 Beattie and Sale 2011). Despite the fact that explicit scores from both the Likert scale (M = 3.03) and the Feeling Thermometer (M = 0.33) clearly indicated that participants had no explicit preference for White over non-White people, measures of implicit attitudes (as revealed by the IAT) showed that White participants exhibited a strong pro-White bias (D score = 0.93), while non-White participants demonstrated a weak pro-White preference (D score = 0.43). ...
... The IAT is a computer-based assessment program that measures the speed with which participants associate certain concepts (e.g., " White " and " non-White " and " good " and " bad " ). The IAT does not require the participants to report their underlying attitudes and when the relationship between implicit attitudes (as revealed by the IAT) and self-report attitudes are investigated , it seems that there is often considerable divergence between the two (Beattie and Sale 2009; Beattie and Sale 2011; Beattie 2011). Explicit attitudes are those that an individual is consciously aware of and can articulate, whereas implicit attitudes may fall outside of an individual's conscious control (Gregg 2008); they are thought to emerge from automatic and affective responses to a target object. ...
... Consistent with previous research on implicit racial attitudes (Greenwald et al., 1998; Mitchell et al. 2003; Nosek et al. 2007), we observed that irrespective of ethnicity, participants across the sample held a moderate pro-White bias (D = 0.68). In line with the wider literature , considerable divergence between implicit and explicit attitudes was also observed (see Nosek et al. 2002; Park et al. 2007; Beattie and Sale 2009; Beattie 2010 Beattie , 2011 Beattie , 2013 Beattie and Sale 2011). Despite the fact that explicit scores from both the Likert scale (M = 3.03) and the Feeling Thermometer (M = 0.33) clearly indicated that participants had no explicit preference for White over non-White people, measures of implicit attitudes (as revealed by the IAT) showed that White participants exhibited a strong pro-White bias (D score = 0.93), while non-White participants demonstrated a weak pro-White preference (D score = 0.43). ...
... The IAT is a computer-based assessment program that measures the speed with which participants associate certain concepts (e.g., " White " and " non-White " and " good " and " bad " ). The IAT does not require the participants to report their underlying attitudes and when the relationship between implicit attitudes (as revealed by the IAT) and self-report attitudes are investigated , it seems that there is often considerable divergence between the two (Beattie and Sale 2009; Beattie and Sale 2011; Beattie 2011). Explicit attitudes are those that an individual is consciously aware of and can articulate, whereas implicit attitudes may fall outside of an individual's conscious control (Gregg 2008); they are thought to emerge from automatic and affective responses to a target object. ...
... Consistent with previous research on implicit racial attitudes (Greenwald et al., 1998; Mitchell et al. 2003; Nosek et al. 2007), we observed that irrespective of ethnicity, participants across the sample held a moderate pro-White bias (D = 0.68). In line with the wider literature , considerable divergence between implicit and explicit attitudes was also observed (see Nosek et al. 2002; Park et al. 2007; Beattie and Sale 2009; Beattie 2010 Beattie , 2011 Beattie , 2013 Beattie and Sale 2011). Despite the fact that explicit scores from both the Likert scale (M = 3.03) and the Feeling Thermometer (M = 0.33) clearly indicated that participants had no explicit preference for White over non-White people, measures of implicit attitudes (as revealed by the IAT) showed that White participants exhibited a strong pro-White bias (D score = 0.93), while non-White participants demonstrated a weak pro-White preference (D score = 0.43). ...
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Despite efforts to deal with the underrepresentation of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) staff in higher education, progress to date has been limited. We investigate the role of possible implicit attitudes towards ethnic diversity among staff and students at a leading British university. Ninety-six participants (48 White and 48 non-White) were presented with matched C.V.s of White and non-White applicants and were instructed to rate the suitability of candidates against two pre-defined job descriptions for positions at the same university (Lectureship versus Administrative role). Participants were also asked to shortlist two applicants for a subsequent interview, before completing a new multi-ethnic IAT. The new IAT assesses implicit attitudes towards BME groups as a whole, rather than focusing exclusively on a single ethnic minority. Evidence of implicit bias was observed in the IAT scores and in the White participants showing an own-race bias in terms of the proportion of Whites that they selected for the academic post, but not the administrative position. Implicit measures were a better predictor than explicit measures of actual shortlisting decisions. Policy recommendations are discussed.
... Therefore, according to Seligman (2002) and Isaacowitz (2006) optimists have distinct cognitive "strategies," involving both attributional reasoning and attentional bias, for staying optimistic. At the level of the individual this might be a very good thing (Harker and Keltner 2001), and as a consequence, strategies for becoming and remaining optimistic have been trained on a very large scale through both cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and the self-help industry (see Beattie 2011). However, what may be good for the individual, may be less good for society as a whole. ...
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There is considerable concern that the public are not getting the message about climate change. One possible explanation is ‘optimism bias’, where individuals overestimate the likelihood of positive events happening to them and underestimate the likelihood of negative events. Evidence from behavioural neuroscience suggest that this bias is underpinned by selective information processing, specifically through a reduced level of neural coding of undesirable information, and an unconscious tendency for optimists to avoid fixating negative information. Here we test how this bias in attention could relate to the processing of climate change messages. Using eye tracking, we found that level of dispositional optimism affected visual fixations on climate change messages. Optimists spent less time (overall dwell time) attending to any arguments about climate changes (either ‘for’ or ‘against’) with substantially shorter individual fixations on aspects of arguments for climate change, i.e. those that reflect the scientific consensus but are bad news. We also found that when asked to summarise what they had read, non-optimists were more likely to frame their recall in terms of the arguments ‘for’ climate change; optimists were significantly more likely to frame it in terms of a debate between two opposing positions. Those highest in dispositional optimism seemeed to have the strongest and most pronounced level of optimism bias when it came to estimating the probability of being personally affected by climate change. We discuss the importance of overcoming this cognitive bias to develop more effective strategies for communicating about climate change.
... However, if consumer choice is much more automatic and unconscious then we may need a different labelling system that can impinge on more automatic processes. For example, we may need to use something like a traffic light approach, with red symbolising 'high carbon footprint' or 'danger' (hence producing relatively more right frontal cortical activation, see Elliot, Maier, Markus, Moller, Friedman & Meinhardt, 2007;Beattie, 2011). Traffic light signals THE INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL, CULTURAL, ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL SUSTAINABILITY might well influence consumer choice guided by these implicit processes in a way that the (very well meaning) current system does not. ...
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Climate change is upon us and requires urgent action. This has led to carbon footprint information appearing on products. But are consumers primed to change their behaviour? What is their fundamental attitude to low carbon products? And what attitudes might predict actual consumer behaviour? This study found that whilst most participants were pro-low carbon on both the explicit and implicit measures, the explicit and implicit scores did not themselves correlate. In addition, a number of participants scored significantly more positively on explicit than implicit measures, reflecting the social desirability of being seen as green. Neither of the explicit measures significantly differentiated the choice of high/low carbon products but the implicit measure did. Furthermore, it appears that when under time pressure, people seem to rely on their underlying implicit attitude to guide their consumer choices. Thus, it could be argued that if we are to genuinely engineer a green revolution, then we must augment these implicit attitudes and ensure that they translate to actual behaviour, for example, by designing carbon footprint 'signals' aimed primarily at the implicit system. © Common Ground, Geoffrey Beattie, Laura Sale, All Rights Reserved.
Article
Climate change is an anthropogenic existential threat that provokes extreme concern among climate scientists, but not, it seems, among all member of the public. Here, there is considerably more variability in level of concern and, it appears, in everyday sustainable behavior. But how does personality affect this variability in behavior? And how are underlying personality states like dispositional optimism linked to more sustainable everyday practices? Research in clinical psychology has suggested that dispositional optimism is a very positive personality characteristic associated with higher levels of hope and resilience, but applied research from other domains has reported that optimists can, on occasion, bury their heads in the sand and avoid attending to external threats, like climate change, in order to maintain mood state. So are optimists more immune to climate change messaging than non-optimists? And do they make fewer sustainable choices? A series of experimental studies, manipulating signifiers of carbon footprint (Study 1) and eco labels on products (Study 2) found that optimists made more sustainable choices than non-optimists and that both groups were influenced equally by climate change film clips in terms of sustainable choices (Study 1). Optimists also displayed a false consensus effect, overestimating the proportion of people who would behave more sustainably like themselves (Study 3). Given that global problems like climate change need concerted, cooperative effort, these optimistic beliefs about how others behave could be adaptive in the long-run. Designing climate change messages to appeal to optimists might be a critical consideration for the future.
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