The GNAT (pronounced like the bug) is a flexible technique designed to measure implicit social cognition. Conceptually similar to other implicit measures like the Implicit Association Test (IAT; Greenwald, McGhee, & Schwartz, JPSP, 1998), the GNAT assesses automatic associations between concept (e.g., gender) and attribute (e.g., evaluation) categories. The GNAT has two features that distinguish it from other measures of implicit social cognition. First, the GNAT is designed to be use signal detection statistics in its calculation of automatic associations (d-prime), but can also be adapted to utilize response latency as its operational dependent variable. Second, the GNAT is flexible in the establishing of contextual characteristics for the evaluative situation. For example, the IAT requires an attitude toward one category (insects) be assessed relative to a second category (flowers). With the GNAT, experimenters can vary whether insects are evaluated in the context of a single category (flowers), a superordinate category (animals), a generic category (objects), or with no context at all.
The GNAT is often used with the intention of obtaining an implicit measure of self-esteem, sexism, racism, aggression, and so on. In some cases, test takers may be motivated to score in a particular way on the GNAT (e.g., not implicitly sexist or racist).
- To what extent can the GNAT be faked?
- If an individual does fake the GNAT, can the faking be detected?