The effect of implicitly incentivized faking on explicit and implicit measures of doping attitude : when athletes want to pretend an even more negative attitude to doping

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Bibliographic Details
Title translated into German:Die Wirkung von implizit motivierter Fälschung auf explizite und implizite Maßnahmen zur Doping-Haltung : wenn Athleten eine noch negativere Einstellung zum Doping vorgeben wollen
Author:Wolff, Wanja; Schindler, Sebastian; Brand, Ralf
Published in:PLoS one / Public Library of Science
Published:10 (2015), 4, Art.-ID e0118507; [10 S.], Lit.
Format: Publications (Database SPOLIT)
Publication Type: Journal article
Media type: Electronic resource (online)
Online Access:
Identification number:PU201708006037

Author's abstract

The Implicit Association Test (IAT) aims to measure participants’ automatic evaluation of an attitude object and is useful especially for the measurement of attitudes related to socially sensitive subjects, e.g. doping in sports. Several studies indicate that IAT scores can be faked on instruction. But fully or semi-instructed research scenarios might not properly reflect what happens in more realistic situations, when participants secretly decide to try faking the test. The present study is the first to investigate IAT faking when there is only an implicit incentive to do so. Sixty-five athletes (22.83 years ± 2.45; 25 women) were randomly assigned to an incentive-to-fake condition or a control condition. Participants in the incentive-to-fake condition were manipulated to believe that athletes with lenient doping attitudes would be referred to a tedious 45-minute anti-doping program. Attitudes were measured with the pictorial doping brief IAT (BIAT) and with the Performance Enhancement Attitude Scale (PEAS). A one-way MANOVA revealed significant differences between conditions after the manipulation in PEAS scores, but not in the doping BIAT. In the light of our hypothesis this suggests that participants successfully faked an exceedingly negative attitude to doping when completing the PEAS, but were unsuccessful in doing so on the reaction time-based test. This study assessed BIAT faking in a setting that aimed to resemble a situation in which participants want to hide their attempts to cheat. The two measures of attitude were differentially affected by the implicit incentive. Our findings provide evidence that the pictorial doping BIAT is relatively robust against spontaneous and naïve faking attempts. (B)IATs might be less prone to faking than implied by previous studies.