The moderating role of socially desirable responding in implicit–explicit attitudes toward asylum seekers

Joel R. Anderson
Published Online:
04 Jul 2017
Volume/Issue No:
Volume 54 Issue 1

Additional Options

Abstract Implicit and explicit attitudes correlate under certain conditions and researchers are interested in the moderating factors of this relationship. This paper explored the role of socially desirable responding in this relationship by testing the hypothesis that impression management (IM; i.e., deliberate response modification) and self‐deceptive enhancement (SDE; i.e., positive self‐bias) play moderating roles in the relationship of implicit–explicit attitudes toward asylum seekers in Australia. Seventy‐four students responded to a battery of measures and the results revealed that IM (but not SDE) moderated this relationship to the extent that higher IM scores weakened the correspondence between implicit and explicit attitude scores. This suggests that attitudes toward asylum seekers might be susceptible to socially desirable response tendencies and in combination with the finding that IM was negatively related to explicit attitudes, it is argued that self‐presentation concerns result in the deliberate attenuation of reported negative explicit attitudes.

© International Union of Psychological Science