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A Diffusion Model Approach for Understanding the Impact of 17 Interventions on the Race Implicit Association Test.

Performance on implicit measures reflects construct-specific and nonconstruct-specific processes. This creates an interpretive issue for understanding interventions to change implicit measures: Change in performance could reflect changes in the constructs of interest or changes in other mental processes. We reanalyzed data from six studies ( N = 23,342) to examine the process-level effects of 17 interventions and one sham intervention to change race implicit association test (IAT) performance. Diffusion models decompose overall IAT performance ( D -scores) into construct-specific (ease of decision-making) and nonconstruct-specific processes (speed-accuracy trade-offs, non-decision-related processes like motor execution). Interventions that effectively reduced D- scores changed ease of decision-making on compatible and incompatible trials. They also eliminated differences in speed-accuracy trade-offs between compatible and incompatible trials. Non-decision-related processes were affected by two interventions only. There was little evidence that interventions had any long-term effects. These findings highlight the value of diffusion modeling for understanding the mechanisms by which interventions affect implicit measure performance.

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