Heart versus reason in condom use: Implicit versus explicit attitudinal predictors of sexual behavior.

Kerry L. Marsh, University of Connecticut
Blair T. Johnson, University of Connecticut
Lori A.J. Scott-Sheldon, Syracuse University

Document Type Article

Published in Zeitschrift für Experimentelle Psychologie, Vol 48(2), 2001. pp. 161-175.


Examined whether explicit and implicit measures of attitudes would differentially predict deliberate vs spontaneous behavior in the domain of condom use. 33 male and 64 female heterosexual undergraduates completed explicit attitudinal and thought-listing measures about using condoms and implicit measures using attitude priming and Implicit Association Test (IAT) procedures. An attitude IAT measured the association between condom images and affective images; a self-identity IAT measured association of condoms with the self. results sow that condom use with main partners was predicted by explicit measures but not by implicit measures; the opposite was true for condom use with casual partners. Although the attitude priming measure was not positively correlated with casual condom use, the IATs were. The patterns of relations, however, were unexpectedly complex, due to a strong decrease in IAT effects over time, and different IATs assessing unique attitudinal dimensions.