AMPing racial attitudes: Comparing the power of explicit and implicit racism measures in 2008

Tessa M. Ditonto, Richard R. Lau, David O. Sears

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


In 2008, ANES included for the first time-along with standard explicit measures of old-fashioned and symbolic racism-the Affect Misattribution Procedure (AMP), a relatively new implicit measure of racial attitudes. This article examines the extent to which four different measures of racial prejudice (three explicit and one implicit) predict public opinion during and after the 2008 election, including Americans' views towards several racial policy issues, their evaluations of, and feelings toward, Barack Obama, and their attitudes toward a Black president in general. Oversamples of African American and Latino respondents in the 2008 ANES enable us to broaden our tests of these measures beyond traditional White samples. We find that racial prejudice played an important role for all racial/ethnic groups but that the traditional explicit measures of racism are by far the stronger predictors for all of our dependent variables (compared to the new implicit measure) for both White and Black respondents. Surprisingly, the AMP adds clear explanatory power only to models in the Latino sample.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)487-510
Number of pages24
JournalPolitical Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Philosophy
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


  • 2008 election
  • Implicit associations
  • Public opinion
  • Symbolic racism


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