The development of implicit attitudes. Evidence of race evaluations from ages 6 and 10 and adulthood.Psychol Sci. 2006 Jan; 17(1):53-8.PS
To understand the origin and development of implicit attitudes, we measured race attitudes in White American 6-year-olds, 10-year-olds, and adults by first developing a child-oriented version of the Implicit Association Test (Child IAT). Remarkably, implicit pro-White/anti-Black bias was evident even in the youngest group, with self-reported attitudes revealing bias in the same direction. In 10-year-olds and adults, the same magnitude of implicit race bias was observed, although self-reported race attitudes became substantially less biased in older children and vanished entirely in adults, who self-reported equally favorable attitudes toward Whites and Blacks. These data are the first to show an asymmetry in the development of implicit and explicit race attitudes, with explicit attitudes becoming more egalitarian and implicit attitudes remaining stable and favoring the in-group across development. We offer a tentative suggestion that mean levels of implicit and explicit attitudes diverge around age 10.