Implicit Association Test

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22 November 2017

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Implicit Association Test

Implicit Association Test

Can we predict one’s risk of suicide?
Are there tests available to measure, predict or assess one’s risk to suicidal behavior?


According to a discussion ‘Diagnosing Self-Destruction’ on National Public Radio,
Dr. Mathew Nock of Harvard University says about the Implicit Association Test(IAT), “Our preliminary results suggest that it does do a pretty good job at predicting who makes a suicide attempt in the future………About 80 percent of people who die by suicide in the hospital explicitly denied suicidal thoughts or intent right before dying. So we can’t just rely on what a person’s telling us.”


Conscious experience provides only a small window into how the mind works. What are your unconscious or uncontrolled reactions when you think about anxiety, depression, alcohol, eating disorders, or persons with mental illness?  Psychologists understand that people may not say what’s on their minds either because they are unwilling or because they are unable to do so.

The unwilling-unable distinction is like the difference between purposely hiding something from others and unconsciously hiding something from yourself. The Implicit Association Test makes it possible to penetrate both of these types of hiding. The IAT measures implicit attitudes and beliefs that people are either unwilling or unable to report.


Preliminary results suggest that implicit association test(IAT) in combination with what a person is telling is more reliable in predicting  who makes a suicide attempt in the future. It measures how person’s think about suicide and their risk of committing suicide.


To find out more take the Implicit Association Test (IAT)
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