What Is Implicit Reaction Time Testing (IRT)?

The IAT is one of the fastest-growing approaches used in market research as it is objective, cost-effective, and is able to capture consumers’ unconscious responses to different stimuli, meaning marketers are able to tap into their gut responses. It is essential to measure unconscious gut responses, as a large portion of our everyday decision-making and behaviour is driven by these processes, and they are often inaccessible to conscious questioning methods.

What Is Implicit Reaction Time Testing Vision One

How does it work?

The IAT taps into System 1 processing, which is the fast, unconscious and automatic information processing in the brain. The IAT measures the strength of associations between concepts (e.g. a brand or product) and certain evaluations (e.g. good; ethical; immoral) by measuring the amount of time it takes to associate it with those words (the longer it takes, the less associated they are). Once a stimulus occurs (at time zero), the brain processes it, and a physical response is necessary (button press); this can take anywhere between 200-600 ms, depending on how unconscious (and difficult) the processing is. This can inform researchers about how a product or brand is unconsciously perceived.

Can it inform us about emotions?

Yes, it can tell us how strongly a brand or product is associated with a positive or negative evaluation, informing us about how they emotionally respond to the brand or product.

Can it be done online?

Yes, the beauty of IRT testing is that it can be carried out quickly and easily on anyone who has internet access.

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