- How does Implicitly work?
- What equipment do I need?
- What kind of testing environment and time commitment are needed?
- What happens to the data?
- How do I enter the test area of the website and get started?
- What is the test procedure?
- Can I 'trick' Implicitly?
You have been invited to this website to complete an internet-based assessment of the strength of any associations you may hold between groups of people and negative ideas or stereotypes. We assess these associations by measuring the speed and accuracy with which you make some simple decisions in sorting words and pictures on a computer screen. Implicitly measures the strength of your associations by how quickly and accurately you make the decisions.
The tests you are about to take require you to use a computer mouse to start a test. You need to be able to use the left and right keys on the computer keyboard. They also require you to read a set of on-screen instructions. You will simply be asked to sort words and pictures in timed tasks. If you are unable to do these things, either due to a disability or for any other reason, you must tell the organisation asking you to take the test before you start.
Implicitly is purely web-based so you only need a reliable web connection. Wherever possible it is recommended you connect with broadband or equivalent speed. However, because of the relatively small amount of data involved, Implicitly will work with a dial up connection if required. In 99% of cases no additional software needs to be downloaded or installed. Implicitly uses Adobe Flash technology commonly found on websites. If you don't have Adobe Flash installed the Frequently Asked Questions page provides a link to download the software (http://www.implicitly.co.uk/faq.php). This page also shows whether you already have Flash on your computer (http://www.implicitly.co.uk/faq.php#technology).
Each test you are asked to complete takes 3 to 4 minutes. There is also a 3 to 4 minute practice test which you only have to complete once unless you choose to do it more than once to become more comfortable with the test procedure and allow you to get used to the keys you have to use to complete the test. However, once you have started a live test, you cannot restart it and must continue to the end as quickly as you can, whilst making the minimum number of mistakes.
Choose a location and a time when you will not be interrupted or distracted. Do not do things which may affect your concentration, such as eating, drinking or listening to music through headphones. Try to complete the test(s) in a single session. If you cannot complete all the tests you have been asked to take in a single session you can return to the tests later. You cannot break a testing session during a live test, only between tests.
Identifiable data from this test is stored on a secure server and only authorised persons are able to access your test scores. Test scores will only be viewed by persons with a need to see them as part of this work and not shared with other people or organisations. Personal data such as your age, gender and other personal data is only required for monitoring purposes. This data is only accessible to Hogrefe Ltd (the test publishers) who do not share it with the organisation asking you to take the test.
These notes will guide you through the test login.
On arrival at the web site choose 'Participants'. You should then choose 'New Participants' if this is your first visit with this test invitation.
- Using the computer keyboard, enter the login and password you have been given*.
- Enter your first name and family name. Now use the mouse to click the 'login' button.
- After a few seconds you will see a list of the tests you need to complete and a candidate number will have been created for you.
- You may wish to make a note of the candidate number the system creates for you. If you have to break the testing session for any reason you can log back in using this candidate number and choosing 'Returning Participants'.
- The first test on the list is a practice test which allows you to get used to how these tests work (the fear of spiders test). You must complete the practice test first.
- The practice test asks you for additional information about yourself which is not a compulsory part of the test and giving that information is voluntary.
Once testing starts there is a time limit of 8 minutes on completing each test. However, you will be instructed to complete each task within each test as quickly and accurately as possible. Most people find they can complete a test in 3 to 4 minutes.
You can have a break between each test and rest between the individual tasks in each test. You control when each tasks starts.
* Some test invitations are sent by an auto-emailing system and contain a link which takes you directly to the list of tests without the need to login.
The first activity is to complete the compulsory 3 to 4 minute practice test (fear of spiders) which you only have to do once. You must complete the practice test before starting the live tests.
All of the tests, and the practice test, work in the same way and have five tasks in each test:
- The first task is another very simple practice task to let you find the right keys on your keyboard and get an idea of how the test works. The practice task will present you with words, one at a time, and you have to sort these words to one side of the screen or the other (left or right) as instructed, using the left and right arrow keys on your keyboard. Usually the words will be words with simple 'Good' or 'Bad' meanings. It is a very easy sorting task but if you do make a mistake, the word 'wrong' will appear on screen and you will be asked to try again until you get it right. You can see the words that will be used before the test starts to make sure you can read and understand them. If you cannot read or understand the words, please let the organisation who asked you to take the test know.
- The second and third tasks are identical. In tasks two and three you will be presented with a mixture of words and pictures in a random order. The words are the same as they were in the first task. You will be told to sort them with the left and right arrow keys as you did in the first task. The pictures will also be of two types. You will be asked you to sort one type of picture to the left, and one to the right using just the left and right arrow keys.
- The fourth and fifth tasks are the same as the second and third tasks. Both the words and the pictures are the same. The only thing that will change is that the side of the screen to which you sort the words will be reversed. You should work through the words as quickly as possible but making as few mistakes as possible. Again, if you make a mistake, the word 'wrong' will appear on screen and you will be asked to try again until you get it right. The task specific instructions are repeated at the start of each task so there is no need to remember all this information.
You get to decide when each tasks starts and you are provided with a count-down timer, which gives you time to place your fingers on the left and right arrow keys. You cannot pause or restart a task once you have started it, but you can take a break between each of the five tasks and between tests if you want.
At the end of each test you will be asked if you would like to close the test window. When you do this you will be returned to the list of tests.
When you return to the list of the tests on screen, if you 'refresh' the screen after each test you will see the test status will change from 'Not Started' to a green, amber or red colour. These colours tell you whether the test detected unusual response patterns. If the colour is red or amber you may be asked to sit the test again, to ensure an accurate result.
If you make mistakes during the test, carry on and complete the tests. Please do not abandon a test; it is important that you finish each one.
Sometimes, a small number of people are tempted to try to distort the way they respond to give the result they think people would like to see. Implicitly has systems built in which detect unusual response patterns.
It is almost impossible to 'fake good' the result you want to give. Although you could try to change your scores by trying different ways of responding, Implicitly's programming recognises a number of 'normal' response profiles. If your response pattern does not fit one of those profiles Implicitly issues an alert. Our research experience with people trying to change their scores is that they are never able to change them in such a way as to give the result they want to give, without the system detecting an unreliable response profile. Either they end up giving a result they didn't intend, or the system raises an alert (usually both).
It is impossible to 'learn' the test because each test is different from the last. There are many millions of possible orders in which the words and pictures may appear.
Relax and to respond openly to the tasks. There are no tricks to this test.