Casandra Carrasco

Scholar: Casandra Carrasco

 Casandra Carrasco

Major: Psychology

Faculty Mentors: Dr. Ramona Houmanfar, Jovannie Esquierdo-Leal

Research Topic:  Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure Stimuli Selection  

Abstract: There have been a number of studies focusing on implicit cognition as a topic of study since its advent in the late 1980s. Subsequently, several researchers in behavior science have developed ways by which implicit responding can be measured. A majority of the methodologies are based on an associative, mentalistic approach- the most common being the Implicit Association Test (IAT). Over the last decade, the Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP) has been put forth as a non-associative tool that targets stimulus relations, instead of mental associations in memory. This assessment methodology differs from existing associative approaches by offering a functional approach that eschews any appeal to mediating mental constructs. As the visibility of the IRAP as an assessment tool has broadened over the last decade, systematic selections of stimuli used in the process have become the focus of researchers in behavior science. Recent research in Dr. Houmanfar's lab in the Department of Psychology at the University of Nevada, Reno has developed a stimuli selection methodology that has contributed to the laboratory studies associated with socio cultural phenomena of cooperation and conformity.  The present study aims to replicate this methodology in order to select the stimuli for a future IRAP experiment, investigating topographical differences between pictorial and textual stimuli. Participants will rank from strongest (1) to weakest (10), synonyms or words that best describe various terms or pictorial images. Four of the highest ranked words within each category will then be used as the stimuli within the forthcoming IRAP to properly measure participants' implicit relational responses. It is our hope that this methodology for selecting IRAP stimuli will serve useful in future IRAP studies.

New Scholar: 2017 cohort