Falvo, R., Trifiletti, E., Castano, E., & Capozza, D.
Implicit and explicit images of the United States among left-wing and right-wing Italians
Research findings on Image Theory show that political orientation moderates Italians’ endorsement of explicit images of America; in fact, left-wingers see Americans as barbarians, while right-wingers describe them according to the images of father and ally. The present study aims at investigating whether the same divide occurs when images are assessed implicitly. Implicit attitudes and beliefs reflect introspectively unidentified traces of past experience, and it is thus possible that the largely common socialization of left-wing and right-wing Italians results in similar implicit images of America. Results replicated previous differences found at the explicit level. At the implicit level, however, no difference between left-wingers and right-wingers was revealed: for both groups, America was implicitly associated with the image of father. Thus, for left-wing participants, a case of dissociation between explicit and implicit images was detected. Implications of findings for Image Theory and the prediction of intergroup relations are discussed.Back