Establishing Construct Validity Evidence for Region-Level Measures of Explicit and Implicit Racial Bias
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Description: Large-scale data collection has enabled social scientists to examine psychological constructs at broad, regional levels. However, because constructs and their measures initially operationalized at the individual level may have qualitatively and quantitatively different properties at other levels of analysis, the validity of constructs must be established when they are operationalized at new levels. To this end, the current research presents evidence of construct validity for explicit and implicit racial bias at region levels. Following classic measurement theory, we examine the substantive, structural, and external evidence of construct validity for regional biases. We do so with responses from ~2 million Black and White North Americans collected over 13 years. Though implicit measures typically demonstrate low retest reliability at the individual level, our analyses reveal conventionally acceptable levels of retest reliability at the highest levels of regional aggregation. Additionally, whereas previous meta-analyses find relatively low explicit-implicit correlations at the individual level, the present research uncovered strong explicit-implicit correlations at regional levels. The findings have implications for how we interpret measures of racial bias at regional levels.