Implicit Attitudes Towards an Authoritarian Regime

54 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2017 Last revised: 26 Jan 2017

See all articles by Rory Truex

Rory Truex

Princeton University - Department of Political Science

Daniel Tavana

Princeton University

Date Written: January 25, 2017


This study measures Egyptian citizens’ attitudes towards President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi using a Single Category Implicit Association Test (SCIAT). Roughly 58% of respondents hold positive implicit attitudes towards Sisi, which suggests a deeper reservoir of popular support than is conventionally assumed. The data also allows for an investigation of attitude dissociation, whereby individuals hold distinct implicit and explicit attitudes towards a target object. Government employees and Copts are more likely to hold positive explicit attitudes towards Sisi but negative or neutral implicit attitudes. Students appear to systematically engage in inverse dissociation -- they voice criticism towards Sisi despite holding more positive implicit attitudes. These findings are interpretable using the Associative-Propositional Evaluation model. The paper closes with a discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of the implicit approach relative to other sensitive question techniques.

Keywords: Egypt, public opinion, authoritarian, sensitive questions, Implicit Attitude Test (IAT), preference falsification, attitude dissociation, Associative-Propositional Evaluation

Suggested Citation

Truex, Rory and Tavana, Daniel, Implicit Attitudes Towards an Authoritarian Regime (January 25, 2017). Available at SSRN: or

Rory Truex (Contact Author)

Princeton University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Corwin Hall
Princeton, NJ 08544-1012
United States

Daniel Tavana

Princeton University ( email )

Corwin Hall
Princeton, NJ 08544-1013
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics