BACKGROUND: Measuring implicit attitudes is difficult due to social desirability (SD). A new method, the Emotion Based Approach (EBA), can solve this by using emotions from a display of faces as response categories. We applied this on an EBA Spirituality tool (EBA-SPT) and an Actual Situation tool (EBA-AST). Our aim was to assess the structure, reliability and validity of the tools and to compare two EBA assessment approaches, i.e., an explicit one (only assessing final replies to items) and an implicit one (assessing also the selection process).
METHODS: We obtained data on a sample of Czech adults (n = 522, age 30.3±12.58; 27.0% men) via an online survey; cortisol was assessed in 46 participants. We assessed the structure and psychometric properties (internal consistency and test-retest reliability; convergent, discriminant, and criterion validity) of the EBA, and examined the differences between explicit vs. implicit EBA approaches.
RESULTS: We found an acceptable-good internal consistency reliability of the EBA tools, acceptable discriminant validity between them and low (neutral expression) to good (joy) test-retest reliability for concrete emotions assessed by the tools. An implicit EBA approach showed stronger correlations between emotions and weaker convergent validity, but higher criterion validity, than an explicit approach and standard questionnaires.
CONCLUSION: Compared to standard questionnaires, EBA is a more reliable approach for measuring attitudes, with an implicit approach that reflects the selection process yielding the best results.