Assessing explicit and implicit stereotypes in tourism: self-reports and implicit association test

Wai Tsz Serene Tse, Vincent Wing Sun Tung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Stereotyping is a dichotomy system of cognitive information processes reflecting explicit and implicit biases. While existing studies have studied tourist stereotypes with a wide range of approaches, ranging from face-to-face interviews to numerical scale ratings via self-reports, these studies measured only one type of stereotypes: explicit stereotypes, while neglecting the other: implicit stereotypes. The nature of explicit stereotypes allows individuals to access their cognitions, which could increase the chance of socially desirable responses and thus offer incomplete knowledge in tourist stereotyping. Drawing from existing literature on explicit and implicit stereotypes, this study seeks to identify implicit tourist stereotypes via implicit association test (IAT) and measure them against explicit biases from residents of four popular destinations, covering Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand. This study contributes by presenting a detailed development of the IAT and demonstrates the applicability of this method for future cognitive-related studies in the tourism literature. Overall, this study provides a timely and impactful methodology for measuring tourist stereotypes, an important cognitive component that could shape residents’ attitudes toward sustainable tourism development, and harmonious host-guest relationships.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Sustainable Tourism
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020


  • Implicit
  • implicit association test (IAT)
  • measurements
  • stereotypes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

Cite this