So the authors appear disingenuous when they try to construct a case around such speech acts. They claim that we all lie when we endorse the truth of a statement such as "ducks lay eggs." Why is this a lie? Ms. Banaji and Mr. Greenwald say that the statement "is actually false for a substantial majority of the world's ducks. [B]ecause fewer female . . . ducklings survive the hatching process, more than half the world's ducks are non-egg-laying males. Second, among female ducks, many are too young to be egg layers. Without doubt, egg-laying ducks are a distinct minority."
Really? For their critique to be correct, you'd have to believe that the sentence "ducks lay eggs" is identical in meaning to the sentence "the majority of ducks on the planet, regardless of age or sex, are capable of laying eggs." Pragmatics again! What we really mean by a sentence such as "ducks lay eggs" is: "Ducks are an egg-laying species, as opposed to giving live birth."
And how good is the IAT test?
There is far from a consensus about the IAT--a meta-analysis, you might say, is overdue. It turns out that the authors themselves published one in 2009, reviewing 184 independent samples and nearly 15,000 experimental subjects. The result: The IAT was very weakly correlated with other measures, failing to account for more than 93% of the data. Interestingly, Ms. Banaji and Mr. Greenwald don't report this in their book. Perhaps a blind spot?