Implicit Bias

People don’t always say what’s on their
minds. One reason is that they are unwilling. For example, someone might
report smoking a pack of cigarettes per day because they are
embarrassed to admit that they smoke two. Another reason is that they
are unable. A smoker might truly believe that she smokes a pack a day,
or might not keep track at all. The difference between being unwilling
and unable is the difference between purposely hiding something from
someone and unknowingly hiding something from yourself.

The Implicit Association Test (IAT) measures
attitudes and beliefs that people may be unwilling or unable to report.
The IAT may be especially interesting if it shows that you have an
implicit attitude that you did not know about. For example, you may
believe that women and men should be equally associated with science,
but your automatic associations could show that you (like many others)
associate men with science more than you associate women with science.

Visit the Project Implicit website to take one of the IAT from the list below:

  • Gender and Sexuality
  • Sexuality (‘Gay-Straight’ IAT). This IAT requires the ability to
    distinguish words and symbols representing gay and straight people. It
    often reveals an automatic preference for straight relative to gay
    people.
  • Gender – Science. This IAT often reveals a relative link between liberal arts and females and between science and males.
  • Gender – Career. This IAT often reveals a relative link between family and females and between career and males.
  • Race and Ethnicity
  • Race (‘Black – White’ IAT). This IAT requires the ability to
    distinguish faces of European and African origin. It indicates that most
    Americans have an automatic preference for white over black.
  • Asian American (‘Asian – European American’ IAT). This IAT
    requires the ability to recognize White and Asian-American faces, and
    images of places that are either American or Foreign in origin.
  • Native American (‘Native – White American’ IAT). This IAT
    requires the ability to recognize White and Native American faces in
    either classic or modern dress, and the names of places that are either
    American or Foreign in origin.

  1. First, explore the Project Implicit website.
  2. Next, complete one of the Implicit Association Tests (IAT) from
    the list above. Each test should take about 10 minutes to complete. At
    the end, you will receive your IAT result along with information about
    what it means.
  3. Then, share your IAT results as a screenshot (How to take a screenshot with a PC or Mac).
  4. Finally, write a reflective post about your thoughts and
    feelings (a) prior to taking the test, (b) during the actual test and
    (c) once you received your results.