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Think you’re immune to implicit bias? Think again. November 3, 2012

It is well known that people don’t always “speak their minds.”‘  Social scientists have long suspected, and now proven, that people don’t always “know their mind” because stereotypes and implicit biases operate below the level of conscious awareness. Researchers at Harvard have developed the Implicit Association Test (IAT) to measure the way subconscious beliefs and associations differ, often radically, from those that operate on the level of conscious thought.  The links below will take you to the IATs.  They don’t take long, and you might be surprised what you learn.

Select a Test

Age (‘Young – Old’ IAT). This IAT requires the ability to distinguish old from young faces. This test often indicates that Americans have automatic preference for young over old.
Religion (‘Religions’ IAT). This IAT requires some familiarity with religious terms from various world religions.
Disability (‘Disabled – Abled’ IAT). This IAT requires the ability to recognize symbols representing abled and disabled individuals.
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.
Weapons (‘Weapons – Harmless Objects’ IAT). This IAT requires the ability to recognize White and Black faces, and images of weapons or harmless objects.
Presidents (‘Presidential Popularity’ IAT). This IAT requires the ability to recognize photos of Barack Obama and one or more previous presidents.
Skin-tone (‘Light Skin – Dark Skin’ IAT). This IAT requires the ability to recognize light and dark-skinned faces. It often reveals an automatic preference for light-skin relative to dark-skin.
Gender – Science. This IAT often reveals a relative link between liberal arts and females and between science and males.
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.
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.
Weight (‘Fat – Thin’ IAT). This IAT requires the ability to distinguish faces of people who are obese and people who are thin. It often reveals an automatic preference for thin people relative to fat people.
Arab-Muslim (‘Arab Muslim – Other People’ IAT).This IAT requires the ability to distinguish names that are likely to belong to Arab-Muslims versus people of other nationalities or religions.
Gender – Career. This IAT often reveals a relative link between family and females and between career and males.
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.

 

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