Monday, March 31, 2008

Project Implicit

By way of the book "blink" I found Harvard's Project Implicit website and the IAT (Implicit Association Test). I took the first test and discovered that, "Your data suggest a slight association of White Am. with Foreign and Native Am. with American compared to Native Am. with Foreign and White Am. with American." Well, I'm right, aren't I?

After that demo I registered with the site and the first test they threw at me was the "Race - Weapons IAT." In the results after the test they say, "Our position, perhaps an unpopular one, is that the unconscious roots of profiling lie in every mind. In the Race-Weapons test you completed, we provide the occasion for recognizing the automatic association between racial groups and weapons relative to harmless objects." And their statistics certainly show a strange correlation. Of the 85,000+ results they gathered from 2001 to 2006 a whopping 74% of the respondents ended up somewhere in the range of a slight (19%), moderate (30%), or strong (23%) automatic association of Blacks with weapons. Wow. If I recall the account in the book correctly, the author of "blink," Malcolm Gladwell, ended up taking the test over and over and getting the "slight automatic association" result.

What about me? "Your data suggest little or no association between Black American and White American with Harmless Objects and Weapons."

Apparently I'm the liberal that I thought I was, which means that I'm not as much of a hypocrite as I was afraid I might be.


  1. This one is a fun one Sue. I don't think you've done it before. If you have, ignore me. :)

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