What are your implicit biases?
Project Implicit is a research project at Harvard that has been examining implicit biases since 1998. By going to the project’s website, you can view a demonstration of the tests they use to determine if you have an implicit bias. Here are the most important findings of the project so far:
- Implicit biases are pervasive.
- People are often unaware of their implicit biases.
- Implicit biases predict behavior.
- People differ in levels of implicit bias.
The most interesting aspect of the site is the Implicit Association Tests (IAT’s). The site presents several IAT’s that can identify implicit biases regarding race, age religion, sexuality, gender and career, weight, disability, and skin tone, among others. Most pertinent to WiGS participants is the Gender-Science IAT, which “often reveals a relative link between liberal arts and females and between science and males.” You have the option of participating either in the demonstration tests or in the research tests.
Part of the reason that these biases are implicit is that they are often biases we don’t want to admit or acknowledge to ourselves. To access the tests you must read and agree to a statement saying
I am aware of the possibility of encountering interpretations of my IAT test performance with which I may not agree. Know this, I wish to proceed.
Do you think your results are accurate? Are you surprised or unsurprised by the overall results from everyone who has taken the tests? Have your results forced you to face an aspect of yourself that you are not proud of? Do you think that seeing these results will help you to alleviate your implicit biases?
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