Implicit Assumption Test- IAT and our hidden biases

The Implicit Assumption Test from researchers at  universities including Harvard,Yale,Wisconsin is making news about something that we know but do not realize. According to their information page (as of 2007)   80% of the web visitors have negativity towards the elderly. As web users get older this should change! Interestingly, 75-80% of self identified whites or Asians  show an implicit preference for whites over blacks. Just count the relatively large number of white models in Asian TV advertising and you’ll know that this data is correct.

Having become an academic relatively recently and always trying to get through the academic publication process I can say that we may not like the test’s results but it is a pretty reliable test. It has to be if the authors have been publishing academic articles from the results going back to 1998. I thought this blog should weigh in on the validity of the test because there  is  some dispute in  blogosphere because probably the results tend to shock you.

Anyway the IAT is free, takes five minutes. It basically tries to classify various stuff into “good” and “bad”. Then it classifies images into European American and African American. Then it tries to figure out what racial type you tend to associate with “good” and what racial type you tend to associate with “bad” and whether you are biased towards one race or the other. The thing that surprised me the most was that only 17% test takers are really unbiased. But take the test- it’s worth your five minutes. The IAT is here.

About StratoServe.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: