Implicit Association Test

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Implicit Association Test

Postby ++$_ » Tue Nov 18, 2008 6:18 am UTC

New York Times article on the Implicit Association Test
Take the IAT

The Implicit Association test is the standard test used to assess unconscious bias. The first link is a good critical article on the test. After reading it, I went to the second website (also linked in the article) try the test out.

Anyway, if my test results are to be believed I have a moderate preference for blacks over whites. A bit surprising, as I am about as white as could be; although I think of myself as pretty much non-racist, I would have expected any bias to be in the other direction to be honest, especially given the aggregate results. I also took the Obama versus McCain test, which informed me that I have a moderate preference for Obama. I would not say that "moderate" is quite a strong enough term, but at least it got the direction right. Then I took the Bush vs. Other Presidents test and found that I had a strong preference for Abraham Lincoln over Bush. Now that's a shocking result.

My opinion is that the IAT is pretty much useless at measuring bias. After completing the first round of associations, I had trouble unlearning the keystrokes when the groups were switched, so my results could easily have been influenced by that.

What do you all think?

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Re: Implicit Association Test

Postby fyrenwater » Tue Nov 18, 2008 7:02 am UTC

I learned that pretty much all my subconscious biases are the ones I already know about. Nothing new to me.
...It made more sense in my head.

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Re: Implicit Association Test

Postby GreaterSteven » Wed Nov 19, 2008 12:08 am UTC

fyrenwater wrote:I learned that pretty much all my subconscious biases are the ones I already know about. Nothing new to me.



Fixed.

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Re: Implicit Association Test

Postby The Reaper » Wed Nov 19, 2008 12:10 am UTC

wft lol. appearently i have no automatic preference btwn mccain and obama, which is true, but that i moderately automatically prefer white people to black people? Is this because I was able to correctly be able to tell the difference btwn the greyscale pictures of black people, white people, and italians? Once again, I feel mentally scarred because of a badly put together psychology test. :\

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Re: Implicit Association Test

Postby ameretrifle » Wed Nov 19, 2008 7:27 am UTC

I've never taken this, but it might be worthwhile to mention that I mention that I minored in Psychology, and I heard about this thing so many times... So many, many times... So I think it's taken pretty seriously by those in its field. Or at least regarded as a pretty bauble to throw out to Intro students. Since they habitually use Intro students as lab rats, it's possible they're not entirely concerned about their welfare. ;)

Whether or not its apparent reputation is justified, I couldn't say. Hopefully they'd have calibrated the thing with a more completely random set of images/words to take into account the time it takes for the brain simply to readjust to the new keystrokes; they ought to have a baseline, anything above or below which is taken into account. No clue if they do or not. If they don't, you're right, it's a pretty big flaw.

Hopefully someone would've noticed, though; it's been around for quite some time, now, and while psychology might not be a "hard" science, they take the scientific method pretty damn seriously.

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Re: Implicit Association Test

Postby BoomFrog » Wed Nov 19, 2008 9:54 am UTC

I did the weapons and races one, that was interesting. Apparently I'm a big ol' racist... actually now that I think about it I kind of am, I just mentally check my behavior to say I'm not. I blame the media and my limited exposure to actual black people. Really I do. I can't blame the media for my actions, but blaming them for my associations is perfectly fair.
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Re: Implicit Association Test

Postby Green9090 » Wed Nov 19, 2008 10:12 am UTC

I shouldn't have taken this at 2:10 AM. I scored "giant douchebag racist" because it took me like half the test to get used to the new controls.
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Re: Implicit Association Test

Postby Mavketl » Wed Nov 19, 2008 11:17 am UTC

My results also indicated a slight preference for black over white people, and a strong preference for Obama over McCain. I'm very very white, so I'm somewhat confused about it. Then again, I think maybe because it's in the context of the elections. They put a lot of emphasis on Obama and McCain, so if someone who likes Obama associates black people with him (because of that emphasis), that could lead to these results.

To test that: did anyone who is white and got McCain over Obama get a 'black over white people' preference?

ameretrifle wrote:I've never taken this, but it might be worthwhile to mention that I mention that I minored in Psychology, and I heard about this thing so many times... So many, many times... So I think it's taken pretty seriously by those in its field.
I'm a psychology student. This type of testing is indeed taken very seriously, though it has its limits.
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Re: Implicit Association Test

Postby 4=5 » Thu Nov 20, 2008 1:43 am UTC

the hardest part was that I couldn't switch back and forth quickly so the one I did first was the one my hands stuck with.

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Re: Implicit Association Test

Postby Lycur » Thu Nov 20, 2008 1:49 am UTC

I got a slight preference for white people over black people, which I found moderately suprising.

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Re: Implicit Association Test

Postby apricity » Thu Nov 20, 2008 3:27 am UTC

As a psych major, I feel sufficiently qualified to say this is dumb. The IAT isn't really designed to be performed on an individual, it's supposed to be performed on a representative sample of a population and the results collapsed. You're supposed to randomize which trial is presented first to each person, black-good/white-bad or black-bad/white-good, to eliminate the bias from learning the first button press and then switching to the other one. And you're not supposed to enter your demographic information until afterward because it biases you more. Stupid online tests.
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Re: Implicit Association Test

Postby cerbie » Thu Nov 20, 2008 7:31 am UTC

Hmm. I took the gender-career one, first. I figured I'd be more male-leaning on both. Turned out to have no correlation. But, it was easy for me to find issues with the test.

1. Reading something quickly popping up can be difficult.
2. After a few wrongs, I slowed down.
3. I began following a pattern as soon as I felt one.
4. I associated "children" with female, and "salary" with family (in general, I'd say the latter could offer a fair bit of insight into my personality--work is to make money, but the money is not for work). I only got one of them each wrong once, but it wasn't an, "oops," wrong, as much as a, "what they wanted isn't what first popped into my mind," wrong.
5. I can't just respond to seeing a word. I don't read single words normally, so it takes conscious effort to make sense of them, for those tests. If the test has any validity, it would need to be done only as audio to get meaningful results from me. Pictures, less so, but by then, I was in a different state of mind.
6. Related to the above, I went into game playing mode, going for correctness. I can't just snap out of that, into some mindless, "just responding," state of mind. You gotta remember, as a kid, beating SMB, Legend of Zelda, and getting high scores in Arkanoid and Tetris were really important :mrgreen:. I'm finally finishing up The New SMB (been playing it then putting it down while playing other games, repeatedly), and I'm still that way. It totally envelops me, in an awesome way.
7. Also following from above, I got none wrong, and no biases on the religion AIT, and weapons AIT, which I can tell you a load of BS :). I'm not proud of it, but I can tell when I'm responding from a slightly racist upbringing, and I was a few times. That part of me wasn't controlling my responses to the testing interface, though (see bold if).
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Re: Implicit Association Test

Postby Kachi » Thu Nov 20, 2008 10:38 am UTC

I took an anti-semitism test long ago when I didn't even know what anti-semitism meant. Basically my impression of the tests is that they get your mind oriented one way, then switch it up on you, trip you up, and try to say that this is evidence of a subconscious bias.

I don't think they're really valid at all. Maybe valid as a measure of some kind of mental dexterity. The test structure seems valid enough until you account for the inherent uncontrolled variables from test taker to test taker. Further, I don't think it has any real use or implication that wouldn't be far better served by literature/discussion of subconscious bias.

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Re: Implicit Association Test

Postby apeman5291 » Fri Nov 28, 2008 6:06 pm UTC

I took the election one, and it said I prefered John McCain to Barack Obama. :shock: I do have to say that the ones I got wrong were because of the switching back and forth. I'd hit something out of habit because I was still mentally in the previous group, not because I feel a certain way about the picture or word.
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Re: Implicit Association Test

Postby Matsi » Sat Nov 29, 2008 4:27 am UTC

Well, I am "as white as can be" as well but also showed moderate preference for black people over white people. Now it is true that both my roommates are coloured (one of em really can't be described as black) people (from Suriname, ex-dutch colony), but the majority of the people I know are white so I am a bit surprised by this outcome.

I think not wanting to be biased and the Obama part pushed me in that direction, cause I doubt that's really my unconscious bias.

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Re: Implicit Association Test

Postby Cheese » Sat Nov 29, 2008 1:27 pm UTC

...I appear to get no preference for any of them. Hmmph.
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Re: Implicit Association Test

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Sat Nov 29, 2008 7:06 pm UTC

lanicita wrote:As a psych major, I feel sufficiently qualified to say this is dumb. The IAT isn't really designed to be performed on an individual, it's supposed to be performed on a representative sample of a population and the results collapsed. You're supposed to randomize which trial is presented first to each person, black-good/white-bad or black-bad/white-good, to eliminate the bias from learning the first button press and then switching to the other one. And you're not supposed to enter your demographic information until afterward because it biases you more. Stupid online tests.


This test does all of those things.
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Re: Implicit Association Test

Postby Cheese » Sat Nov 29, 2008 8:17 pm UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:
lanicita wrote:As a psych major, I feel sufficiently qualified to say this is dumb. The IAT isn't really designed to be performed on an individual, it's supposed to be performed on a representative sample of a population and the results collapsed. You're supposed to randomize which trial is presented first to each person, black-good/white-bad or black-bad/white-good, to eliminate the bias from learning the first button press and then switching to the other one. And you're not supposed to enter your demographic information until afterward because it biases you more. Stupid online tests.
This test does all of those things.
It does ask you what your conscious thougts about each of the groups is beforehand.
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Re: Implicit Association Test

Postby AtlasDrugged » Sat Nov 29, 2008 9:07 pm UTC

Moderate Preference for White People
Slight Preference for Barack Obama (yet I supported McCain)

Seems erroneous, to say the least.

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Re: Implicit Association Test

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Sun Nov 30, 2008 1:42 am UTC

Cheese wrote:
TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:
lanicita wrote:As a psych major, I feel sufficiently qualified to say this is dumb. The IAT isn't really designed to be performed on an individual, it's supposed to be performed on a representative sample of a population and the results collapsed. You're supposed to randomize which trial is presented first to each person, black-good/white-bad or black-bad/white-good, to eliminate the bias from learning the first button press and then switching to the other one. And you're not supposed to enter your demographic information until afterward because it biases you more. Stupid online tests.
This test does all of those things.
It does ask you what your conscious thougts about each of the groups is beforehand.


My bad. I thought that I remembered all of the survey questions coming after the sexuality test.
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Re: Implicit Association Test

Postby Kaiyas » Sun Nov 30, 2008 3:22 am UTC

Slight association of weapons with blacks over whites.

I really don't like the way they switched up the controls. I probably would've had bias the other way if the order was switched, since I misplaced a few when I thought a category was on the other side.
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Re: Implicit Association Test

Postby Iv » Mon Dec 01, 2008 1:20 pm UTC

BoomFrog wrote:I did the weapons and races one, that was interesting. Apparently I'm a big ol' racist... actually now that I think about it I kind of am, I just mentally check my behavior to say I'm not. I blame the media and my limited exposure to actual black people. Really I do. I can't blame the media for my actions, but blaming them for my associations is perfectly fair.


You have, sir, the kind of insight I wish more voters would have. That reasonning is something that ought to be taught in school.

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Project Implicit: Measuring Subconscious Bias.

Postby jestingrabbit » Fri Mar 06, 2009 6:40 pm UTC

https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/

Basically, this is a psychological test to determine how biased you are about things like gender, sexual orientation etc.

It measures the extent to which you unconsciously harbour bigotry and prejudice.

Have fun.
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Re: Project Implicit: Measuring Subconscious Bias.

Postby Ixtellor » Fri Mar 06, 2009 7:17 pm UTC

First round got this:

Your data suggest a slight automatic association of Government with Good.


Your data suggest a slight automatic positive association with Society.

This is getting boring, and its outdated. So I might well have missed the prime minister of GB question, even though I know who it was and who it is.

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Re: Project Implicit: Measuring Subconscious Bias.

Postby diotimajsh » Fri Mar 06, 2009 7:31 pm UTC

These kind of tests irk me with all the assumptions they make, but meh.

I got a slight automatic bias for black people and for Obama.
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Re: Project Implicit: Measuring Subconscious Bias.

Postby cathrl » Fri Mar 06, 2009 10:02 pm UTC

I apparently associate women with science and men with liberal arts.

Or possibly it's just that, as an Oxford physics graduate, my kneejerk reaction is to click "science" for philosophy :)

And, seriously, what list of international religions has 50 types of US Christian in it, but not Anglican?

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Re: Project Implicit: Measuring Subconscious Bias.

Postby Chfan » Sat Mar 07, 2009 1:52 am UTC

Wasn't this already posted on the fora?
Just FYI, the guy isn't avatar isn't me. But he seems pretty cool.

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Re: Project Implicit: Measuring Subconscious Bias.

Postby jestingrabbit » Sat Mar 07, 2009 2:32 am UTC

Chfan wrote:Wasn't this already posted on the fora?

Searching for posts that contain project and implicit turns up this thread and some unrelated stuff. If you have a link, though, there should definitely be a merge.
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Re: Project Implicit: Measuring Subconscious Bias.

Postby TheAmazingRando » Sat Mar 07, 2009 2:40 am UTC

I've taken a number of these tests, and they always tell me I have a bias towards whichever distinction they give me first. I've received conflicting information on the same subject, depending on how it's ordered, and it always follows that pattern.

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Re: Project Implicit: Measuring Subconscious Bias.

Postby ameretrifle » Sat Mar 07, 2009 2:42 am UTC

I believe Chfan is referring to this.

(I minored in Psych and heard about this test all. the. damned. time. So I remembered.)

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Re: Project Implicit: Measuring Subconscious Bias.

Postby Jahoclave » Sat Mar 07, 2009 6:13 am UTC

Wonderful, I have a slight preference for black people and a slight preference for Jon McCain. I think it's I have a slight inability to press differing buttons with the same hand rapidly and not fuck up.

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Re: Project Implicit: Measuring Subconscious Bias.

Postby Kachi » Sat Mar 07, 2009 11:59 am UTC

Yeah, I've taken tests like this before that told me I had biases about things that I didn't even know existed because they gear you into clicking one way and then trip you up. I really don't trust the validity of these kinds of tests, even setting personal experiences aside. The design is novel at best.

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Re: Project Implicit: Measuring Subconscious Bias.

Postby sje46 » Sat Mar 07, 2009 12:50 pm UTC

Kachi wrote:Yeah, I've taken tests like this before that told me I had biases about things that I didn't even know existed because they gear you into clicking one way and then trip you up. I really don't trust the validity of these kinds of tests, even setting personal experiences aside. The design is novel at best.

I think it's random. If not, that's a design flaw, and incredibly unethical. Do you have a source on this? IF not, please don't make bold accusations like this.

I took this test a few times. In fact, I was a subject (I didn't get the results back for that one =/). I don't think it's flawed, most of the time (for the ones I took, at least). When I first heard about it, I thought it was stupid, but once you take it, it makes sense. You automatically realize thatyour brain associates things with other things, and that you're not aware of this. I don't see a problem with it, but I'm not a researcher or anything.

One thing that does bug me is that it says I have a preference for white people. I don't think "prefer" is the right word. Maybe "biased" is better. I unconsciously assume that black people are going to steal and are bad people, etc. is what this proves, not that I don't want to hang out with them.

Also, I have bias against blacks, but have bias for Obama. This does not surprise me.
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Re: Implicit Association Test

Postby Jahoclave » Sat Mar 07, 2009 3:24 pm UTC

The randomness of their tests wasn't that great. I'd get four to five of the same things in a row. So I'd just be mashing button and then it'd mess up. That and some of their pictures were really hard to tell what skin colour the person was to begin with.

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Re: Implicit Association Test

Postby sje46 » Sat Mar 07, 2009 3:29 pm UTC

Jahoclave wrote:The randomness of their tests wasn't that great. I'd get four to five of the same things in a row. So I'd just be mashing button and then it'd mess up. That and some of their pictures were really hard to tell what skin colour the person was to begin with.

Yes, and some people can get twenty of the same thing in a row. It is all to chance. What I'm saying is that you can't conclude if something is random or not from anectdotal evidence, especially if it's only a series of four or five.
Also, with the skin color, that was precisely the one I took in the study. It was to test unconscious bias towards the biracial, and quadroons, etc.
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Re: Implicit Association Test

Postby Gelsamel » Sat Mar 07, 2009 4:29 pm UTC

Your data suggest little to no automatic preference between Dark Skin and Light Skin.


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Re: Implicit Association Test

Postby Soralin » Sat Mar 07, 2009 8:32 pm UTC

I took one, and had no automatic preference between black and white, and a slight preference toward obama over mccain. I took it again and got through it faster, and got no automatic preference between either of them, even though I do have a strong conscious bias for obama over mccain. ;) I just think a lifetime of video games has made me good at things like this. :)

Also, I found myself using the implicit part of my brain, rather then fighting it. I'd fix mccain=bad, obama=good and holding it in my mind, and using that, and then on the next question I'd fix obama=bad, mccain=good in my mind, and let my altered implicit thoughts handle the responses. Rather then treating them like 4 seperate categories that happen to share a couple of keys and trying to deal with them explicitly and neutrally. Which seems to be what the test assumes someone is going to do, which I naturally bypassed by using a method that allowed me to answer faster.

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Re: Implicit Association Test

Postby Marbas » Sun Mar 08, 2009 1:13 am UTC

This test is silly. It is so very very silly. I realized what they were going for halfway through, then sabotaged my results to make myself appear to have a strong preference for homosexuals.
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Re: Implicit Association Test

Postby Gelsamel » Sun Mar 08, 2009 1:37 am UTC

You can sabotage any test by not following the instructions or lying... :-/
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Re: Implicit Association Test

Postby T-Form » Sun Mar 08, 2009 8:04 am UTC

I had very little to do this afternoon, so I ended up completing a fair number of the sample tests. Apparently:
  • I have a slight association of female with career and male with family
  • I have a slight association of Female with Science and Male with Liberal Arts compared to Male with Science and Female with Liberal Arts
  • I have a slight automatic preference for European American compared to African American
  • I have a moderate automatic preference for Judaism compared to Other Religions
  • I have a moderate association of White Americans with Weapons compared to Black Americans
  • I have a strong automatic preference for Gay People compared to Straight People

Also, it seems that I think philosophy is a science and that Jeffrey is a woman's name.


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