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13 July 2009 @ 10:42 am
implicit association tests  
so i took all of these demonstration tests at https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/ for a class project and i am glad it is over. i have huge test taking anxiety and the whole process sucked. my desire to give the "right" answer is enormous and it was extremely frustrating. these are supposed to measure how brain-washed you are by societal prejudices. for the most part it did not tell me much that i would have not have expected. here are my absolutely riveting results and some related navel-gazing:

1. Moderate automatic preference for Abled Persons compared to Disabled Persons. (2nd most common result, 27%)
I question their definition of these associations. I have a strong preference for not becoming disabled. I do not agree at all that this translates as a preference for abled persons over disabled persons themselves. I do not really know of anyone who has a strong preference for the condition of disability, so it is not surprising that symbols denoting it have a negative association. What on earth does this have to do with how one feels about actual people?

2. Little to no automatic preference between Straight People and Gay People. (3rd most common result, 17%)
I am a little surprised. I thought I'd have a slight preference for gay people but then, i don't really like anyone all that much on a group level. also, their "heterosexual" wedding cake dolls look like a butch and femme lesbian couple to me.

3. No automatic preference between Other People and Arab Muslims. (Most common result, 20%)
I am not surprised.

4. Strong association of White Americans with Foreign and Native Americans with American. (Least common result ?!?!WTF? 5%)
Well, duh. You know, I heard the sun rose in the East this morning. Shocking and amazing.

5. Little or no association between Asian American and European American with American and Foreign. (2nd most common result, tied with moderate automatic assoc. of Euro-Am. w/Am. and Asian-Am. w/foreign, 24%)
I am not really surprised. I have plenty of association with "white" people being "foreign", with "foreign-born" people being "American", and am often the only non-Asian in a room. (And boy howdy are those kids "All-American".) Oh, and as we've discovered in #4, European Americans are Foreign Anyway.

6. Little or no association between Female and Male with Career and Family. (4th most common result, 17%)
Not surprising. I am female, have a career, and want to be a parent.

7. Moderate automatic preference for African American compared to European American. (2nd least common result, 4%)
Not really surprised but I'll spare the navel-gazing.

8. A strong automatic preference for Barack Obama compared to recent presidents. (most common result, 28%)
Having to sort Nixon, Johnson, Reagan, and Clinton into a category called "Recent Presidents or Good" was extraordinarily painful.

9. Moderate association of Male with Science and Female with Liberal Arts. (most common result, 28%)
This hurt. Up until this one I was sure that it would be really easy to slant one's responses to get the result one prefers, then I took this and despite being sleep deprived and angry and over-tested all of my responses favored this answer. It was Easy. It was Automatic. It wasn't fun to watch. I am totally brainwashed despite having a successful post-secondary academic background in the sciences and math. I guess it is not as easy to make these tests give you the answer you want as I thought it would be.

10. Slight automatic preference for Dark Skin compared to Light Skin. (3rd least common result, 6%)
Not really surprised but probably aesthetic.

11. Slight association of Black Americans with Weapons compared to White Americans. (3rd most common result tied with little to no automatic assoc., 19%)
Uh...okay but it does not measure why, for example, that it is perfectly reasonable to associate Black Americans with being more likely to die a violent death by weapons (say, at the hands of police or during hate crimes), whereas the test implies that it is a measure of a belief that Black Americans are more dangerous and more likely to be wielding weapons. Also, I could personally kill a fella with more than half of their "harmless objects".

12. Slight automatic preference for Young compared to Old. (3rd most common result, 16%)
Yes because I prefer to be considered young rather than old (this changed when I turned about 27--before that I was flattered when people thought I was older). I can tell ya it ain't a preference for younger people.

13. Slight automatic preference for Fat People compared to Thin People. (3rd least common result, 7%)
If you say so...I would have thought that this was an aesthetic preference because I do have an aesthetic preference for fleshier people compared to thinner ones but none of the photos of either fat or thin people (with a single exception) were physically attractive.

14. Religious preferences: I scored as completely neutral in preference between Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.
...Gee, surprising, since I love all of the world religions soooooooo much! Having been raised in American culture, though, it is much easier to have an automatic association between "Christian" and "Good", not because I believe it to be so (ha, ha ha!) but because we are so programmed by mass media (and, of course, by churches and other organizations) to automatically associate the two.

In conclusion, what an enormous pain in my butt!
 
 
 
thlaylimothfishboymaenad on July 13th, 2009 08:11 pm (UTC)
re 1, I prefer abled persons to disabled persons, as a category, because in my experience, disabled persons are less likely to share my odd strain of personal cultural reference points. in fact, in my experience being lumped with disabled persons in special assistance PE in elementary school, they generally weren't as bright and motivated and shiny as I like my friends to be, and trying to talk with them frustrated me and/or freaked me out. but I don't think this makes me a bad person. it just means I like steering toward the folks I have the best clickage with.

edited to add: this is the kind of prejudice that keeps me steering toward more than steering away from. in a busy social field, I'll steer toward the things I am most drawn to. but I don't think I'd steer *away* from talking with someone disabled, unless they were exhibiting signs of "person I wouldn't like" as well. hum. I've had issues trying to understand this kind of thing in myself and others over the years, so there I goes again, hacking at it.

re 9, it's possible that Hard Science and Men both seemed less exciting and awesome to you than Liberal Arts and Women. I know I'd probably lump the first two under "pretty cool but I don't really feel motivated" and the last two under "I generally feel safer and more excited".

and that's my issues in a nutshell.

Edited at 2009-07-13 08:16 pm (UTC)
Stacy McKennastacymckenna on July 13th, 2009 08:27 pm (UTC)
1 - I would be totally unsurprised to score significant preference for ability over disability. I am highly geared to efficiency and competency, things not supported by most disabilities, be they based on congenital, social, age, or any other source. I find myself frustrated when having to cope with those who suffer a physical or mental delay, even if I don't find them "at fault" so to speak. Having a cousin with severe cerebral palsy that limits her mental and physical capabilities has taught me patience with it, but also pointed out to me where I am not impartial about it. Being married to an OT, I'm obviously a bit more educated about many disabilities than the general public, but I'm also therefore more self-aware about which I can cope with gracefully, and which I can't.

12 - It would also means I am likely to show preference for youth over age, as I would find the geriatric infirmities and resultant disabilities undesirable.

9 - being a female engineer with several male intimates who are liberal arts, I would be curious to know how I score on this one, but I would still be unsurprised to know I scored "typical" as I know that all of us are the exceptions in our fields.