I found the Implicit Associations Test to be extremely frustrating. It was aggravating knowing which letter I was supposed to press and actually getting my fingers to press the correct letter. I found myself yelling at the computer and at myself when I would press the wrong letter. I also had a hard time remembering what categories corresponded with “e” or “i” and there were times I didn’t mean to press a button but my fingers did it for me. It made me feel somewhat helpless. I couldn’t control how I answered the questions even though I really do not dislike black people.

I found it somewhat comforting to watch the youtube clips about the creators of the IAT and how even after they created the tests and have made it their life’s work to not be racist or not be sexist, they both still scored moderate or high on racism and sexism. I think that the videos prove that even if we make implicit associations, we can still actively go against those implicit associations in our everyday interactions.

4 thoughts on “IAT

  1. I completely agree, I found myself very frustrated with the test as well. But after talking about it in class I think the frustration was worth it and that it is a very important test to take. Even if we can find many excuses, like Lexie said, I think it still over all says something about our implicit bias and is important to become aware of. And I agree very much with you Alex that we should take these frustrations and really focus on our actions we can control!

  2. I also had a very difficult time performing the IAT tests and receiving my results. My understanding of racism is that it is multidimensional and cannot be completely measured by one or two tests on the computer that I truly do believe are not entirely accurate. While I see them as a way to point out important aspects of racism that might reflect some occurrences of unconscious bias, I also think that racism cannot be stripped down to be only understood and explained by these tests. I was upset for a bit about my results but then began to think about it in this way and realize that at this point I have very little control over those implicit biases. However, I do have control over other interactions I have with racism and how I express it. Therefore, i am trying to focus on what I can control.

  3. I dont think that there is much room for excuses. Do you think that the individual truly is unaware of their biases? Or are we so socially conforming that we can convince ourselves that we do not have prejudices simply because we claim to ourselves that we do not want these beliefs. Can you lie to yourself until you eventually believe your own lie?

  4. The thing I find interesting about the IAT is that though it has been proven to be very accurate, there are many ways people can claim that it did not accurately portray their racism. Because it measures something that they cannot control, any excuse such as “My left and right hand aren’t the same speed; I was distracted; I think it was unfair” will be used. Do you think that this type of tests leaves a lot of room for excuses, and do you think they’re legitimate?

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