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11 August 2007 @ 03:40 pm
Interesting anonymous online test to take about your biases  
So, I've been reading the book Blink, which talks about the importance of snap judgements in decision making, as opposed to the long encouraged rational analytical mode.  Because my mom is something of a loose cannon, who makes all kinds of sudden and often destructive snap judgements, and I've always been closer to my dad, who is deeply committed to the scientific method, I have tended to shy away from my intuitive responses, and overthink things.  Which can make me inefficient and indecisive.  Anyway, I've been fascinated by the book.  But that isn't the focus of my post.

The author talks about a set of studies that are run by Harvard University and available online.  The studies are designed to identify unconscious biases in people's beliefs.  In other words, while a person may like to think of themselves as color blind, are they more likely to see people of European ancestry as American, and people of Asian ancestry as foreign?  Are they more likely to see weapons as associated with African-Americans and harmless items as associated with European-Americans?  (For those of you reading this who do not live in the US, fear not, you can enter the site through different flags.) 

Anyway, I've been fascinated by the tests they give--it helps that for the most part my results have matched my conscious values pretty well, if I was getting results indicating I was a homophobic racist  I would be bummed.   Of course I'm well aware that everyone is steeped in a culture of stereotypes, and we all have to educate ourselves to overcome those prejudices, we can't just coast on our good intentions, so it is useful to learn areas where I do have work to do. 

Anyway, if anyone else is interested in trying these tests, they are anonymous, and this is the URL. 


Current Location: lrc's
Current Mood: relievedand curious
graeco_celtgraeco_celt on August 12th, 2007 07:29 am (UTC)
Hate to say it but all these do is test your automatic reflexes. :S

I've done plenty of them before, at university, for psychologists who were testing exactly that: hand/eye co-ordination, brain reflexes etc.

They don't prove anything above your subconscious leanings.
They'd get more accurate results doing rapid fire word association tests.
zabsterzabster on August 12th, 2007 08:57 am (UTC)
Dunno about that. The tests seemed pretty well designed to equalize that sort of mistaken attribution. I'd tell you to try one yourself and see what you think, but I'm a procrastinator myself, and I know you are up against your thesis...
graeco_celtgraeco_celt on August 12th, 2007 03:34 pm (UTC)
Oh sorry, I should have said that I actually did take one of them (the age one) and it was really really wrong in its conclusion 'cos I am more disappointed in, fearful of and disgusted by most young people, these days, than anything.

There's a reason that most of the poeple I hang out with (and have always hung out with) are older than I am.

I started one of the other tests but gave it away, when I realized it was just the same thing over again.