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Implicit Bias Test (Online Discussion)

February 15, 2012

For those who took the implicit bias test, lets talk about the experience: (1) How did taking it make you feel; (2) what did you think of the test; (3) What do you think the consequences of implicit bias; (4) Where are we taught these bias (from whom; by what); (5) What sort of resistance can we employ to address/correct/challenge our own bias

If you haven’t taken the test, go take it and then return to join the conversation


Conversation ends February 26

  1. Carlo Dimaculangan permalink

    1. The test made me feel really awkward about choosing what I think about who will get the promotion, who has higher income, and things like that, because I don’t know how to properly judge based on what they show.
    2. The test was hard to understand, like the purpose, I don’t know what they are trying to say.
    3. The consequence of bias really can be unfair to certain groups of what they look like.
    4. The structure of how we try to make sense of various groups of people makes us think about the biases.
    5. Resistance can be trying to look at abilities instead of backgrounds and looks to judge certain groups.

  2. Reed Clarridge permalink

    I felt surprised by my results. Taking the test, I thought the results would be predictable, but it turned out my predictions were incorrect after all. This signifies that implicit biases are not easily controlled or assessed. I took the mother/father and church/state tests. I predicted I would have a high bias towards my father, who was my primary guardian growing up, but it turned out I had no bias or little indication towards either. I predicted I would have a heavy bias towards the gov compared to the church, having never been very religious, but the test indicated I had minimal bias towards the state. It’s hard to avoid implicit biases, because they are, well, implicit. We create these biases, or rather, they are formed through our intake of the culture, our environments, and our experiences. Our subconscious associates different concepts with the emotions unknowingly activated most often with the concepts, so we end up with biases towards concepts we would not actively associate with positive or negative emotions. This is another test revealing the invisible racism in our culture, as I’m certain many who tried the white/black ended up with good to white and bad to black. This evidence leads to the same conclusion as the evidence in the a girl like me video, namely the doll test. While we can become more aware of our subconscious thus increasing our ability to manipulate it, it is a difficult process. The only way I can see us creating more resistance is cultural awareness of the mechanisms used to create such implicit biases.

  3. Alex Clark permalink

    1. The test made me feel unsure of myself, as I didn’t know enough background information about the individuals I was asked to judge. The test takes into account gender, race, and age, and requests you to pick the best individuals based ONLY on these characteristics. This is not enough to make the correct decision.

    2. I thought the test was properly organized, and was a good mind stressor. It tested your quickest reactions, relating to race and gender.

    3. I think the consequences were that the test taker would show their true colors when asked who would be the best employ (only using race and gender as deciding points).

    4. We are taught these biases by many things; such as family heritage, modern socialization, differential association, and the social ecology in which you live.

    5. We can resist this normative bias, by challenging ourselves to not fall into this trap, and to encourage others to challenge themselves.

  4. Kaylie DeWitte permalink

    Going into the test I thought I knew right away what my results were going to be like. I think of myself as not a racist and always make sure that I act that way, but this test really proves that everyone has implicit biases that can’t be controlled all the time. Taking this test made me feel a little stressed because I felt like I had to really know myself and make sure that I picked the correct answer for a good result in the end. Thinking that I picked the right answers didn’t show in my score though. Having some implicit biases gives consequences of feeling guilty for not even realizing or being consciously aware of your actions or words. Growing up I was never taught to these biases, but thinking back, I did witness acts of bias. I never thought anything of them because they were being done by the people I love and grew up with so I thought it was ok. Now that I’ve grown up and can stand for myself, I’m realizing that those biases need to change. I order to change those biases I need to be able to stand in someone else’s shoes and imagine what their life is like before I open my mouth or act on my thoughts. Never would I want to hurt another person because I know I wouldn’t want someone to hurt me like that. We all live in this society together, so why not think before acting and make it a much better place?

  5. Carolina Salazar permalink

    1. The test made me feel awkward because it asked me how I feel about certain groups based on race and candidates that are running for this year’s presidential election, and I just picked the first thing that came to mind when answering it because I didn’t really have a lot of background of the candidates, and I guess I don’t judge people by race consciously, or I don’t like to anyway.
    2. I think that test was well made. It tested my accuracy and quickness when choosing what’s good and what’s bad.
    3. The consequences of implicit bias is that this test just tells you what group you prefer just based off looks. So, it’s just unfair to be judge just based off looks.
    4. We are taught these biases though family, the society that we live in including the media.
    5. Well, for one, not listen to the media (if that’s possible), and to just be with people from different backgrounds and races to be more culturally aware, and to look at one’s abilities instead of just their race and all the stereotypes associated with that race.

  6. I want to applaud everyone for the thoughtful conversation here. How do you think these implicit biases impact institutions

  7. Alyssa Rumann permalink

    Having taken Implicit Biased Tests before, I already knew the process and what to expect, essentially. That being said, I almost felt like I would be wasting my time because the results always turn out biased in one direction, though I’ve even tried to manipulate them and respond as unbiased as possible. In all honesty, I dislike the test because I feel that it already has answers and results made for me before I even start. Not to say that it actually is, but that’s just how it feels to me. The consequence of implicit bias is that it isn’t a very well rounded bias; it is formed basically off of appearances and little else. Thus, making a judgment or character call on such little information about a person can be hurtful and totally off base. The results from the test saying that you lean towards one group over another is disappointing when you feel that you are not actually like that. Unfortunately, various media and societal influences help push and manipulate you in sometimes hidden ways. That could be a source of the bias you might have that you were mostly unaware of. There isn’t one specific way to “cure” or correct this bias, it’s different for everyone and it present to different degrees. However, I feel that if people can be more aware of their first thoughts to something, or recognize that they might have been biased even unintentionally, it might do some good. Having more awareness is the first step in the right direction.

    • Madison McKenzie permalink

      I can completely agree with your first couple sentences. I took the implicit bias test for a sociology class and felt the same way going into the test. I can relate and understand why you dislike the test. I also found myself agreeing with your point on the consequences of the implicit bias test; it does seem that the whole test is based off of appearance. I think that we both have a very similar view on this test and knew what to expect going into it.

  8. John Pally permalink

    1. During the test, I did feel a bit strange about looking at the pictures then choosing who I thought would get the promotion, how much do women get paid compared to men, and even the bias of who is a helper and who is a leader. After the test it said I have a slight bias which I was surprised about.
    2. Though I did like the test, it was difficult to understand and even though I do respect the results, I do not believe they are 100% correct for me.
    3. The consequences of bias can be, higher wages for men, higher paying jobs for white males, and unfair treatment of certain groups.
    4. Personally, I was taught these biases by friends, coaches, teachers, media, and family. It seems as if these biases are implanted in our minds right when we are born.
    5. Some types of resistance can be taking a step back in thinking about what you are saying, taking a step out of your comfort zone and asking yourself if you are doing something that is bias and if it is trying to change that and better yourself.

  9. Desirae Meza permalink

    1.) Before I even took this test I was wondering what kind of questions they would be asking. Once I began I kind of felt like my answers had to be based on what my first thought was when I read the question. 2.) I thought the test tested people’s thoughts on different cultures 3.) I think the consequences of implicit bias is it makes you seem as if you r prefer one group over another when in reality you feel equally the same about each group. Once you see that it makes you feel confused as to your views on different groups. 4.) I would say that we are taught these biases based on our social environment. People influence our thoughts and choices. If we were surrounded in a society where there was negativity towards one group then a majority of people would be negative. The media also influences how we choose to act. Unfortunately the media is everywhere so we grow to see stereotypical images. 5.) The sort of resistance we can employ to address/ correct/ challenge our own bias is to be aware of our surroundings and to interact with other cultures. We need to understand that people are people and that the color of one’s skin should not influence the way we think of them. We need to like people for who they are and look beyond their race. We also want to avoid what the media tries to make us think.

    • Racharlle (Landa) Mendoza permalink

      When I began the test, I also had the feeling you had! I am a person that over thinks, and I definitely felt like my answers had to be based on what my first thoughts were as well. Regarding your answer to question number four, I totally agree with you! In my answer, I didn’t really go into depth about it… but you kind of took the words out of my mouth! I feel like society (people) follows the “majority”. Just like the example you gave “If we were surrounded in a society where there was negativity towards one group then a majority of people would be negative.” The last thing I want to add is… I feel like this test is based upon/created in a bias matter (the questions AND the answers). Do you feel that way as well?

  10. Madison McKenzie permalink

    While taking the implicit bias test I felt confused and kind of frazzled. I was stressing while trying to pick the answer I thought would give my results a positive outcome. At the beginning when you had to determine “good” and “bad” I kept messing up and pushing the wrong keys and that stressed me out. I found the first few questions to be awkward, seeing as I’ve never had to rate races. I also didn’t know how to judge individuals because not a lot of information on them was given. I can see how the test makes sense to use but feel like there should be more too it, not just looks and fast or slow pressing of keys on a keyboard. A definite consequence of the implicit bias test is that it doesn’t test anything but appearance. The quote goes, “you can’t judge a book by its cover,” but that’s exactly what I felt this test was doing, it had you judge based on appearance. I think that we are taught bias behavior from numerous different sources such as media, people close to us, teachers and society in general. I do believe that where everyone learns these bias behaviors though varies. I also believe it has a lot to do with upbringing and what you are exposed to at a young age. I agree with what a majority of people are saying on how to address, correct and challenge our own bias. I think a major element towards addressing and correcting our bias is to take a second to think about what we say and do. We need to be aware of our actions and not just act on impulse. We need to take into consideration our surroundings and the people around us. To challenge our own bias, I would defiantly agree that it is necessary to experience other cultures and step outside of our comfort zone.

  11. Racharlle (Landa) Mendoza permalink

    A lot of the people that have commented on this are saying the Implicit Bias Test stressed them out , or made them feel a little weird. For me, this rarely happened. It was more of… I was torn between answers. On some of the questions, I felt like more than one answer could fit! So I kind of just randomly picked between them because they equally satisfied me. While on others, I thought the answers were ridiculous and didn’t want to even choose because none of them applied to me! I think we are raised with these “bias” views. Maybe sometimes these bias views are “TAUGHT” to us, but for the most part we are kind of blind and these views just happen, like we don’t even realize we are thinking certain things (and sometimes fail to realize they’re bad or wrong)… if that makes any sense. I don’t think the IBT should NOT exist, but I wouldn’t rely on the answers or tell someone to take it!

  12. Logan Mayes permalink

    1. Although it was awkward to hash out all of your stereotypes in the form of a quiz, the reality everyone carries bias, so once you put yourself in perspective its a very smooth process.
    2. on some questions it was difficult to answer not as a result of your own bias but rather societal bias. Although something inside you tells you that you should adhere to the stereotype the reality is that isnt how you really think. For instance i personally think a black man has an equal chance of recieving a promotion however the administrator giving out the promotion may be biased and rule in favor of the white man.

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