The Implicit Association Test (IAT) completed provided that my data suggested no automatic association of Women with Family and Men with Careers. The study was utilized to provide a better understanding of what predicts attitudes toward abortion, however, the disclaimer stated that the results are not a definitive assessment of my implicit preference. According to this section, it stated that the results might be influenced by various items related to the test such as the category labels, particular items used to represent the categories, or the individual taking the test, such as how fatigued that individual might be.
The IAT measures associations between various concepts and attributes, and making a response is easier if closely related items share the same response key. The test was conducted in such a way as to trip the individual up on how they responded, by changing the response order from one question to the other and repeating questions with different response options. For that reason, I do not have a great deal of trust in the responses even though it did state that my results showed that I didn’t relate to Men with Careers or Women with Family (which would probably be a common tendency for those with implicit bias in that direction especially for someone with a more conservative mindset regarding family and family structure/makeup). I personally have a conservative approach to family, and involvement with children but also fairness in the ability of both the wife and husband to have careers and equal opportunities for attaining their career goals and having lucrative salary opportunities.
Additionally, I think the test would be more accurate should the details be provided up front as to how many sections the survey provides, as when I was taking it, it felt like it kept going on and on. Therefore, near the end of the survey, I was just trying to get through the questions rather than feeling like I was putting my full attention on the questions. Additionally, it draws on an individual’s memory of which keys signify which items correlated together, which changes in each section. Someone who does not have a great memory or does not perform well under the pressure of trying to input responses quickly will do worse on the test than someone else. As a result, the results might be skewed for that reason rather than the actual underlying implicit bias of the individual. I also felt that reaction time and focus could impact the results of the test, whether the individual took the test with appropriate rest so that they could respond quickly and appropriately. I also feel that as some people move through the test questions, they might start to second guess their responses and not answer with their true feelings.
Results & More Resources
I did feel that the results aligned with my declared beliefs, which the Kirwan Institute Study article stated would not necessarily happen. The article states that “…implicit bias is activated involuntarily and without an individual’s awareness.” I thought that it was odd that my implicit bias was aligned with my known attitude toward the topics in the test questions.
In the Scientific American article regarding how to think about implicit bias, the left, and the right political viewpoints look at implicit bias in diverse ways and many times use the controversy to focus negative attention on the other group. According to the article, those who took the IAT test showed evidence of implicit bias, suggesting that people are more prejudiced than they believe themselves to be. The article notes that the results provide an average outcome rather than the reaction that might result in specific situations.
Authors The Kirwan Institute. (n.d.). Understanding implicit bias. Understanding Implicit Bias | Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity. Retrieved May 7, 2023, from https://kirwaninstitute.osu.edu/article/understanding-implicit-bias
Payne, K. (2018, March 27). How to think about ‘implicit bias’. Scientific American. Retrieved May 7, 2023, from https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-to-think-about-implicit-bias/
Projectimplicit. Project Implicit. (n.d.). Retrieved May 7, 2023, from https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/
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