Project Implicit - Implicit Association Tests

Much of the conversation around diversity presupposes that people are not always consistent in what they believe. While a person may work to consciously believe in racial equality--for example, due to their upbringing, friendships, experiences, or any number of factors--they may unconsciously carry around negative associations and stereotypes about a particular group.

But how can we recognize what our own biases are?

The Project Implicit Implicit Association Tests reveal potential implicit biases and associations one may have with a certain group or groups. Founded by three scientists in 1998, this organization's mission is to study and educate the public about unconscious and hidden biases.

Excerpt

"People don’t always say what’s on their minds. One reason is that they are unwilling. For example, someone might report smoking a pack of cigarettes per day because they are embarrassed to admit that they smoke two. Another reason is that they are unable. A smoker might truly believe that she smokes a pack a day, or might not keep track at all. The difference between being unwilling and unable is the difference between purposely hiding something from someone and unknowingly hiding something from yourself.

"The Implicit Association Test (IAT) measures attitudes and beliefs that people may be unwilling or unable to report. The IAT may be especially interesting if it shows that you have an implicit attitude that you did not know about. For example, you may believe that women and men should be equally associated with science, but your automatic associations could show that you (like many others) associate men with science more than you associate women with science."