The Implicit Association Test

Developed by Harvard researchers, the Implicit Association Test (IAT) is an interesting way to spot your own prejudices, even if you think you don’t have any. Case in point, me. I am most open about racial differences, having faced prejudice from various sources, may they have been at a minor level, I am fully aware of them. I study African-American literature. I identify with the race. However, the test proved that I am “Slightly biased towards the European American race”, consisting of 17% of the population. Although it was better than being completely biased towards the European American race, or against the African American race, I wished it proved I was not biased at all.

The test is simple, but by the time you get to the end of it, it will play games with your thinking capacity. I’m no scholar, but I do feel that the way it was organized, resulted in me giving a few wrong answers. Also, I am not good with my fingers on the keyboard, and hit the wrong key a few times. However, there is no denying that unknowingly, we associate certain words with certain kinds of people. The constant bombarding of images on our minds through the television results in us thinking in a certain way, although on the exterior we might think that we are not discriminatory. All of us, especially people of color in the United States, must take this test. The test does not give you measures to change your bias, but identifying it might be the first step to bringing about a change. Even if we change simple things like racial slurs (which happens unknowingly), we can take away racial discrimination at the level of common people.

Take the test here. Read the directions carefully before you start. Good luck.

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