I’m feeling mentally a little punch drunk right now.
I’ve just taken a couple of Implicit Association Tests.
These are tests which purport to pick up on your unconscious prejudices and report them back to you. Unfortunately they are very US-centric. But apart from that particular bias, (which – surely – the academics concerned must be aware of), they are fascinating.
The tests are exhausting to complete – images and words are flashed up on the screen at high speed and you have to categorise them, sorting the words into “good” and “bad” and sorting the images into “gay” and straight”. A predilection for hardcore BDSM would seriously skew your results. “Humiliation” and “pain” are both presumed to be “bad”. I’m not too keen on either, but I did find it an interesting choice of words for a test about attitudes to sexual preferences.
Apparently I have a slight subconscious preference for homosexuality. Well, there’s a thing.
I then did a test to determine my reactions to Asian Americans. This was where it got really confusing, because the comparison was between Asian American faces and White American Faces and between American Images and Foreign Images. I grew up in sight of the Severn suspension Bridge and have never seen the Golden Gate other than in movies. And I am sorry. Tower Bridge and Stonehenge are not Foreign. It was like trying to sort images of cards where the clubs and spades were red and the hearts and diamonds were black.
Apparently I am more likely to think of Whites as Americans and Asians as Not Americans. Which is hardly a surprise really, given that Americans on film and TV are predominantly white, or not Asian, at least.
But the image > click > image > click > image > click > image > click > image > click > has worn me out.
Interesting tests though.