Implicit Association Tests
Implicit Association Tests
Many are the times when human interactions are characterized by discrimination, racism, and bias. Sometimes the unequal treatments are either intentional or intrinsic. To explain these biases in communication, Anthony Greenwald and other scientific proponents came up with a tool that could disclose the inherent preferences of the individual in human interactions. The Implicit Association Test (IAT) is an excellent way of exploring the “hidden” biases that exist in individuals when they express their views about different individuals based on race, age, gender, and sexuality. However, experts have been on the record criticizing the application of this test to students stating the inability of the test to capture the implicit biases. The proponents of IAT said that the keyway of combating the systemic prejudice that exists in society lies in understanding the inherent racism.
The results articulated in the New York Times’ responses indicate there is much more than the IAT entails rather than the dull understandings of the two conflicting sides (Röhner & Thoss, 2018). Others use the test to present results that make them feel morally better than they who haven’t taken the test. Some also have little or no trust in the analysis and do not believe in its validity.
In the same way, the reactions from the individuals on this phenomenon of implicit bias are mixed. There exists no absolute blame from the discussions that are aimed at the IAT: some individuals will seem to comply with the concept and try to change their intrinsic behavior. In contrast, others will discard the idea and move on with their discriminatory habits. Though at a substantial level, the tool has been at the forefront of advocating for the inclusivity of individuals from all the races, it can’t fully be able to solve racism.
IAT as a tool allows every participant to discover their own hidden cognitive biases. Naturally, many people know one of their overt preferences, but it becomes tough for them to understand their covert biases. Therefore, this test IAT can be used by any individual for their benefit of living together with others in a racism-free state.
Implicit Association Test (IAT) is a simple helper method of understanding how our subconscious affects our daily activities. With this test, we can evaluate our interactions with others and try to change the subconscious views that we might have towards other individuals based on the indifferences in race, color, sexuality, and gender. This test also opens a gateway to many of the participants once their unconscious bias awareness has been put on the check—their desire to improve the underlying situation and focus on more professional and personal interactions increases.
Psychologists believe that individuals will always be afraid to express their inner thoughts just because they are intentionally holding the idea back or are unable to show it. A good example is a drunkard who takes two bottles of beer every day. When the individual is confronted and asked about his drinking habit, he is likely to either admit that he takes a lesser number of bottles in a day or even despise the question as it being personal (Röhner & Thoss, 2018). The thinking in the mind of the drunkard when he admits to taking just one bottle a day can be the setting in his mind that he drinks a little bear approximately one bottle. What the drunkard never knows is that giving the wrong number/answer can be termed as self-deception that can be easily attributed to the inability of an individual to provide a correct solution.
According to Lazarevic (n.d), the distinction between the unwilling and the unable aspects in humans behavior is similar to the difference between intentionally hiding something from others and unintentionally hiding something from oneself. By using the Implicit Association Test, therefore, one can traverse the two types of hiding. The IAT captures the implicit behaviors and belief systems individuals find hard or are unwilling to report.”
Limitations of the test
Siers & Christiansen (2017) stated that the balanced identity IAT measures give results on a cumulative style where individuals answer the test, and their implicit behaviors are given in a representative of the overall group interviewed. This becomes hard for the individual to understand their characters since the analysis provides a group with the result. Many Participants always view black men to be much more dangerous to interact with, more masculine, and likely to cause harm as opposed to the white men of the same size. The participants view that was they policemen/women; they would use force to arrest the black men even when they are not armed.
In conclusion, there are many and beneficial areas where this test can be applied in real life to bring meanings in the presence of different individuals. First, in making the job evaluations, it can be very productive. Using the IAT tool, therefore, is an essential strategy that can be used in finding out whether an individual will perfectly fit in a corporate world. Other standardized tests don’t give solutions to the interpretation of the fact that getting along with coworkers is a central issue rather than a physical phenomenon. Summarily, in clinical settings, though not in a literal case can be used to understand the client’s ailments. When, for instance, a client comes in with really vague symptoms, it can be beneficial to perform an IAT to focus the attention of the doctor/psychiatrist to a particular part. Understanding different individuals and their behaviors at a time can be hard since continued tests on an individual can develop a tendency to mimic the responses. In this case, the IAT is essential since it opens up more avenues where exploration can be done. However, this is a very effective strategy to use on patients; psychologists have to have at least well-documented evidence of the client’s past experiments to make an elaborate comparison.
Lazarevic, L. (n.d.). Relations between implicit and explicit measures of personality – prospects of Implicit Association Test (IAT) in assessment of basic personality traits.
Röhner, J., & Thoss, P. (2018). EZ: An Easy Way to Conduct a More Fine-Grained Analysis of Faked and Nonfaked Implicit Association Test (IAT) Data. The Quantitative Methods for Psychology, 14(1), 17-37.
Siers, B., & Christiansen, N. (2017). IAT and self-report trait measures in a selection context. PsycEXTRA Dataset.