The Implicit Association Test (IAT) investigates the feelings and thoughts within our conscious control and those outside our conscious awareness. The tests range from preferences for sports teams, pets, sexuality, race, political issues, religion, entertainers style of music among other. Results from these tests usually show the conscious-unconscious human divergences more convincingly. The below paragraphs dwell on the two tests that I completed and the implication of the results that I obtained.
- The Gender-Career IAT test
Test designed to reveal a link between males & career and family & females. After I concluded the procedure, I obtained results that suggested there was very little to no association in my preference between career and family with male and female. The results relate perfectly to Sapir Whorf’s hypothesis, also known as Whorfianism.
According Whorf’s linguistic relativity hypothesis, the structure of a language spoken by a given individual affects how that individual conceptualizes his or her world, that is language influences individual’s cognitive processes (Denham & Lobeck, 2010, p. 546). The hypothesis is applicable in explaining the results that I obtained in the Gender-Career IAT test. Similar to how workers arrive to smoke cigarettes at the factory near empty gasoline containers, the notion of viewing certain extents of associations between females and males with family and career shows ours perception of each word in relation to how we categorize it in our heads to refer to when we come across gender specific phenomenon.
- The European American & African American Implicit Associations test
Upon completing the test process, I received data results that showed slight association between African American and bad, compared to European American and Good. The results reminded me of Gordon Moskowitz, a social psychologist who has studied in depth how we perceive others, the nature of stereotyping and how to control stereotyped thoughts from occurring and influencing our evaluations and actions towards others.
The results remind me of Moskowitz theory on expectations, which is what we perceive to know may lead us unconsciously to stereotypical tendencies when we interact with individuals of other races (Moskowitz, 2005, p. 511). For instance, the results show that I have a tendency to relate the European Americans with goodness, while relating the African Americans with evil. The views I hold about these two different racial groups is an example of what I know, or I think I know based on information that I have obtained from my surrounding environment and general knowledge. The general environment includes information we process from the media, for instance the black youthful population predominantly features in the news for wrongdoings such as crime and drug abuse. In addition, the blacks represent only 12.6% of the United States population but they constitute more than half of the U.S. prison inmates. Perhaps these general statistics have led me to develop stereotypes against the African Americans. The results further imply that I am likely to have expectations or stereotypes when either I meet and interact with a white person or an African American based on the stereotypes I have developed throughout the years. My perception is chained by the influence of these expectation/stereotypes. Moskowitz proposes that individuals should learn to prevent stereotypic thinking from occurring, and if it does, it should not influence their actions and evaluations towards others.
Denham, K. E., & Lobeck, A. C. (2010).Linguistics for everyone: an introduction. Boston, MA: Wadsworth/ Cengage Learning.
Moskowitz, Gordon B. Social cognition: understanding self and others. New York: Guilford Press, 2005. Print.