I recently signed up for a study being done by Harvard Research. It’s called Project Implicit, and the point is to determine what certain people implicit feel. Here’s what the site says:
It is well known that people don’t always ‘speak their minds’, and it is suspected that people don’t always ‘know their minds’. Understanding such divergences is important to scientific psychology.
This web site presents a method that demonstrates the conscious-unconscious divergences much more convincingly than has been possible with previous methods. This new method is called the Implicit Association Test, or IAT for short.
The most common type is automatic preferences for one thing over another. On their list of demonstration tests, for example, they have tests that show if a person has an automatic preference towards light- or dark-skinned people (I have none either way), or if a person has a preference towards Judaism or other religions (I have a strong preference towards Judaism).
If one registers for the study, whenever they log in to the site, they’ll be given a random test, and then given the results of said test. So, I decided it would be interesting to post some of the results of the tests I’ve taken. I’ll just quote them exactly, and I’ll put one result in a post. The following is regarding my preference for US places over Foreign.
Your data suggest a strong automatic preference for American Places compared to Foreign Places.
Depending on the magnitude of your result, your automatic associations may be described as ‘slight’, ‘moderate’, ‘strong’, or ‘little to no preference (or identity)’. How implicit associations affect our judgments and behaviors is not well understood. Also, the score described above may be in_uenced by a number of variables including your familiarity with the categories and the particular items used to represent the categories. As such, the score should serve as an opportunity for self-reflection, not as a definitive assessment of your implicit thoughts or feelings. This and future research will clarih the way in which implicit thinking and feelings affects our perception, judgment, and action.
I’ll post more results soon.