Racism: The Implicit Associations Test Essay

Racism: The Implicit Associations Test Essay

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What is racism? The definition given by Merriam Webster’s dictionary is, “a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial difference produce an inherent superiority of a particular race”. From the definition alone we can see that racism and prejudice are horrible and incorrect errors in a person’s thinking that no one would, or should, be proud to admit to having such feelings. Is it true though, that race or prejudicial feelings do not come into consideration at all to such people who profess they truly do not bias towards those of another race or group? A person may be showing signs of modern racism in which they outwardly show and act as if they are an unprejudiced person, while inwardly having negative prejudiced attitudes. Is there any way to really find out if a person has these types of feelings? This is one of the ideas behind the Implicit Associations Test.
The creation of the implicit associations test was to find out if there is a way to determine if it is possible to actually know the inner feelings that someone has, but that they may not be able or willing to report. It may also be a way for someone to determine if their explicit attitudes line up with their implicit attitudes and be able to know themselves a little better than they did before. Before taking the tests, I decided which four that I felt had the most relevance towards myself. I chose one based on my preferences for religion because I consider myself a religious person and have respect and an interest in religious teachings. Two of the tests I chose were based on that I am, ever so slightly, part of that race; The Asian and Native American IAT. The fourth and final test I chose was the weapons IAT and I ch...

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...ay not consciously hold those same values.
If a person has an explicit negative outlook toward a specific group or holds prejudicial feelings, more than likely their implicit attitude would also be the same. In turn someone holding these views would have a biased opinion against such a group or person and would discriminate against someone of said group for no reason other than they are a part of the group.
Taking an Implicit association test may not be something that we would want to base any serious decisions off of; it is a useful tool in being able to learn about ourselves better. By being made aware that we may unconsciously hold views that we are not proud of, we can inoculate ourselves and make a personal change for the better.

Aronson, E., Wilson, T. D., & Akert, R. M. (2013). Social psychology (8th ed.). Boston: Pearson.

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