The Implicit Association Test is widely used for Psychological research. IAT is a tool to test automatic preferences, unconscious attitudes, and beliefs. The test has been used for gender, sexuality, age, racial groups, and religion. The test causes various debates regarding its usefulness, reliability, and validity. IAT use people’s assumption as the mechanism to adjust their reactions and responses based on society’s expectations. The implicit Association Test uses two sets of data categorized as either good or bad. This paper describes and interprets the results of my IAT.
I choose a religious test association for the assignment. The theme for the test was to determine the most liked religion between Christianity and Judaism. The IAT results confirm the automatic preference for Christianity over Judaism by many people (Alogna et al., 2019). Coincidentally, the results were consistent and right with my assessments. However, the initial set of responses was unaccounted for based on the description of the results. The test results were not surprising to me as they met my expectations.
Test Results For Personally Valid
I have a strong belief that my IAT results were right. As stated earlier, the results were consistent with self-assessments. However, the results were not consistently based on the tool validity for two main reasons. First, the testing process was complex and challenging; hence had a poor indication of implicit bias. The participants introduced the muscle memory factor to give a quick response based on the test rules. Secondly, I used a neutral scale to analyze the results, making it challenging to demonstrate non-negative results for non-prejudiced people.
The test results raise an implicit and explicit attitudes concern. The results match my personal preferences and hence objectively self-reflective. As a responsible individual in real life, I acknowledge the biases in my personality. I also make a conscious effort to account for them in everyday life. However, since the accuracy of the test did not guarantee consistency, I imagine the same results in another area I am less biased.
Implicit attitudes have a significant impact when determining behavior compared to explicit bias (Machery, 2022). Once people acknowledge their preferences, they gain the possibility to adjust their decisions accordingly. When individuals become members of a specific community, they must constantly adapt to society’s different conditions, requirements, expectations, and norms. People continuously adjust their behaviors to meet the desired social expectations and outcomes. The fact remains even for the individuals who do not conceal their implicit bias. Therefore, the factor is more significant than the existence of explicit bias.
The results of my self-assessment could be right. Self-perceptions depend on multiple factors, but only a few appear at a given time. The extent of prejudice towards the Christian religion over Judaism may not be too obvious. Therefore, I consider myself inadequately aware of my real feelings and thoughts. However, in making objective judgments, I find my self-awareness adequate in any situation. I also opt to retain the level of perception. Generally, I describe the access to my feelings and thoughts as slightly inaccuracy.
Causes of Prejudicial Attitudes
Religious prejudicial attitudes have various causes. First societal and religious discrimination occurs due to ideologies, doctrines, and beliefs. Monotheistic religions believe in the existence of one God, but they compete intolerantly. The monotheistic religions include Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. The different religions have distinct doctrines and beliefs. However, each religion undermines other religious identities. This causes discrimination and conflicts between different groups. For instance, in countries where most are Christians, they tend to undermine and discriminate against minority religions.
Additionally, some governments discriminate against minority religions because of power politics and elite interests. They use society’s influence to ensure religious monopoly. The government believes that sacred trust causes more funds, impact, and congregants. Religious monopoly is important for politicians as they convey clergy legitimacy making them spend less (Delehanty et al., 2019). It also reduces law enforcement costs as the population’s morals are exemplary. Thus, the governments discriminate and oppress religious minorities for their interests.
I could see similarities and differences between my bias and other people’s potential biases. The similarity occurs with almost all people from the Christian religion. The belief is that their religion is the most dominant worldwide. They pride themselves on being Christians rather than other religions, just like I do. The difference occurs among people from minority religious beliefs. Jews strongly believe that their religion is the best and the most dominant hence contradicting my personal bias.
The implicit association test results were right and consistent with my personal bias. However, they are questionable because of implicit and explicit bias. The possible causes of the bias include religious discrimination and power politics. The method has strength as it can be used for initiating self-evaluation to give the right and valid results. People can use the IAT tool for responsible decision-making and critical thinking.
Alogna, V. K., Bering, J., Balkcom, E., & Halberstadt, J. (2019). Religious intuitions and the nature of “belief.”Studia Humana, 8(3), 58-68.
Delehanty, J., Edgell, P., & Stewart, E. (2019). Christian America? Secularized evangelical discourse and the boundaries of national belonging. Social Forces, 97(3), 1283-1306.
Machery, E. (2022). Anomalies in implicit attitudes research. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science, 13(1), e1569.