Nowadays, it is evident that people have particular prejudices, which stimulate them to favor some things, pastimes or people unconsciously. Such an occasion regards a wide range of events, processes, and identifications. For instance, people tend to associate science occupation with male professionals than with the female ones (Banaji, et al., 2013). This topic presents a matter of interest for Tony Greenwald, who has elaborated Implicit Association Test (IAT). This approach is aimed to detect the hidden contents of the mind, namely particular preferences, stereotypes, and identities, which may be characterized for a group of people. It covers a great number of spheres of life, such as health, career, education, nationality identification, law enforcement, and others. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to choose three fields in IAT, complete them, and present reflections on this topic.
I have completed the test on three categories, which are race, weight, and gender-career, and the results were surprising for me. The race IAT addresses the ability to distinguish faces of people of different origins, namely American and African. As the majority of respondents, the tasks revealed my preference for white people. The weight category asks participants to differentiate between thin and obese people. These questions demonstrate that individuals tend to favor skinny people, which is characteristic for me too. The outcomes of the test were uncontemplated as I did not expect to have some false convictions about my surroundings before. The last one, namely the gender-career IAT, regards a controversial issue in the present-day developments. According to Banaji et al. (2013), this section shows a relative link between women and family life and men and business or career. As for me, I have no such a prejudice, as this issue is widely discussed in modern society, and I strongly believe in the equal rights of both genders.
The aforementioned beliefs and choices are predominantly unconscious and were natural for the majority of respondents. Moreover, they have a significant influence on the perception of people and judgments on them. Interestingly, as soon as individuals find out their particular prejudices, which unreasonably shape their worldview and appear to be unfair to other people, they tend to change them. That happens to me too, for instance, before completing the IAT, I was aware of stereotypes about gender and career options, that is why the questions did not demonstrate such a tendency in my world perception. However, after I revealed my particular unconscious prejudices on African origin and obesity, I shaped my opinion considerably. The awareness of my sticking to stereotypes appeared to be helpful for depriving of them. Such an occasion is also noted by Banaji et al. (2013). Having found out their result of AIT, individuals adapted their beliefs and convictions in order to treat other people more honestly.
In conclusion, the IAT is astonishing in the way it gives insights into the process of thinking by an unordinary approach. The tasks precisely reveal particular stereotypes and unfair beliefs on people, even though a respondent does not realize it. Furthermore, the exploration shows that the awareness of the prejudices and unreasonable convictions appears to be extremely effective for changing the attitude to others. For this reason, it is informative in the context of shaping the opinion and observing the thinking process in general.
Banaji, M. R., Greenwald, A. G., & OverDrive Inc. (2013). Blindspot: Hidden biases of good people. New York: Random House.