The Implicit Association Test was a very interesting test to take, I decided to take the tests concerning weight and age to see what sort of association i may have. Honestly while taking the tests though they seemed to be akin to quick time events. I understand that they want the answers as quick as possible so that it is just your basic opinion and you don’t really have time to consider your answer or what you press, but I find it difficult to understand why this gives a result as to preference. Would the answer that you are associated with come from the side that you answered the fastest ? If so that does not make a lot of sense to me since the test seemed to just be a way of categorizing silhouettes and negative or positive words. Now if the test had left it more open to interpretation by having a lot of different sized silhouettes maybe I could see that happening. Using that test one could see what size a certain person considers as skinny and how much weight someone has to have to be classified as fat in their eyes. By doing this and removing the aspect of an X popping up if you typed the wrong answer I think it would all ow the test to be a bit more open in terms of people learning from it and applying it. Instead though the silhouettes used in this test were very distinctly one or the other. It was either some very skinny people or some overweight people there wasn’t really a middle ground where it could go either way. Then I began to think that perhaps the test went off a sort of connotation, because I began to see patterns in the test where skinny people and positive words occurred together a lot, whereas negative words occurred with the fat silhouettes. This was flipped during the fifth part of the test which makes me feel like that is what they could be testing for. They test how fast you can react using the constants where you are just identifying one thing then by using how you associate with the words if you believe being skinny is more positive you will be quicker during that round whereas if you believe being fat is more positive you will answer faster during that specific round. If that is the case then that is very interesting and has potential although there are still quite a few flaws I see in it. After taking this test I do not know if I will be able to use it later on in life, but I am definitely interested in it so I wonder what sort of capabilities these tests have.



For the Implicit Association Tests, I chose to take the happy/sad test and the good/bad tests. The results of the tests do not necessarily tell you if you are racist, homophobic, etc., but they can give you an idea about new information regarding yourself and your personality. I decided to take the happy/sad and good/bad tests because those are the two tests I was most interested in seeing the results. I already considered myself to be a happy person, as well as a good person, so I was excited to see how the test would rate me.

The first part of the test took you through a series of words. You were given the categories either “me and happy” or “me and sad”. Words such as I, myself, happy, content, etc. would come on the screen and if the category was happy, you would hit the I key on your computer. If the category was bad, you would hit the E key. I was, and still am, confused about this part of the test because I do not understand how it evaluates whether you are happy or not. I felt it was more like a “how quickly can you react” test, or a concussion test, not a personality test. The same process happened during the good/bad test. After the keyboard part, the test asked a series of questions having to do with how I would rate my self-esteem and happiness. The good/bad test asks similar style questions, but pertaining to morals. After those questions, questions about your social background, religion, ethnicity, and political views were asked. I was asked my age and gender as well. The questions relating to the test topic and the social questions seemed more reasonable and easier to transfer into personality. I feel social background and environment definitely play a huge part in happiness/sadness and whether you are a “good” or “bad” person.

My first results were what I predicted. I am more happy than sad. The only part I am questionable about is the fact the results stated I am slightly more happy than sad. I believe I am significantly more happy than sad, but I am aware these tests are not completely accurate. My second results were surprising to me. The test said I am neither a good, nor bad person. Even thinking back to the questions, I did not answer any questions with anything that would portray me as less than a good person.

I think these tests could have the potential to be helpful to college students and employers. If the tests were more accurate and maybe more extensive to get a clear interpretation of the person taking the test, then it would definitely be beneficial. Employers would be able to narrow down their potential employees easier and more quickly in order to find someone who’s personality fits with the position they are trying to fill. The tests could also potentially be helpful to college students looking to see what they are interested in, or what career path they wish to take.

Implicit Association Test

The Implicit Association Test is a test that tries to determine what people’s actual views and feels are with certain groups of people that they suppress or ignore due to societies standards. I took the Gay-Straight IAT and the Young-Old IAT. My results took me a little bit by surprise but they were on par with what society generally thinks based on these groups.

For the gay-straight, I got the results that I have a slight preference of straight people over gay people but I find that ridiculous because I have several gay friends and never think ill of them or treat them any differently that any other person in my life, they’re just people. I think, with this test, choosing the male and female pictures and such were more natural to me due to society but that doesn’t reflect how I feel about gay people. We grow up with movies and children’s books about a princess and prince falling in love, Disney has never had two princesses that get married, so in that sense, I am more familiar with the image of the male and female stick figures holding hands more than the male and male stick figures.

For the Young-Old I was very surprised by my results which said that I have a moderate automatic preference for young people compared to old people. Again, I think that’s society playing it’s role again because if you look in a magazine or watch the news, it is far more likely to see a young person than an old person. In every sitcom or movie, the old person plays the same, crotchety role and all the young people laugh at them. I was still surprised though. I have always preferred the company of older people in my life compared to peers, ever since I was little I had friends in higher grades than me and at church, I’d go talk to all the old ladies before I would go to any of the youth events. I would think I preference older people but I think I would have to blame society again.

This test can be useful in examining yourself but also not taking it too seriously. These things a re important to watch out for in yourself and others and in an increasingly tolerant world, some of these beliefs have started becoming quite unpopular. It is that reason why we need to know where we stand to either try to amend them or  look past them. I don’t know if I would trust these completely, as I’ve just said, I’m not sure these are correct but they have got me analyzing my beliefs and that’s a step in the right direction.

What do you Prefer?

Sugar in Coffee. Honey in Tea. Why does Nobody understand Me?

I took two of the Implicit Association Tests to determine how biased I am at the unconscious level.  I found the tests to be fun and interesting. I was curious to see my results because I personally find myself to be a fairly understanding and accepting person. I believe that all people are equal no matter size, color, sexuality, or social status. I have always been this way. As a child, I was kind to everyone and even though I wasn’t considered one of the “popular kids”, everyone liked me. I got along with the popular kids, but I also would play with the “weirdos” that no one else liked, because they are still people. That’s one of the issues with feminism that I have. I don’t want to be seen as a weak domestic woman who belongs in the kitchen, but I also don’t want to be seen as a strong independent woman who don’t need no man. I just want to be seen as a person, with my own goals, my own opinions, and my own potential for greatness.

Coming here to Austin College has been beneficial to me because I have been exposed to the liberal arts ideas as well as befriending people who are politically liberal. Not that I was extremely conservative before, but the exposure has helped me grow as an individual as well as learn more about others.

The first test that I took was the Gay – Straight IAT. I was interested in this test because I have multiple friends here at school whom are bisexual or homosexual. Even more so because I am learning more about my own sexuality. My results suggested that I have little to no automatic preference between gay and straight people. I would say this is fairly accurate because I am a supporter of gay rights and I accept my friends that are in the noodle club. Some of my closest friends are bisexual, one of my best friends is a lesbian, and I’m currently dating a man who is confused about his own sexuality. As for me, let’s just say that there is a reason they call me Zaloodle when alcohol is present.

The second test that I took was the Fat – Thin IAT. I decided to take the test over weight because I was curious about my results. Before taking the test I thought about the people I hang out with and my preference with dating. I noticed that the majority of my friends are thin and exercise regularly. I am also a member of the volleyball team, so I am exposed to that environment more often than not. Due to the fact that I am mostly around thin people, I was curious to see if this was pure coincidence or if there were underlying reasons behind my choice in friends. My results suggested that I have no automatic preference between fat and thin people. I was relieved by this, because I like to think of myself as a person who accepts all people, no matter their appearance.

Personality is another matter though. I’ll get to that later.

The Implicit Association Test

I decided to take these test because I have never done one and wanted to see what they were like and how they worked. After taking a few of these tests, I can understand why people use them and how someone might see them as an accurate way to see someone’s deeper thoughts and interactions but I can also see some flaws with these tests based off of my own results.One test I participated in was about race preference and the other test was comparing my feeling toward flowers and insects. For both of the tests I took, there was one repeated format that I had to do. On each test I was given words which I had to separate into two different categories by clicking on which category that word belonged to when it popped up on the screen. Throughout the 7 different parts of each test they added two additional categories, either “good words” or “bad words,” on top of the old ones and mixed and switched them up but my instructions stayed the same. Altogether each test took about 3 to 4 minutes to complete.  
The first test I took was the “race test” where they would identify whether I preferred white or black people more. In this test, I did a trial where one side’s category side was “black people” or “good words” and the other side was “white people” or “bad words” and when either a picture or a word popped up I had to put them in the corresponding left or right categories. After a few tests of switching side of the categories and mixing up the terms, my results finally came out. On my results page it said, “Your data suggests a weak automatic preference for White people over Black people.” I was surprised and amused by this result to be honest, considering that I happen to be black. In further explanation, the test told me that I had a preference for white people based off of my ability to match up the “good words” and the white people’s pictures easier and faster than I was able to do with the black pictures. I can understand the results from that viewpoint but I feel that the results might have been slightly different with different word choice. Some of the words like agony, hurt, and failure can easily be interpreted as words associated with the history of African American struggle in our country instead of “bad words.” I can’t say that those words alone would have made the difference on my results specifically but I do definitely think that there is at least some possibility for that.

My second test was the “insect-flower” test which was extremely similar to the previous test. For this test I was given “pleasant” and “unpleasant” words and a list of different flowers and insects. Then I was asked to move specific words and objects into the different categories just like the first test. My results for this test said, “Your data suggests a strong automatic preference for FLOWERS compared to INSECTS.” According to the test, how easy it was for me to categorize words when flowers and pleasant words were paired together compared to when flowers and unpleasant words were paired showed that I preferred flowers over insects. The big problem I had with this test is that I have always loved playing with bugs and never been scared or grossed out by them. Another fact about me leading to my concern about these results is that I’ve always had really bad allergies and have always been told not to play with grass and flowers because of how itchy and allergic I would get. The only thing I can think might have caused my results is the way society views these two categories. Naturally I think that most people would say that flowers are seen as beautiful, romantic, and peaceful. Insects on the other hands would probably be described as gross, creepy, or even scary. Knowing that society has always seen these two categories as opposites most likely made it much easier to pair things up that way, but I wouldn’t say that I, personally, have a preference for flowers over insects.

Considering how I didn’t really agree with either of the tests I took, I couldn’t see myself promoting, recommending, or participating in these type of tests in the future. They could possibly work for other people but I didn’t feel that it was enough to determine the personal results that it came up with. Each person has different factors that play a part in different test subjects and those things should be analyzed when considering the results for tests such as these.

Implicit Association Test

This week we were asked to take two tests at Harvard’s Project Implicit website.  The aim of the tests, varying from weapons to skin tone, is to determine whether or not you have a bias outside of your conscious knowledge. The two tests I took were “Sexuality (Gay-Straight)” and “Weight (Fat-Thin)” because they are categories of personal interest and struggle.

The tests function like video games. You use your index fingers to press the E and I key, which sort a letter or picture in the center to either the left or right side. These left or right sides are labeled with “Good,” “Bad,” and whatever two conditions are being tested for; in example, the Sexuality test had me sort the pictures and words into “Gay” versus “Straight.” You’re supposed to sort as rapidly as possible. Easy enough.

Throughout the test, however, it steadily got more evident that my subconscious and personality don’t always agree. On occasion, I felt myself instantaneously making incorrect matches, especially when the words were included with the pictures. I’m still unsure as to if this was just me being jumpy or if I really did think that way.

My results, therefore, were quite surprising. For example, even though I felt as if I was slipping up the most with the fat vs. skinny test, I came out as having no automatic preference one way or the other. I credit this to me being more aware of the problem at hand since I’ve always struggled with my weight and self-image. Also, to the entertainment of my friends, I apparently have a strong automatic preference for straight people. Ironic, considering I’m as bisexual as bisexual can be and an avid supporter of the LGBT+ community. I guess my conservative upbringing has more influence than I previously thought. This was (a) mind blowing and (b) slightly alarming.

I guess what we know about ourselves is just the tip of our psychology’s iceberg.

Week 13 Blog Prompts: Social Psychology

Hand writing on a notebook

Here are the two prompts for this week. Regardless of which prompt you choose, use the tag “Social Psychology.”

Option 1

The Implicit Association Test (which can be accessed through this link) is a tool to identify biases which may be outside your conscious awareness. The results of this test cannot determine whether or not you are racist, sexist, homophobic, etc., but they are useful to help you understand yourself and how you interact with others. For this post, you must take two separate IAT tests from the link above. You do not need to share your results if you don’t want to, but you need to talk about the experience of taking the test and getting the results, comment on whether or not the results were surprising, and discuss how this test can be useful for college students or your future career.

Option 2

Would you enjoy a boring task more if I gave you $1 to do it or $20 to do it? Many of you will probably say you’d rather than the $20, but research suggests you will probably enjoy it more if I only give you a single dollar. Watch this footage to see:

Describe a time in your life when you think you experienced a change in beliefs due to cognitive dissonance, and argue whether you think this is a good thing we should promote and utilize or a bad thing we should try to avoid.

I look forward to seeing what you write!

Header image: CC by Flickr user Caitlinator
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Can You Say Discrimination?

After viewing the video given below, I am honestly angry and in total disgust. I would not feel this way if the people, who viewed the actors stealing the bike, treated them all equally whether it be to just walk away from the situation or confront the thief or call the police on the them. It makes me very upset and angry because these experiments resulted in real outcomes that happen too often in reality. Honestly, if I were an on going bystander put in that situation, I could not tell you what exactly I would do but one thing for sure is that I would have done the same thing for every single actor. I would be lying if I said I was appalled from the outcomes but I already assumed how they would end being as though I myself am an African-American male. Without a doubt the events that take place within the video would be classified as discrimination. Discrimination perfectly describes those events as someone was treated differently or, in the video’s case, extremely differently based on their group memberships. Not only did the bystander’s obviously have a negative assumption but they also decided to act solely on that or those assumptions which furthermore proves the idea of discrimination. For those that still naive, discrimination is absolutely real and it will never go away unless we, as the people in our society, become less ignorant and more humane and sophisticated.

Everyone Should Steal Bikes

In the “Bike Theft” video, three actors are trying to steal a bike chained to a sign in a public park. One actor is a white male, the next is a black male, and the last one is a white female. Different people encounter the actors as the so-called thieves attempt to steal the bike.

No one really tried to stop the white male or female. The man had a few disapproving looks and few questioning onlookers, but no one attempted to really stop him. The white woman actually had men trying to help her steal the bike because the assumption was made that women are less likely to steal. The black man, however, had the police called him almost immediately after someone approached him. A crowd actually gathered around him (of white people). One older white man even started taking the tools the actor was using to break the chain on the bike. The same man didn’t even stop accusing the black actor of stealing after the cameras came out of hiding.

It was really bizarre to watch. It was on the verge of nerve-wracking and upsetting to watch the black actor have to interact with those people because, especially with the last white man, it looked like it could potentially become a violent situation. It’s terrible to watch people discriminate against a person, clearly because of skin color, and then turn around and say that wasn’t the reason.  The scene with the white woman was laughable and somewhat disappointing. You don’t want to believe men would help a woman steal something just because she’s pretty, but it happens several times. The scene with the white male actor really displays what white privilege is, especially when compared to the black male actor. There was no consistency between the interactions, which shows there are general preconceived notions of social groups (stereotypes). It’s harder to tell if there is prejudice because that is defined as going towards all members of the group, but there is definitely discrimination/racism which is worse. One actor is allowed to steal and take a bike, while another actor has the police called on him and is even accused of stealing after it’s revealed that it’s a TV show. It’s legitimately all because of skin color. It gets even crazier when you compare the white woman to the black man because she had people trying to help her steal the bike. This shows discrimination which is negative in a general outlook (women can’t use tools, do things by their own, etc.), but in this particular situation it was positive because she stole the bike quicker and didn’t have to do any work. The show ironically displays its own discrimination by not showing what would happen if a black woman attempted to steal the bike as well.

It’s hard to say what I would do in the situation, but I would more than likely not say anything to any of the actors. Not because I don’t have stereotypes or I’m consistent, but because I absolutely hate confrontation, and if someone has the guts to steal a bike in broad daylight in a public place, go for it. I’m actually impressed.

Extra Credit Blog Post

Since we ran out of time to watch the last video I wanted to show in class on Friday, I want to give you the opportunity to watch it and provide your thoughts. The video is from the ABC News program What Would You Do and aired in May, 2010.

After you watch the clip, write a post (must be at least 200 words and use the tag “Social Psychology”) sharing your reactions to what you saw, what you think you would do in this situation, and explain which of the following terms apply to this situation: stereotypes, prejudices, discrimination, oppression. The post is due at 9 pm on Wednesday, April 27th.


If you want to see the extended version of the clip, you can watch it here.

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