I really had fun learning about my implicit associations using Project Implicit. If you haven’t visited this website, you should. The website contains a broad range of tests designed to reveal your implicit associations. The tests are a series of exercises where you are asked to sort words/pictures into groups as fast as possible. The words/pictures are broken down into categories. The categories and words/pictures stay the same throughout the test but the grouping instructions change. For example, the table below shows the categories and words for the Gender – Science Implicit Association Test (IAT), the test associated with the title of this blog.
Implicit Association Test
Next, you will use the ‘E’ and ‘I’ computer keys to categorize items into groups as fast as you can. These are the four groups and the items that belong to each:
|Male||Man, Son, Father, Boy, Uncle, Grandpa, Husband, Male|
|Female||Mother, Wife, Aunt, Woman, Girl, Female, Grandma, Daughter|
|Science||Astronomy, Math, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Geology, Engineering|
|Liberal Arts||History, Arts, Humanities, English, Philosophy, Music, Literature|
There are seven parts. The instructions change for each part. Pay attention.
During the test, you might be asked to group words in the Male category with words in the Science category, and words in the Female category with the words in the Liberal Arts category. Then, you might be asked to group Female with Science and Male with Liberal Arts. Sometimes, the categories aren’t grouped and sometimes groupings repeat, you just have to pay attention and respond as fast as possible. At the end, you take a brief survey and get your result.
I am a female Chemist, so I wasn’t surprised when my result for the Gender – Science IAT was “a moderate automatic association for Male with Liberal Arts and Female with Science.” However, my implicit bias is definitely showing. What I found most interesting was the breakdown of results based on web responses, which is provided at the end of every test. The Gender – Science IAT breakdown is below:
Based on the breakdown, I am definitely in the minority when it comes to my implicit association. Over 70% of respondents have at least a slight implicit association of Male with Science and Female with Liberal Arts with only about 20% having little to no automatic preference.
We really need the percentage of no preference results to increase. We need more Females in Science!