Friday, October 29, 2010

Prejudiced You - How to test your biases


We hate apartheid. We hate racism. We hate slavery. Or do we? We have laws in the books categorizing such behavior as illegal. This may ensure eradication of biased behavior from the social scene. However, if the seeds of discrimination are stored in our thoughts, they may grow the poisonous fruits as the rain of hatred pours.

We, the pseudo-intellectual, the so-called liberals, more often than not claim to have surpassed the boundaries of discrimination, discrimination based on gender, race, color, caste, or even nationality. We say not to have preferred one over the other under the influence of our irrational biases. It feels good to know oneself as unbiased, rational, free of prejudice. But that's the description of a super-human and very unlike us. A beautiful self deception.
Beneath the conscious thinking, lies the subtle control of your subconscious. The subconscious, which has been shaped by years of conscious thought process and physical behavior, is a reflection of who we are in reality and not merely what we would like to be. We may like to see ourselves as a man of reason, but that might not be the reality, just a projection of our wishes. However, subconscious holds the key to our factual self.

The guys at Project Implicit (Harvard) have figured out a way to quiz the subconscious, to draw an image of underlying impulses that control our behavior and conscious thoughts.

Take the short tests to find out whether you prefer a baby boy instead of a girl, whether you would hire a fair secretary instead of a duskier one, whether you would prefer to shop at a store run by someone of your caste instead of other caste. It gives you a nice insight into your own prejudices that you thought never existed!

Nationals of other countries visit the following page and select your respective country.

Implicit Association Tests:

Confession: I'm biased and prejudiced. I'm human.
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