Blog of Sara Jakša

Tests for Impicit Biases

We people have a lot of biases. Some or all of them were really helpful for survival in the past.

But it really helps to get aware of the biases. Some of the biases are pretty general, like the loss aversion bias, or the sunk cost bias. But then there are also biases that refer to how we perceive other people. And these biases can also be implicit.

Project Implicit have a website where you can check your own implicit biases. There are some for health issues and a couple of more interesting ones, like gender, weapons or race.

I decided that I am going to post my results and compare them with my explicit biases. So for each test that I did, I first check explicitly, what I think my biases are. Then I checked if my implicit correspond to this. In most cases it did, but there were some differences.

Theme Explicit Bias Implicit Bias Strenght of Implicit Bias
Treatment Therapy Therapy moderately
Food High-Fat Food Low-Fat Food strongly
Myself Good Good moderately
Myself Life Life moderately
Drinking Abstaining Abstaining strongly
Myself Anxious Calm moderately
Myself Happy Happy slightly
Danger Mentally ill Mentally ill slightly
Science Male Female slightly
Sexuality no preference Streight slightly
Career Male Male moderately

I was mostly surprised by the two difference. One is with regard to the link between science/humanities and gender. While I do think that they should be equal, I am aware that they are not. So I was expecting a strong male-science and female-humanities connection. To get a reverse connection was really surprising in a positive way.

If the science one was a positive surprise, then the sexuality one was a negative one. As an asexual person, I really hoped that I had no preference what so ever. So I was a little disappointed that even though I am not really a part of it, I still think in a very normative way.

What are your results like?