Implicit Bias—or Complete Bullshit?


The Washington Post Magazine has an interesting article (finally!) about "implicit bias"–the notion that, as the sub-headline puts it, "Many Americans believe they are not prejudiced. Now a new test provides powerful evidence that a majority of us really are. Assuming we accept the results, what can we do about it?"

Whole story here.

Let's leave aside that final question for the moment and focus on the first part. The article talks up a Harvard-based site called Project Implicit which has three automated "implicit association tests" to search for bias when it comes to career, race, and weight.

Check out the tests here.

Full disclosure: I took the career one and was told that I hold a "moderate" correlation between maleness and career. Not sure what that means exactly but it's an interesting exercise nonetheless–like a free Scientology audit, you've got nothing to lose but your sense of self.

(One wonders what Larry Summers might score, needless to say. Somehow I expect the Gert Frobe-like university president to more highly correlate extra chins with career than he might women and career.)