I have recently taken three implicit bias tests. I took tests over thin/fat people preference, old/young people preference, and associations between weapons/harmless objects and white/black people. The results were: a moderate preference for thin people over fat people, a slight preference for young people over older people, and a moderate association of weapons and black people versus white people and harmless objects.
I personally do not like these tests. I believe that they do not provide significant or accurate results. The tests are based off speed. How are the tests supposed to be conclusive? The user is forced to choose between complete accuracy or speed. There are going to be errors regardless of a person’s bias. To find a median between the factors, speed and accuracy are sacrificed. Based off that, results cannot be trusted to be the absolute truth.
Not only that, the tests require information on your background; such as area code, religion, political beliefs, current employment status, etc.. I do not see the point in taking those into consideration. I personally think it is bias to consider that for an individual. Everybody is different, yet the website still takes regional, political, and religion in consideration when judging an individual’s bias. That is not exactly fair or justifiable. I believe there should be better ways to determine a person’s bias.
Although, once I got past all of my discomforts on the tests, I took a look at the results. I was surprised by some of the results. I understand that I do have biases, but the results that I received were not what I expected. I would have guessed that I would have a preference for skinnier people, but I expected a slight preference, not a moderate. I expected I would be bias, mostly due to the fact that I have been a part of sports my whole life. I have been exposed to more athletic body types. I figured this would play a part in my bias. Even though I have gotten used to a more athletic body type, I did not expect the website to determine my preference as moderate. I have no problem with heavier people, nor have I ever. Through my life, I have never experienced a negative encounter from a heavier person that would impact my preference to such a degree.
Another result that I received was an association of black people with weapons and white people with harmless objects. I did not understand this outcome at all. I have many friends that appreciate weapons and many that do not, regardless of race. I do not associate myself as a racist person, and it honestly bothers me that race is such an issue in today’s society. I believe this outcome was determined by the unnecessary factors that I described earlier.
For the results of the age test, I was not surprised. I am surrounded by people my age every day, and have been for years. I expected the slight preference for younger people due to that.