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Learning Exercise

Material: Implicit Association Tests
Submitted by: Jennifer Lerner on Sep 24, 2006
Date Last Modified: Sep 24, 2006
Title: Bias Test Exercise
Description: An activity that asks students to take an online test assessing their level of bias toward African Americans and to reflect on what their results tell them. Can also be used for other groups besides African Americans.
Time Required 30 minutes
Topics: Race/ethnicity Prejudice Diversity
Course: Soc 200, Soc 201, Soc 202, Soc 266
Prerequisites Skills: Basic web browsing skills Comfort with keyboard
Learning Objectives: To appreciate the importance of subtle and implicit biases To self-assess and reflect on one's own beliefs about other racial groups
Text of Learning Exercise: First, go to Project Implicit¿s website at Before you go further, read through all these instructions so that you know what¿s coming for the assignment overall. Once you¿re done reading my assignment instructions, at the website, click on the "Demonstration" button. Read this page and then click the "Go to the Demonstration Tests" link. Read this page, and then click on the "General information about the IAT" link. Read this page; it should help you better understand a little bit about what the test is measuring. (You¿ll read more about it after you¿ve actually tried the test yourself.) Once you¿ve read this page, click the "I Wish to Proceed" link. [Note: If you are not willing to take this test, please contact me for an alternative assignment.] You will now see a list of the IATs available. (I encourage you to try some others that you find interesting after you¿ve done this assignment!) For now, click on the "Race IAT" button. Read this page and make any necessary changes to your computer settings. Finally, when you¿re all ready, click the "Click Here to Begin" link. After you click this link, you¿ll be taken through the test. Complete all the stages of the test. When you¿re done, you¿ll get a results page that tells you what your racial preferences are. Read this results page so that you understand what your results mean. [Be sure to make a note of your results (a phrase/sentence identifying which racial group you prefer and how strongly) before you click away from this page¿-you need to include it in what you turn in for this assignment.] Now, to more fully understand the test you took and what it can and can¿t tell us, from your results page, click on the "frequently asked questions" link. Skim over this page and read the answers to whichever of the questions you want to know about. Now that you¿ve completed the test and read a bit about it, I¿d like you to answer a few questions about your experience and what it means. Answer the questions below in complete sentences and clearly label each answer so I can tell which question you are answering. [Course-specific submission and grading instructions here.] 1. What were your test results? 2. How do you feel about your test results? Why? 3. The research using these tests shows that most Americans, including black Americans, show a preference for white people. Does this finding surprise you? Why/why not? 4. Do you think that these tests are a good way to measure racial attitudes? Why/why not? 5. Why is it important to consider implicit racial attitudes? How might implicit attitudes affect real-life racial interactions?
Assessment: I grade this assignment based on completion (having taken the test and providing the results; answering all the questions) and on the quality of the student's personal reflection (what does this test tell me about me?) and reflection on the broader issue of implicit attitudes.
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