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Project Implicit.


doughishere
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Heres a cool little website to test your implicit biases. I was listening to a podcast and it forwarded me to this site.

 

 

Blurb about Project Implicit.

Project Implicit is a non-profit organization and international collaboration between researchers who are interested in implicit social cognition - thoughts and feelings outside of conscious awareness and control. The goal of the organization is to educate the public about hidden biases and to provide a “virtual laboratory” for collecting data on the Internet.

 

Project Implicit was founded in 1998 by three scientists – Tony Greenwald (University of Washington), Mahzarin Banaji (Harvard University), and Brian Nosek (University of Virginia). Project Implicit Mental Health launched in 2011, led by Bethany Teachman (University of Virginia) and Matt Nock (Harvard University). Project Implicit also provides consulting services, lectures, and workshops on implicit bias, diversity and inclusion, leadership, applying science to practice, and innovation. If you are interested in finding out more about these services, visit https://www.projectimplicit.net/organization.html.

https://www.projectimplicit.net/index.html

 

 

The test(s) website: https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/takeatest.html

 

Ive only taken one so far but have found it interesting. Enjoy.

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Just finished a test.

Haven't done the required work on this but the methodology "looks" weak, especially since it concludes that I suffer from a bias I don't have. :)

 

Reminds me of the 90% of people who consider themselves better than the average driver. The scary part is that the remaining 10% may be part of the prudent category.

 

Reminds me also of the bias blind spot (recognizing the impact of biases on the judgment of others, while failing to see the impact of biases on one's own judgment) which is the norm rather than the exception as a very large majority of people think they are less biased than others with almost nobody thinking that they are more biased than others.

 

Sadly, higher level thinking does not seem to improve the self-deception as it only brings "stronger" attempts at rationalization.

 

Perhaps realization that this may be a potential problem (going through online tests, for instance) could represent a step in the right direction. An exercise that can be done privately if public recognition brings unbearable dissonance.

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Here's the podcast I got it from. Unedited version is what I went straight to.

 

 

The Mind Is a Difference-Seeking Machine. On Being w/ Krista Tippett.

https://onbeing.org/programs/mahzarin-banaji-the-mind-is-a-difference-seeking-machine-aug2018/

 

The science of implicit bias is one of the most promising fields for animating the human change that makes social change possible. The social psychologist Mahzarin Banaji is one of its primary architects. She understands the mind as a “difference-seeking machine” that helps us order and navigate the overwhelming complexity of reality. But this gift also creates blind spots and biases as we fill in what we don’t know with the limits of what we do know. This is science that takes our grappling with difference out of the realm of guilt and into the realm of transformative good.

 

For me the difficulty was wondering if I was fast enough.

 

For the one I did, andI only did one so far, I already knew was bias and was honest with myself that I had that bias towards a particular side and it was interesting. Even before I took the test ive recognized that bias though my own interactions with a modern day app. In fact, I've been open about it with friends and even strangers.

 

 

 

I plan on doing more later.

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"Your data suggest a moderate automatic association for Male with Family and Female with Career."

 

Interesting. I think of myself as a pretty unbiased person (as do most people, I'm sure).

 

I did the same one as you.  The test is so flawed.  Half the time I forgot which hand was for which category. So what they're assigning a bias towards ("Office" = "Paul"), was nothing more than forgetting which hand was for which category.

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"Your data suggest a moderate automatic association for Male with Family and Female with Career."

 

Interesting. I think of myself as a pretty unbiased person (as do most people, I'm sure).

 

I did the same one as you.  The test is so flawed.  Half the time I forgot which hand was for which category. So what they're assigning a bias towards ("Office" = "Paul"), was nothing more than forgetting which hand was for which category.

 

Maybe the test is flawed but perhaps worthwhile taking this further.

What the site uses is the implicit association test which carries some weight in terms of method and results.

Also, maybe there is nothing wrong with "association" as there may be underlying biological justifications that tilt the numbers. 

 

The research on unconscious bias is often based on tests that require multi-tasking, involve distraction or include a time component for the explicit reason that "conscious" pathways need to be bypassed.

 

For those interested in the topic, Google has produced a program for employees which is relevant.

https://rework.withgoogle.com/guides/unbiasing-raise-awareness/steps/introduction/

The video: Watch Unconscious Bias @ Work is long but IMO worth it.

 

@augustabound

 

I respect the fact that you may think that this is hogwash (maybe it is...) but, based on former postings, I suggest the following scenario:

 

In 3 years, you receive 2 resumes from computer science graduates and you have to decide whom to hire. The only material differences are that 1- my daughter's first language is French (although perfectly fluent in English) and 2- she was born and raised in Québec (vs Ontario, for instance). Do you think these differentiating factors constitute potential unconscious (or conscious?) effects?

 

After watching the Google video, it seems that unconcious bias is permeating the process in many cases.

The easy way is to forget about it.

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"Your data suggest a moderate automatic association for Male with Family and Female with Career."

 

Interesting. I think of myself as a pretty unbiased person (as do most people, I'm sure).

 

I did the same one as you.  The test is so flawed.  Half the time I forgot which hand was for which category. So what they're assigning a bias towards ("Office" = "Paul"), was nothing more than forgetting which hand was for which category.

 

Forgetting which is which is the point of the test. I'm not saying its valid, but they're trying to find unconscious patterns.

 

I have to admit I think it's pretty unlikely that I (mid thirties professional white male) have an unconscious bias toward thinking that family is men's work and career is women's work. Maybe I need therapy...

 

 

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Some of the biases might be interesting to discover, but the tests are very annoying especially when you continue taking them.

 

And some biases are not really implicit... i.e. I know I have them. Which makes the test even more annoying.  8)

 

I did two tests, closed third without finishing. I'd be interested to do more if tests were more fun...

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I respect the fact that you may think that this is hogwash (maybe it is...) but, based on former postings, I suggest the following scenario:

 

In 3 years, you receive 2 resumes from computer science graduates and you have to decide whom to hire. The only material differences are that 1- my daughter's first language is French (although perfectly fluent in English) and 2- she was born and raised in Québec (vs Ontario, for instance). Do you think these differentiating factors constitute potential unconscious (or conscious?) effects?

 

After watching the Google video, it seems that unconcious bias is permeating the process in many cases.

The easy way is to forget about it.

 

As someone who just moved to Ottawa from the GTA and encounter French Canadians regularly from Gatineau, I would be biased against someone French.  It's a bias I'm aware I have and has only grown stronger since moving "next door". 

 

I understand part of the test is forgetting and using some sort of judgement, and doing it very quickly to hopefully make it an unconscious decision.  But I didn't forget which answer I would give, I forgot which hand was for the answer I wanted to give. (I actually said the answer in my head before pressing the button but a few times it was just the wrong hand)

 

So maybe a better answer is, the test itself is fine but the medium that's used is flawed. I'm not sure how that could be improved for an online test though.

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I do think implicit biases are real though. I have an example on the male/female side of things.

 

I run two small airbnb listings in a major city. One is in my wife's name, and one is in my name. The photos, title, description, cancellation policy are all the same. I run customer service for both, using mostly pre-populated emails I've designed. (Directions from the train station, no you can't check-in at 4 AM, etc). The check-in, cleaning, etc, is all provided by the exact same people.

 

The only difference is that her listing has a photo of her and her name, and mine has a photo of me and my name. We're both white, with "average white America" first names, and the same age.

 

Her listing books first for the same dates more than 90% of the time. Her guest feedback is also better.

 

There doesn't appear to be a difference in the preference between male and female travellers, and both are "whole place" listings, and the descriptions are clear the properties are used for transient rentals 100% of the time.

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This stuff's so bogus and extremely harmful the way it's propagated. There are so many possibilities regarding what these things may or may not determine that it's crazy to accept them.

 

1. It's shown no predictive ability

2. How quickly you associate good/bad words with different skin tones/gender/etc

doesn't have to mean prejudice/bias.

 

Imagine I live in the jungle and there's two types of tiger's. For generations it's known that one type of tiger is responsible for 5x the maiming/killing vs the other.

Whether it's through genetics, memetics, religion, stories, etc, which tiger would I most likely associate with negative connotations faster? Is this prejudice or something else? Most of my favorite books are written by jews, now I naturally elevate any new jewish author. Is this prejudice or an understanding of reality? Isn't is likely there are mechanisms in place for good reason that determine how quickly and to what degree we associate one thing with another?

 

When experiencing pain, people remember the most painful part of whatever happened and the end predominately. What if women, most have experienced broken relationships, unconsciously remember the most painful part of the relationship and the end of the relationship which is also bad and therefore associate more quickly negative words with men vs women.

 

What if I am black and live in S. africa and have had equally good experiences with whites/black however I've spent most of my life in a black village. When I think about whites, I don't think  bad things. I love my black family and black kids and black friends. I only see whites when tourists stop in the village and buy leather boots exclusively produced here in my village, they seem nice.

 

I take a test that determine's how quickly I associate black/white with good/bad words and naturally because I'm surrounded by black people I love I am a little bit faster to associate positive words with blacks than whites. The associations I have with whites are weak in general because I've spent 99% less time with them throughout my life.

Is this prejudice? Or, is it simply availability heuristic? Recency bias? What I am familiar with versus not? A weak association reduces response time.

 

Where I live, I've see almost no black folks. I never had a black friend here, there were perhaps two in my high school. Where I lived in elementary school there were more and one was my best friend, but not since I was twelve have I known any except superficially when traveling. I visit S. africa often and have been to the village that makes the boots. This by itself should change the distribution.

 

3. I just took the skin tone test, in the past I took the gender test. I found it very

disingenuous that in rounds 3 and 4 they set you up with a number of biases by forcing you to associate dark skin with bad and light skin with good.... BEFORE it came to the free association part at the end. If you first ask people what the last four digits of their ss# is and then ask them to pick a number between 1-1000 those who have a higher last four ss# pick higher numbers on average.

 

 

 

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This stuff's so bogus and extremely harmful the way it's propagated. There are so many possibilities regarding what these things may or may not determine that it's crazy to accept them.

 

flesh,

I'd like to have your opinion on the following.

Relevant to investing because I suspect, for instance, that I may unconsciously lower my appraisal for companies led by a woman CEO which IMO is wrong: should base my evaluation on credentials, decisions, results etc (can add dimensions of race, attractiveness etc)

 

My understanding of your post is that 1-the tests are poor and that 2-the biases are learned, justified, beneficial and even may be genetically programmed.

 

While some "differences" may be justified in some areas (ability, taste etc), unconscious and conscious biases can be detrimental and conscious work is required to re-balance the assumptions.

 

This is obviously controversial and hard to study and prove but I submit the following study:

https://cos.gatech.edu/facultyres/Diversity_Studies/Goldin_Orchestrating%20Impartiality.pdf

 

IMO, despite some limitations, the study shows that major orchestras discriminated against women performers and the "screen" has helped with a more balanced "hiring" process. Anecdotally, for the symphony orchestra in my area, in the 90's, a woman performer doing an audition (principle oboe) without a screen was dismissed on the spot by the medical director but was then hired when a second method with a "screen" was used. Interesting to note that this conductor eventually had to deal with various legal issues that suggested that the bias may not have been unconscious.

 

Or do you think that male musical performers are better?

 

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