Friday, March 2, 2012

Implicit bias and race

The Hendricks thing happening over at newapps has been painful to read for a while now, and has just taken an interesting turn with a new focus on the possible racial component of the criticism of Hendricks.  Buried in the commentary to that thread is a link to an interesting test run through Harvard, which attempts to measure implicit bias in comparisons between two groups, European Americans and African Americans.

The test can be found here and is worth doing, it uses the standard methodology for this kind of thing.  I was surprised to find that I have a moderate bias in favour of African Americans.  Trying to determine why this is, my first thought is that, living outside of the US, my primary exposure to American people is through political coverage, and there are comparatively few African American Republicans.  As such, I am more likely to trust African Americans than European Americans, because they are less likely to be spouting Republican nonsense.  Now, this explanation is appealing, but unlikely to be complete.  Oh well.

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