Implicit Associations

The Stoop Effect in Our Daily Lives: Thinking about interference (see Stroop Effect post on June 9th) and what it really means for us in our everyday lives. Jules made a good point in the comments section, noting that it can be hard to look past our first impressions sometimes and that we often need to remind ourselves to pay closer attention to our assumptions.

Check Your Biases: Related to this, you may have heard of the Project Implicit associations tests that are part of an ongoing research study sponsored by the University of Virginia (Sharon’s alma mater), Harvard University, and the University of Washington. These tests are designed to assess our conscious and unconscious preferences for more than 90 different kinds of things, including race, politics, disability, sports teams, etc. You can click here to try out a test. They take about 10-15 minutes and the results may be eye-opening to you, depending on which topic you choose. Many of us walk around thinking we aren’t prejudiced against anyone or any group, but these tests may surprise you and make you think a bit harder about the reasons for your preferences.

Mule's EarsHow Do You Know If You are Audist?: We need a test for audism (see this videoclip for a definition of audism) to assess people’s attitudes about Deaf people. The disability associations test isn’t appropriate, not just because it measures attitudes about mobility and vision, but also because Deaf people don’t fit into the disability category since we are more of a linguistic and cultural minority. An audism test would be great, for hearing people AND Deaf people. Obviously, there are plenty of hearing people out there who are audist, but there are also a lot more audist Deaf people than we might think. These are Deaf people who have internalized oppressive attitudes about being Deaf, who may worry too much about how Deaf people appear to hearing people, who interpret everything Deaf people do in terms of how hearing people do, or who compare Deaf people to hearing people all time, assuming hearing values are superior to Deaf values. We can go on and on about this, but we’ll save it for another post.

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