Think You're Not Racist? Take This Quiz

white mom biracial babyWant to prove once and for all that you're not a racist? This "race" test by ProjectImplicit may do just that -- or it may reveal something shocking you didn't even know about yourself. 

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This is your chance to uncover your own hidden biases, if you dare. The thing is, there are parts of ourselves that we hide from everyone else. And we have thoughts and feelings we're not even aware of ourselves. With that problem in mind, research network ProjectImplicit developed a set of "Implicit Association Tests" that measure "attitudes and beliefs that people are unwilling or unable to report." 

I took the Race "Black - White" IAT to see what hidden prejudices I might be harboring. Even though I would tell anyone that I'm not racist and do not have a bias against black people, I grew up in an almost all-white culture. I can't assume I'm not as unbiased as I'd like to think I am.

Before you take an IAT you should read the disclaimer. Click through "I wish to proceed" and you'll see a list of tests. Click on the one you want to try and follow the directions.

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This test is tricky for one important reason: You have to answer fast. There's no time to sit and wonder what the "nice" or "acceptable" answer is. It's all about your first response.

Like I said, I expected the test to reveal hidden biases against black people. What I wasn't expecting was this: The result said I have a strong automatic preference for African American compared to European American.

Well okay then! That's an interesting result. Am I overcompensating because I value racial equality? Or is it because as an adult I moved to a racially diverse city and now actually have more than one black friend? And what does it mean that there's a white Hispanic mom out there (me) who seems to like black people a little bit more than white people -- when the research shows most white Americans have a slight preference for other white people over black people?

I took the test a second time a few hours later just to get the wording of the test results correct. This time, my results showed little to no automatic preference between African American and European American.

Even more surprising! Maybe "practicing" with that first test altered the outcome a bit. 

At any rate, the important thing to remember here is this is not the FINAL say on whether or not you're racist. As ProjectImplicit puts it, "the score should serve as an opportunity for self-reflection, not as a definitive assessment of your implicit thoughts or feelings." A little self-reflection is something all of us could use, don't you think?

 

Image via Falcona/shutterstock

 

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