Think you're not a racist? (or other -ist) Check this out.

There seem to be a couple of threads in the Pit at the moment where some folks are arguing that they’re only against illegal immigrants because of the “illegal” bit, not because they’re racist. That reminded me of Project Implicit at Harvard. You might want to poke around and take some of the tests.

Confession: Turns out I don’t appear to be quite as neutral as I like to think I am.

I’ve taken those tests. I had a slight preference for black faces the last time I took it (I’m white).

I did it again:

I’m not persuaded that this proves I’m an anti-white racist; but I suspect it may prove that I’m a spaz.

I’ve taken that before, and while I admit that it is an interesting item of research and possibly useful for detecting subconscious biases, there’s nothing useful about saying, “You’re a secret racist!” because you hit the button for one race over another. The only thing that actually matters is the way you act and treat people.

Vox Imperatoris

Your data suggest little to no automatic preference between Barack Obama and John McCain.

I’m not surprised.

Apparently I think Obama is more Christian, McCain is more American, and I have a strong preference for Obama over McCain.

Is this thing supposed to make us feel bad for having our minds made up about how we’re going to vote? I can’t understand what the purpose of it is.

I’m not even sure these tests mean anything. First of all, do they even prove a preference? I mean, some people are just bad at clicking on random things. Plus, even if you DO have a preference for one race, does that even mean you’re racist?

I just spent 10 minutes searching for a counter to that site. It was a year ago or more that mimicked that site on purpose but switched everything. They came to the conclusion that clicking habit was more decisive than the actual pictures. But take that as opinion since I cannot find the stinking cite. I prefer older faces or something was the test that I took most recently.

The “Background” section of the site has some additional information that may address your questions.

I took the sexuality one twice. The first time I preferred straight people and the second time I preferred gay people. And shockingly enough, the orders were reversed between the two tests.

Hmmm, reversed order, reversed results…I wonder if there’s a connection?

It may evaluate certain trends, but it may also just show that people are creatures of habit when it comes to pushing buttons.

It said I have little to no preference as to either, FWIW

Same for me.

Your data suggest little to no automatic preference between European American and African American.
Well that’s a relief.

Your data suggest a strong automatic preference for Barack Obama compared to John McCain.

No shit, sherlock.

I knew it was going to come up with that, as I the only time I made errors was when “McCain” and “good” were on the same side. Brain farts ahoy…

Hmmm. But how would an individual know if the order had affected them? I guess what I’m saying is, it’s not like this is compared to the results of a more explicit test that outright asks about racial preferences to see if there’s any connection. It’s just kind of a random test–how do we know if it even means anything at all?

I got the same thing. And I’m strongly pro-Obama.

Or am I…?

I would have told them that if they had asked(in fact I did in their questionnaire). It’s hard to learn much about the way Arab Muslims conduct themselves in their countries without developing a distaste for societies where equality of gender, religious freedom, and many other values I hold to be important are given so little creedance. Every story of an honor killing, every instance of beating someone for not dressing properly, refusing to let women drive or walk down the street without a male escort, etc. So now I’ve got a slight prejudice. I’ll try not to let it affect my interaction with Arab Muslims I know, but I won’t feel too bad about it. In general the societies which they came from have earned the slight emnity I feel for them.


The OP presumes that an indication one way or the other on this test has an association with racism. Have any studies shown a correlation between a certain score on the test and actual racist beliefs or actions? Seems like if I were shown flash cards of a banana cream pie on one side and piece of toast on the other, I’d show a certain reptilian preference for the banana cream pie, yet I still eat toast for breakfast.

Interesting. Apparently I have a slight automatic preference for Judaism. I’m an ex-Catholic, current agnostic.