Black History Month, day 7

Project Implicit is a Harvard-based project studying the differences between the attitudes we think we hold and those we really do hold. The Implicit Association Test (IAT), developed by the researchers, claims to “[demonstrate] the conscious-unconscious divergences much more convincingly than has been possible with previous methods.” If you’re interested in the workings of your own mind, it’s fascinating.

I believe some of the barriers to racial equality are subtle racism, fear, guilt, and shame, all of which keep us from candid conversation. Certainly many of the white liberal and progressive people I know are afraid to talk about race, because they fear that they will be perceived to be, or discovered to be, racist. Knowing ourselves more fully can help us move through these barriers and toward a more honest conversation with others.

One question that interests the research team is whether people’s stated views on race match up with their unconscious attitudes, revealed through the IAT. To find out something about whether you prefer white or black people, or to take another test–others include one’s views on age, weapons, and various ethnicities–click here. And congratulations on taking the Delphic advice to know thyself.

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