Personality tests galore

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There are many tests created to measure personalities and preferences. One thing that can become difficult as more tests are created is to determine which tests are valid and which tests are not. An example of a test that has been created is the IAT test (implicit association test) created to measure implicit prejudices or prejudices that one is unaware of. The test that I took measured how someone felt towards African Americans (black) and European Americans (white). It categorized good words such as happy and bad words such as angry with the people and then switched them to see the results of how many words of each I would categorize correctly. Supposedly the test will determine how someone feels about different races.
After taking this test I was told that I had a strong automatic response toward white people over black people. I believe this was due to the amount of times I put the good words with the white people instead of the black people. However I found the mistakes were due to the categories locations being moved. Although I could have some unconscious beliefs due to media and what goes on around me causing my responses I feel that these tests are not very accurate and that although they could have a some validity they need a lot more refining to be an accurate, reliable test.


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Thats crazy there is a test that supposedly can measure such a thing. I completely agree that although the test may be valid it is definitely not reliable.I also agree that many personality tests are not very accurate. There are many aspects you cant assess correctly because for the person it depends on the situation. This is also something we talked about it lecture and it makes perfect sense.

I definitely agree that this test might not be completely accurate when measuring a given person's level of prejudice. I also took the test and my results said that I had a slightly more automatic response to African Americans. I don't think this is true for me because I am white and would say I have a pretty equal preference for white and black people. This test may provide the right answers for most of the population, but I don't think my results accurately reflect my preferences.

In one of the REP studies I did I had to evaluate faces on whether they were pleasant or unpleasant with a few different things in between. The study you did somewhat reminded me of the one I did, that is why I bring it up. I don't think that the study I did or the study you did are at all relevant or valid. Especially depending on how long you had to sit there and look at the faces. I had to do it for at least an hour and quickly lost interest and attention. I also I found some of the facial expressions just weird, not "extremely unpleasant" or some of the other descriptions they wanted me to use. Overall I think this test could be greatly modified, I don't think looking at a white face and black face and writing good or bad has much to do with your thoughts about different races.

I took this test and I felt the same way. They made me memorize a list of words under the categories "good" and "bad" and then had to place them in the right categories later on which were also matched with a white or black person. I felt that this test was definitely not testing my prejudices it was just testing my memory. If it had been more words that I was familiar with I wouldn't have gotten so many wrong. I agree with you about how it didn't seem to be valid and they should find a test to more accurately assess traits especially one such as prejudice that is so controversial.

What a coincidence that I just did a REP study that was very similar to what you are talking about here. But instead of "black" and "white", "good" and "bad", I did it with "gay" and "straight", "good" and "bad". In this study, I definitely favored "good" and " straight". However, in no means am I against homosexuals, in fact one of my best friends is gay; I think it is, like you said, what I am used to. Since the majority of society is heterosexual, I think it is just kind of in our nature to believe this is acceptable. Something like religion could have a big impact on this viewpoint as well though.

I took a similar REP study that also reminded me of the one you explained here. I had to say if I would let my partner pick or let myself pick an amount of money we could win based off the face that was presented, the face being the person who was supposed to be my partner. The intent of the test was to see if one's personality or how someone looked had an effect on how we judged or trusted someone. I have to agree that tests like this one, and the one you described, are not very accurate or reliable. I found myself very bored and tired of the study after sitting there for a long time and I don't think that it tested my judge on personality very well. I also agree that there has to be another way that is more reliable to test one's judge of character or personality.

I took this test once in my leadership course in the Fall. I personally think this test is kind of flawed because it forces you to pick a side, there's no middle ground for you to feel equally among two categories. It in a way "makes you prejudice" for a particular race, because I know myself am not phased by anyone who is of a different race/sex/sexual preference or is disabled. This test should be modified, or just thrown out. What if our results really did not reflect our views, but we were then influenced to act prejudice because the test thinks it can explain your thoughts? False. We make our own decisions and perceptions, they should not be justified based on a test such as this.

I agree with you 100 percent. It seems ridiculous to me that a scientist can generalize so much, and make inferences off so little. I know sometimes a person or scientist has to do that, but in cases like the one talked about above, that is a lot to infer without much other information. Great post, and good points.

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This page contains a single entry by vosbu006 published on April 22, 2012 9:21 PM.

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