Harvards "Implicit Association Test"...hmmm...

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For my 3rd entry I decided to take Harvard's "IAT" test and see what it was all about. You yourself can take the test if you so choose to (). My results were interesting. The final page read: "Your data suggest a moderate automatic preference for Straight People compared to Gay People." I find my personal results puzzling... mostly because I am gay; and I have a significant other that I've been with for 4 years. So, I now sit here wondering a). did I score these results due to the fact that I'm running off of 4 hours of sleep?, or b). do I seem to have a "automatic preference for straight people compared to gay people" because I often times try to hide the fact that I'm gay so I don't have to explain my sexual orientations to others and justify who I am?

I found a very interesting link on the page that shows results from between 2002-2006 listed by Harvard. I'm puzzled yet again why people associate "bad" quicker with being "gay." This "Sexuality Attitude" bar graph leaves me wondering "Do people associate 'gay' with 'bad' more so than 'good' because it's been termed 'abnormal'?" I don't think that I'm abnormal...I am who I am... not some genetic defect.


How does this bar graph leave you feeling? (content, uneffected, disgusted with society, upset, frustrated, confused, etc). I'd also be VERY interested to hear the results of anyone else after they take the test.

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It is interesting isn't it Athena when we get results like this from the IAT. I am not surprised. It appears from the histogram you display that most people tend to react just as you had.

Did the IAT ask about your sexual orientation? I would be curious to see these results broken out by gay and straight. You might predict that gay people would not have such a negative implicit association since they would be associating people they tend to be attracted to.

I hesitate using the word abnormal to describe homosexuality. I feel that sexual behavior has been forced into discreet categories by culture and that it may be more realistic to view sexuality on a continuum rather than as gay or straight. To be sure, heterosexual behavior is much more common and is necessary for the survival of our species, but we know that homosexuality has been around for a long time and that it has not been systematically eliminated from the genome simply because gay people cannot reproduce.

But curiously enough, black people show the same negative associations to their own race (although to a smaller degree) as white people do to blacks. Same is true for the elderly who tend to show preference for young people over their own group.

We are only beginning to understand how these associations are formed and maintained since it is only recently that we understood they even existed at all and we could measure them! Part of it may be how we understand what the majority of others feel about a certain group and we have internalized those feelings in order to socialize better and fit in with group norms.

Part of it may be due to the fact that you do still need to be discreet about your sexuality and that the whole gay marriage issue is a focus of contentious debate.

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This page contains a single entry by galva034 published on April 30, 2012 1:06 PM.

Notable Abnormality was the previous entry in this blog.


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