Monday, August 25, 2014

Snap Judgements: Race, Religion, and Age

People are like library books, sorted into different shelves because of what they look like, where they come from, what they believe, and how old they are. It's how we make sense of the world. The problem with the organization scheme is that there seems to be an implicit hierarchy, giving some categories more preferable shelves than others. In the Psychological Science article "The Rules of Implicit Evaluation by Race, Religion, and Age," UVa researcher Jordan Axt, with the assistance of Brian Nosek and Charles Ebersole, used the Brief Implicit Association test to measure individuals' quick reactions to images and text as a way of determining their bias towards race, religion, and age. The results indicated that after the individual picked their own group as the top preference, the remaining groups consistently fell into the same order. For example, if the individual was Asian, he would categorically pick positive associations with Asians but for the remaining races they were ordered in the following order with the most preferential first: Whites, Asians, Blacks, Hispanics. Regardless of the individual's race, the remaining races were always listed in that order. For additional information and interviews, check out this article on the Daily Progress website.