This week I refocused and was able to get a lot done. The catalyst to my productive week was deciding on a date for my actual study to take place with the History Department head. I’m going to administer my test to the Peace and Justice classes at Westtown in the first week of November, giving me enough time to analyze the data. 

At first, I thought it might be best to measure the participants’ baseline for implicit bias with the Project Implicit Test. Although this test is fairly accurate, it does not give the result in a numerical quantity, which makes it very difficult to track progress. So instead of using the existing test, I have decided to create my own model.

My test will be based on the principle of facial recognition, which I covered in a previous blog post. According to an interesting published work I read, there is “a causal link between the Other-Race Effect and implicit racial bias.”  The authors also conclude that “training that ameliorates the perceptual Other-Race Effect also reduces socio-cognitive implicit racial bias.” This means that with a facial recognition test, I will be able to detect implicit bias and attach a quantity to said bias.

The test will be fairly simple. The participants will be presented with a list of racially ambiguous people (some smiling, some frowning). The participants will then be asked to identify if each person is White or African American. I will be able to detect bias if the participant identifies a smiling person as their same race or a frowning person as a different race. I hope it works out!fingers-crossed

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6 thoughts on “Progress

  1. ainsleybruton

    It is so cool that you made up your own test!!! That’s amazing! I do have one question: you said that it will detect implicit bias if the participant selects the smiling faces as their own race. Shouldn’t it be that the smiling faces are identified as white, not necessarily the same race as the participant? You might have covered this previously (I haven’t been following all of your posts), but my understanding of implicit bias is that even people of color are biased towards white people, because that is the way that our system has been set up in America. I’m excited to learn how your tests come out!

  2. aidanpeterson

    I’m very excited to see how your tests come out, this is a subject that interests me ever since I watched the movie “Separate but Equal”. I think it would be an interesting watch for you, it has a lot about implicit bias in segregated schools.

  3. tkbarnet

    I was wondering how large of a sample size you are trying to get for your study. Will it just be a few classes of P&J or all of them combined?

  4. Sophie Xi

    I find your idea about constructing an implicit test rather intriguing! I am also very curious to learn about how do other ethnic groups, such as Asians, react to the looks of Whites and African Americans. I can’t wait to hear from your further exploration on this topic!

  5. margaretjhaviland

    I am wondering about Tom’s question as well. Will you have a statistically significant number of test subjects? This might be a question for T. Elson. Ainsley’s question also makes me wonder. Will you collect any demographic data? For instance, I wonder if people coming from fairly, racially homogeneous 8th grade programs will have a different baseline than students who came from racially diverse 8th grade programs. In other words, how important is prior experience to your baseline or are you just trying to establish an individual baseline for each test subject the way we do with the head injury impact testing before students can begin athletic practice. In other words everyone will have their own starting place and then with your training they will all move to their new individual place?


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