Do you have an automatic preference for light-skinned people vs. dark-skinned people? For gay images vs. heterosexual images? Vice versa?
Researchers at Harvard University, the University of Virginia, and the University of Washington have developed a series of free on-line tests that purport to measure our automatic preferences on a variety of topics. Each test takes from 10-15 minutes.
One of the other members on my church’s Search Committee for a new minister sent the link to me with the idea that the committee members could discover prejudices of which we were unaware. The site has the look and feel of a serious academic study rather than a fun meme, and there’s demographic – but no individually identifiable information – collected. Despite the scientific feeling and the fact that I was kinda told to check myself out, I enjoyed clicking on the site.
The two results I got were in line with my own thoughts about my biases, so of course I think the test is well constructed.
If you have 10 minutes, give it try.