Day 157: Learn I’m a sexist

February 7, 2011 § 4 Comments

Stephanie and I are both big fans of the author Malcolm Gladwell. He has written a number of interesting articles for the “New Yorker,” and has written books such as “The Tipping Point,” “Blink” and “Outliers,” each of which examines complex social phenomenons.

“Blink” is a book about subconscious decisions and how we go about making them. In the book, Gladwell discusses a study out of Harvard titled Project Implicit.

The project has a series of tests which  gauge a person’s subconscious through word association. In the spirit of trying new things, I decided to take one.

The one I took was on gender and career. On the left side of the screen were the words “Female” and “Family,” and on the right side were the words “Male” and “Career.” In the middle of the screen words would pop up like “Salary” and “Wedding,” or names like “Emily” and “Joe.” As quickly as possible, I would have to decide whether the word that popped up belonged on the left side with Female and Family, or on the right side with Male and Career. In the second round, it switched up the sides so that the left read Female and Career, and the right read Male and Family.

The idea is that when you are going quickly, you make many decisions subconsciously. It was natural for me to send “Salary” and “Promotion” to the male side, and “Children” and “Wedding” to the female side.  Subconsciously, I associate males with career and females with family.

When I finished, the test told me I was slightly sexist. I guess that’s better than being extremely sexist. At least now I am aware of it. After all, a sexist who is aware of his sexism is better than an ignorant sexist, right?

If you are interested in taking the test, visit https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/demo/selectatest.html. They also have ones on race, sexuality, religion and weight.

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§ 4 Responses to Day 157: Learn I’m a sexist

  • Kenny Hughes says:

    I’m not really sure I buy the premise of that study. I don’t put much stock into the whole “your subconscious determines who you are and what you think” idea. It seems like it reveals stereotypes you’ve been exposed to, if anything.

    • Jaret Moss says:

      Were there examples like doing the laundry and making food? Because if that was the case then I feel like I would get the score of very sexist

  • Kim says:

    Dislike, Jaret! Starting tomorrow you will do your own laundry and make your own meals.

  • Kenny Hughes says:

    Ooooh, swing and a miss Jaret

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