It is a fact that people don’t always speak their minds. But sometimes people do not speaking their minds because people don’t know their minds. The IAT Test exposes the unconscious prejudice that people do not self report.
Implicit racism can be seen in many cases. Jennifer Eberhardt (2006) experimented implicit racism by making judges decide if a shown criminal should be sentenced to death or not. It was seen that between two images of criminals (where both had no records of crime but the judges did not know about it) the judges would find the person who was considered to be more stereotypically black to be sentenced to death.
The IAT Test goes from different stages such as people are asked to categorize the faces of black and white people. Then, they are asked to categorize negative and positive words. The test later on asks to combine the faces and words together. They ask to press the left key on the computer when a black face and a positive word comes up and asks to press the right key when a white face and a negative word comes up. In the last stage opposite pairs like ‘black or negative, white or positive’ are shown. By taking the test the emotions and attitudes towards African American’s can be measured by the time the person takes to respond to black-bad/white-good versus black-good/white-bad pairs.
The IAT Test was found by Anthony Greenwald (1998) to measure the implicit racism. Greenwald tested a group of white students with the IAT Test to see the automatic reaction that they would give toward race. The test revealed the true responses and attitudes that were suppressed. Even though the white students did not show any explicit negative thoughts in the self evaluation reports, they demonstrated more quick responses to the grouping of ‘white + pleasant and black + unpleasant.’ This concluded to students showing more positive automatic evaluation towards white people.
The implicit racism makes me question where does these unconscious thoughts comes from? Is it the environment that we live in? Is it the society that embeds these thoughts? Or is it the background knowledge and historical facts that we keep on learning today embeds thoughts to our minds to differentiate race? Would it be better not to talk about these issues from the past to new generations so that they would not differentiate people by seeing that once there was a difference between races? Or is it better to talk about them and try to come up with solutions to the thoughts of the older generations and how?