Harvard Implicit Association Test (IAT)

Here is a tool that allows each of us to discover hidden cognitive biases. 

Most people are aware of their own overt biases, but it is very difficult for us to become aware of our covert biases.

The Implicit Association Test (IAT) is excellent for showing bias and how our unconscious drives our day to day decision making.  It helps all of us, from all backgrounds, recognize unconscious/hidden biases which may unknowingly distort our objective evaluation and treatment of others based upon race, gender, religion, culture, etc.

It also opens pathways for participants, once their unconscious bias awareness is raised (in spite of most people's surprise that they still have room for growth), to take specific behavioral steps to help interrupt some of those biases in their professional and personal performance and interactions.

Psychologists understand that people may not say what's on their minds either because they are unwilling or because they are unable to do so. For example, if asked "How much do you smoke?" a smoker who smokes 4 packs a day may purposely report smoking only 2 packs a day because they are embarrassed to admit the correct number. Or, the smoker may simply not answer the question, regarding it as a private matter. (These are examples of being unwilling to report a known answer.) But it is also possible that a smoker who smokes 4 packs a day may report smoking only 2 packs because they honestly believe they only smoke about 2 packs a day. (Unknowingly giving an incorrect answer is sometimes called self-deception; this illustrates being unable to give the desired answer).

The unwilling-unable distinction is like the difference between purposely hiding something from others and unconsciously hiding something from yourself. The Implicit Association Test makes it possible to penetrate both of these types of hiding. The IAT measures implicit attitudes and beliefs that people are either unwilling or unable to report."

This tool was developed by a group of researchers from Harvard University and has proven validity.

Here is a link to the test should you decide to take it.  The test is free and results are kept confidential, but tagged for research purposes.  Please refer to the disclaimer.


Back to Implicit Bias, Inclusivity, and Workplace Culture