IATs are here, there, everywhere

April 7, 2008

It could just be my own recent exposure to implicit association tests (IATs), but it seems like they’re getting more attention outside academia. Exhibit A: Nick Kristof’s column yesterday. (BTW, Kristof speaks this Thursday at 8 in Leverone!)

I’ve taken Harvard’s race IAT several times (and used it in an experiment for my thesis) but wasn’t aware of UChicago’s test on the shooter effect prior to Kristof’s column. Kristof writes that he was quicker to shoot armed blacks and took longer to holster his gun for unarmed ones. While I was also quicker to shoot armed blacks (649 vs. 707 milliseconds), I took longer to holster my gun for unarmed whites (739 vs. 712 ms). Any interpretations, folks?

A race IAT was a major component of my thesis for LB’s class last quarter. Based on a study at Stanford, which found that undergraduates exposed to the school’s sexual harassment policy displayed stronger automatic preference for men on a gender IAT, my thesis examined whether undergraduates at Northwestern exposed to the school’s hate speech code displayed stronger automatic preference for whites on a race IAT. The result: Nope.

More people should take IATs and consider their biases. Exposing others to these tests could help them better understand how their minds operate.

I’m Mad and I Can Type

March 19, 2008

First, let me just say, I stole that line from Belle.  (I SWEAR that I did not know her front page cites my book when I planned this post!!)

So Kristen (Elliot Spitzer’s prostitute) seen here whose real name is ashley: 


was in a “Girls Gone Wild” video some time ago.  You know, the videos where young women bare their breasts for a trucker hat?  The phenomenon has amazed me for years.  Lots of drunk girls bumping and grinding and flashing their breasts.  How, how, how can this be legal?  They are making contracts (they have to sign something) when they are inebriated, right?  And often, underage. 

Did I mention underage?  Yes, she was 17 when she appeared on GGW.  Turns out, in Florida, a 17 year old can legally agree to be photographed naked as long as there is no sexual contact or money exchanged.  And of course, what the gals get is a trucker hat, not money.  WHAT THE F*&%K!?!?!?!

A good book about this:



Female Chauvanist Pigs:  Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture. 

What is going on?  Am I just old?  Or have women just completely forgotten that we deserve to be taken seriously?