Benchmark – Implicit Association Tests
Take one (gender, age, race, sexuality, disability, or weight) of the Implicit Association Tests (IAT) at the Harvard University website.
In 750-1,000 words, address the following:
Examine how attitude is formed.
Discuss how personal implicit biases can form understandings at a local, national or global level.
Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the IAT as a research tool.
Reflect on your personal results from the IAT.
Use three to five scholarly sources to support your thinking, your textbook can be used as one of the resources.
Attitude can be defined as a general and lasting negative or positive feeling or opinion about an object, person, or issue. According to Branscombe & Baron (2016), attitude formation occurs as a result of persuasion from others, the media, or direct experiences. An attitude is therefore anchored on three foundations, including behavior, emotion, and cognition. Scholarly studies have also suggested that attitudes can also develop from psychological needs, genetics, and social interactions (Marcinkowski & Reid, 2019). Psychological needs represent the motivational foundations of attitudes, while social interactions represent the social foundations of attitudes.
The emotion or effect that is associated with an attitude is a vital component of an attitude. The basic levels of attitude include emotions such as like or dislike or pleasant or unpleasant. In such incidences, attitudes are therefore formed through emotions as opposed to logic or thinking. Thus, the emotional formation of attitudes is informed by sensory reactions, classical conditioning, operant conditioning, values, evaluative conditioning, exposure, and semantic generalization (Marcinkowski & Reid, 2019). Some attitudes can originate from an individual’s large belief systems, with individuals holding attitudes that validate their basic values.
On the other hand, an individual may form an attitude as a result of operant conditioning, which entails reinforcing pleasant experiences or discouraging unpleasant experiences (Branscombe & Baron, 2016). An attitude can also be formed due to semantic generalization, which can entail the spreading of a given attitude between different people. Attitudes may also emerge from behavioral foundations. This will include the formation of attitudes through actions (Van Giesen et al., 2015). An individual may also form attitudes through different actions and experiences that they perform or encounter. Attitudes also have cognitive foundations. This might be referred to as beliefs that come from the direct experiences of an individual in the world and their thoughts about the world. Therefore, an individual can form attitudes through wondering, deliberating, reflecting, imagining, processing, reflecting, and other activities such as writing, talking, reading, and listening (Branscombe & Baron, 2016).
Effect of Personal Implicit Biases on Understanding
Personal implicit biases can inform understanding at the local, national, or global level. An implicit bias is there for unconscious attitude, belief, or association towards a given social group (van Giesen et al., 2015). Individuals may frequently attribute certain characteristics and qualities to all members of a given social group in what is referred to as stereotyping. At the local, national and global levels, implicit personal biases can result in stereotyping and discrimination in different social settings such as schools, workplaces, healthcare settings, and legal settings.
Strengths and Weaknesses of the IAT as A Research Tool
As a research tool, the IAT has numerous strengths and weaknesses. One of the main strengths of the IAT is that it’s a self-administered research tool that reduces the chances of research bias and is cost-effective (Goodall, 2016). On the other hand, there IAT is implicit, which reduces the chances of research bias. Another strength of the IAT as a research tool is that it’s convenient and can be easily adapted for a wide range of studies and circumstances. The final strength of the IAT as a research tool is that the tool has good internal reliability because any external factors do not influence it. This increases the chances of accurate results (Goodall, 2016).
In contrast, the IAT as a research tool has some weaknesses, which include the inability to be replicated because performing the same study can result in a lot of contradictory evidence (Goodall, 2016). Another shortcoming of the IAT as a research tool is that the test can pick up associations of an individual from cultural knowledge as opposed to associations from self. The IAT can also be affected by external factors such as the time of day the participants take the study or the amount of sleep a research participant has had (Goodall, 2016).