Saturday, April 20, 2013
I'm reading the book Blind Spot right now. It speaks to the fact that people have biases that they may not even realize. It gives a style of test that seeks to uncover the things we can't consciously identify.
The first test in the book simply illustrates the point by showing a latent preference (though many of us would openly admit the preference) for flowers over insects.
The second test is actually to identify racial preference. Though most of us would say we believe in racial equality, we have another level at which we make decisions based on more unconscious beliefs. On that level, the majority of people who would claim the belief in racial equality actually show a latent bias toward white or European American people.
The EXTREMELY odd result I received however, left me laughing and wondering if they would talk about it in the book (they don't). It turns out I am biased AGAINST white people. ROFL! I AM white but apparently I more closely associate African American or black people with good things than I do white people. Is that hilarious or what? Here they are trying to say that we all have these latent biases that affect our behavior towards people on a deeper level than we're aware, so we should become aware so we can be careful to better align ourselves with our conscious beliefs.
So what does someone like me do?! It just cracks me up! I guess I better be careful not to be prejudiced against those white people out there. I'd hate to be called racist!