I'll not explain how they are thought to work as I don't want to bias your results. Give it a shot, maybe before you read the rest of this post. The tests can be found here:
I took 3 of them. I took the one for skin color, black vs white, and was more than relieved to read:
Your data suggest little to no automatic preference between European American and African American.Great, right? 1 for 1. But...
I saw they had a gay/straight test and I ended up with:
Your data suggest a slight automatic preference for Gay People compared to Straight People.At least it's "slight". I was worried I may have negative subconscious biases against gays, due to my reflex regarding promiscuity.
Let's see, how to rationalize this?.. I don't want to be biased in favor of "my kind", even (or particularly) in my local anti-gay political arena. I think this might go back to my idea of moral orientation. There is an undeniable moral reflex component to my orientation built deep inside. I know this even though, rationally, on the surface I know it's not right. Heck, some of my best friends are straight ;-). It's something for me to keep in mind and watch for.
Finally, I took the Arab/Other test:
Your data suggest a slight automatic preference for Other People compared to Arab Muslims.I know it's just a test and could certainly be wrong for all sorts of reasons, but this worried me. Did I maybe pick up bias after 9/11? Another bit of evidence may be in some overcompensation. Most of the charity my family has done recently has been involving the local refugee community, most of whom are Muslim, though not Arab. One of my good friends now is a conservative Muslim woman. Some people on the radio program talked about realizing their bias and then, in reaction, surrounding themselves with its target to work on that part of themselves they can't stand. Could I have subconsciously began involving myself with Muslims in recent years because I somewhere felt that bias and a need to exorcise it down?
It's complicated being human, conscious and still not privy to all that goes on between the ears, but I regret it could make sense to me now that I've this bias in me. I will be on the lookout.
Anyway, I recommend you take the tests (and share the results, please). Also, at the end they give you the distribution of others who've taken the same test (click on the image to get the detailed breakdown). Could you e-mail me the images of those distributions if you take a test I have not? I'm graphing them together out of curiosity:
I find it interesting how similar the reactions to black/white are to gay/straight, and I wonder how other groups compare.
If you get a unwanted result, I'd try to keep in mind (as I am trying :-)) it's not the subconscious bigotry that speaks to your character. It doesn't matter if a person feels nauseated at the sight of two men kissing, or an interracial couple, or whatever. It matters how they regard their reflex and how they act, how they treat their neighbor, or how they vote.
As a head of a minority family I know subconscious bias, regrettably held, is nothing compared to unabashed bigotry, felt without shame, felt even with surface self-righteousness and entitlement over the minority. One is a forgivable weakness of the pattern-seeking human brain; the other, though, is one of the most prolific fonts of human cruelty. Simply, there are the bigots and then there are bigots. We all probably have work to do and strict attention to pay to how we see the other, even if such a test means nothing.
When I'm not sick of it, I'm going back to do the JFK/GWB test. I know if that one comes off in a way I don't expect there's not much credence to them ;-).