Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Implicit Associations

              What stood out to me in Malcolm Gladwells' writing was how true everything he wrote about was. From how we pick a leader to our subconscious bias on things like race, religion, and sexuality. What I take away from his writing is how much these subconscious bias' can affect our decisions. These implicit feelings can alter how you view a person, and treat them, whether its a job interview, or even passing them on the street. We should take this chapter , that Gladwell wrote, into consideration during our discussion of leadership because he talks about the, 'Warren Harding Error'. The 'Warren Harding Error' explains that naturally, and sometimes subconsciously, people choose leaders, like Harding, because they look attractive and kind, like a leader people want, and don't bother to look closer because, they are blinded by this implicit bias that that is what a leader should look like. I think that people can become aware of their unconscious biases, however i don't think that these biases can be undone. I think that even if you work diminish this bias, there will still be that small part of you, even one that you may not be aware of, that has a preconceived idea of things, that will always be there. Besides physical attractiveness, in a leader people look for someone who is, open-minded, kind-hearted, trustworthy, and intelligent. These qualities make people feel safe, and like they can depend on that person to make 'good' or moral choices. The implicit tests I took were the; race test, gender test, and the sexuality test. According to the race test, I have a, moderate automatic preference for light skin compared to dark skin. I was not completely surprised about my result for this test because as Gladwell says," We live in North America, where we are surrounded day to day with cultural messages linking white with good." For the gender test my result showed that I have a strong association of male with career and female with family. I was slightly surprised with my result for this test considering my mom has been working and providing for me and my sister my whole life. I also took the sexuality test which showed that I have a strong automatic preference for gay people compared to straight people. I was not surprised by my result for this test because there are multiple gay people in my family.

Implicit Associations Test: Race
Implicit Associations Test: Gender

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