Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Entertaining and Informational - Who knew?

If you haven't been paying attention to the news, you may not have heard about the Harvard Project Implicit - the Implicit Association Test. Basically, they believe that people don't always speak their minds or even know their own minds. Try it out. I signed up to be a part of the research and have participated in four studies already. I found it to be fascinating. Not of the results were earth shattering news, but still quite interesting.

The first focused on racial bias. I showed a slight preference for whites. It is natural for me to have a bias towards people like myself. It has a sociological basis. It has become ingrained in our self conscious because back in the hunter/gatherer era man had to protect his tribe in order to survive. It was so important that it became part of our sociological make-up. Of course, since I am white, I am part of the majority in the U.S., which not matter what or how hard I try will be a part of me. I should not have to be embarrassed by this preference, but somehow I am. A lot of years of diversity training and my upbringing as a military dependent are probably kicking in.

Second test focused on a preference for Wrinkles versus Plastic Surgery. My results are inconclusive, which doesn't surprise me either. My friends and I have been talking about having a breast lift done in about 9 years. We figure at 40 years old, we are going to need the help keeping things where they should be. Just yesterday, one of my colleagues and I were discussing childbirth. Both of us are unmarried and not looking at having kids until we are at least 35. So, we're a bit concerned about what it will do to our bodies. I was telling her that I read you can get a tummy tuck at the time that you give birth. I thought it was a great idea. However, I am opposed to those Extreme Makeover shows. Those people are sliced and diced so much that I think part of who they are gets lost in the changes. I also don't mind the wrinkles. I feel I've earned them and I don't really care if I get more. Of course, right now I have few at 30, almost 31, years old.

Third test focuses on a preference for public versus private life. I showed a slight preference for a private life. I figured that as I feel I am constant struggle to maintain any privacy. I hate the grocery store cards that track my every purchase. I dislike having to constantly release my personal information. When I was growing up, privacy did not exist in our house. We had four kids in my family and usually only four bedrooms. So, someone always had to share. My family has no idea why I don't share every bit of my life with them. They are incredibly nosy people.

And the final test I took today focused on a preference for the East Coast versus the West Coast. Since I've only lived on the East Coast and never in the West, it wasn't shocking that I showed a strong preference for the East Coast. I like this coast. Sure, it's a bit more formal than the west coast, but I like the changing of the seasons and the attitude that accompanies it.

I hope you all try it. It's fascinating. I know I'll be back for more.


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