This term I am taking the class Women and Minorities in the Media (also known as J 320) with Professor Debra Merskin. For one of our first assignments, we were instructed to take an Implicit Association test that measures the levels of automatic associations we make in our every day lives. For example, I took one test that measured the level of automatic association I had with males and science as opposed to females and liberal arts. My results showed that I had a moderate association with men and science and with women and liberal arts.
While before I took this test I already knew that I associated men more with science than with liberal arts, even after getting my results I couldn’t quite figure out why this was the case. I suppose the fact that, throughout my life, I have simply known more men interested in the science field than women has influenced my opinion. A couple of examples: my boyfriend is an Industrial Engineering major and I am a Journalism major, while my father was a biomedical engineer and my mother is a speech therapist. Also, my boyfriend has told me that his classes rarely have girls in them. I’m sure all of these things influenced my associations.
I thought this assignment was very helpful in opening people’s eyes to the snap judgments often made in regards to women vs. men. I invite you all to go to the Project Implicit website (click on the “Research” link and then enter your email) to take one of these tests for yourselves; the results can be pretty interesting! 🙂