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UVA Researchers Test Racial Bias

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IAT IAT
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

Psychology researchers at the University of Virginia say they may have a way of testing whether a person is racist or not. It's called the Implicit Association Test (IAT) and 2 million people have already taken it online. 

UVA is one of four universities working with the test. The other schools include  University of Washington, Harvard University and University of Florida.

The test detects uncontrolled racial bias preferences by rapidly having a tester sort through a series of faces as either African American or European American as they also sort through positive and negative words.

Researchers say because the test is measured in milliseconds, the tester's choices cannot be consciously controlled. Their subconscious reactions are motivating their responses.

"What the IAT is tapping into is much more every day bias. Biases that are rooted in cultural knowledge, what we know and what we've been exposed to, regardless of what we actually believe,” said Calvin Lai, graduate research assistant.

Researchers found that racial bias between African American and white people is higher in the southern states. They account some of this to the heavy influence of liberalism and conservative political ideologies in these states.

An important conclusion that social psychologists who study IAT test results came to is that subconscious racial biases exist in all genders, ages, and demographics.

To take the test, click here. Click on “Take a Test” at the top of the page, then click “I wish to proceed” on the next page. Click the “Race IAT” on the sidebar to begin.

For more on the research at UVA, click here.