Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The Are You A Racist quiz

So apparently there's this big to-do about the test of black men w/ guns vs. white men w/ guns and reaction time. There's apparently been some rending of garments about whether in fact the test takers are racist. I was kind of curious to see if I was racist or not. I guess I've watched TV as much as most people and grown up in urban/suburban areas, and heard enough stories that I should be fairly subconsciously racist, I thought. Imagine my surprise when I saw my results:

Black Armed:874.92ms
Black Unarmed:1020ms
White Armed:849.68ms
White Unarmed:1015.24ms

If I understand these figures correctly. I am slower to react to unarmed people of either race, although slightly quicker to recognize white people as not a threat. However I seem to be comparatively quicker to shoot white men with guns than black men with guns. Go figure. Someone help me interpret this data.


smelly said...

maybe you're not looking at their faces, you're looking for their hands first. if they're not holding a gun, you're a bit confused, so you're reaction time goes up. i assume this because it doesn't look like there would be any statistical difference between the races for you.

Jess said...

Smelly has a good point. As for the "quicker to react to white than to black men", that kind of data are usually interpreted as "overcompensating" for racism, whether internalized or perceived from society as a whole. (In other words, "I must be extra nice to this black dude to make up for the fact I'm uncomfortable around him" or "I must be extra nice to make up for the fact that everyone else is a racist asshole.")

At least, that's what I remember from Kathy's section in intro psych.