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Journal of No. 118

September 15th, 2009

Test your Religious Prejudice @ 05:01 pm

Harvard's Project Implicit offers an Implicit Association Test on Religion. If you've haven't seen these tests before, they ask you to discriminate between positive and negative words and words relating to one of four religions. A particular task might be to press one key for either positive words or words related to Judaism, and to press a different key for negative words and words NOT related to Judaism (ahem, like "Jesus"). After some mumbo-jumbo relating presumably to reaction time, the test purports to reveal your biases. My Implicit Preference Scale runs on a vertical axis. Religions I prefer are toward the top, ones I hate are toward the bottom. You can't actually see the ends of this scale, since they are off the screen about equal amounts in both directions. So it looks to me like I don't really care much either way. [Sorry about that low ranking, Apu, but I bet the margin of error really means they are indistinguishable.]

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Date:September 16th, 2009 01:08 am (UTC)

I'm having screen grab issues, but mine shows Christianity, Judaism, and Islam on the same level, at about the 1/2 way mark (between your listing for Islam/Judaism and Hinduism) and Hinduism just slightly above them.
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Date:September 16th, 2009 02:25 am (UTC)
I have a bigger spread - I like Hinduism a lot more, Islam and Judaism are in the middle like yours, and Christianity was pretty far down - farther than the distance between the other three. (Take that, Vacation Bible School!)

Meanwhile, I tended to make more errors cataloging the positive and negative terms than the religious ones, which may be its own kettle of fish. And have they checked the test for handedness bias, I wonder? Is "Good" always on the right?
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Date:September 16th, 2009 03:51 am (UTC)
I wondered about handedness as well, but "Greenwald & Nosek (2001, p. 87) reported no effects on IAT scores of subject self-reported handedness in a large web-based data collection"

Similarly "Greenwald et al. (1998)" found no handedness effect.

Two studies by the same guy may not be conclusive, but it's not bad evidence.
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Date:September 16th, 2009 04:10 am (UTC)

Megan posing as Jason . . . .

Hinduism wasn't even an option on mine. Hmm. I had Christianity, then Buddhism and Islam tied for second, with Judaism falling in last place. This means nothing to me. If I have any slight bias against, I would guess it would be toward Christianity because I have had actual experience with that. Strange. I also had trouble with the basic positive and negative terms.
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Date:September 16th, 2009 08:20 pm (UTC)
I got Christian, then Hinduism and Judaism, and finally Islam. I self-rated Christianity as low as Islam though, and the other two were higher. I think that Christianity came up higher simply because, living in a predominately Christian culture, I have just had more experience with the words.

I was thinking about handedness and also lateralization of language processing in the brain. But if there is an effect it would be the same for all trials, so maybe it doesn't matter.
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Date:September 17th, 2009 01:47 am (UTC)
I found myself getting thwarted by the colors, not the words.
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Date:September 17th, 2009 06:57 pm (UTC)

Mine rated Islam higher than the others even though I checked on the form that I "strongly disapproved of" Islam.

I also got confused by the fact that "mantra" was supposed to be Hindu and "Yahweh" and "Abraham" were supposed to be only Jewish and not also Christian.

Not sure I understand how it works. But basically I don't like any of 'em, so it doesn't matter much.

Journal of No. 118