Friday, June 08, 2007

Harvard Unearths My Racism

You will not thank me for drawing your attention to this. It's a set of Harvard University tests to determine your 'implicit associations', meaning, I guess, unthinking prejudices. I seem to have a moderate automatic preference for white people over black people. I couldn't do any more of the tests because life is short and I have a day job. Such things are, of course, manifestations of physics envy, desperate attempts by psychologists to give their subject a hard scientific basis. They shouldn't bother. Psychology is a perfectly respectable and interesting subject without the need for such laughably contrived and rigged mechanisms for persuading me that I am a racist. I probably do have some slight buried preference for whites over blacks. I know it doesn't affect my life and behaviour - I would be ashamed if it did - and, anyway, I prefer people called Bryan with a fondness for Norfolk, Manchester City, Wallace Stevens, cricket and Jeffrey Archer's increasingly error infested blog (the Hockney painting is of trees near Warter, not Water) to either.

13 comments:

  1. philip wallingJune 08, 2007 6:49 am

    Depressing drivel! Is this what they do at Harvard? I looked at the one about fatness and it has confirmed my contempt for fat yanks. Rather than trying to re-educate us it would be more useful if thet looked at the psychological reasons for obesity being the normal state in the US (and in Britain now I fear). They all look like big fat babies and the attitude behind these tests would seem to confirm that they are.

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  2. It does get off to 'a cracker' though:
    "It is well known that people don't always 'speak their minds', and it is suspected that people don't always 'know their minds'. Understanding such divergences is important to scientific psychology."

    I admit that is about 'as far as' I 'wish to get' and 'have so far gotten.' But 'who knows'? Perhaps that 'may change'.

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  3. I know, Andrew, psychologists do seem to have an odd concept of consciousness. If I momentarily think something, they seem to think that is as much as manifestation of my personality as any considered statement I may make. This is, plainly, absurd.

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  4. There's many kinds of eunuchs in life, Bryan, and it strikes me that the scientific materialists, of which these kind of psychologists are surely an offshoot, are possibly the greatest eunuchs of all.

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  5. They(the materialists) seem to imagine if they can reduce life dowin to its l smallest parts that they have come to the root of life itself. This would seem to be comparable to describing, for example, Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony in terms of the vibration of air molecules. Which is true as far as it goes but to pretend it amounts to the full picture or truth is simply idiotic.
    Though that may have veered a bit away from psychologists. The mention of Eliot the other day brought to mind the following lines:
    "The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
    And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
    When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall..."

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  6. I got half way through one of these tedious tests and began to wish that I was deeply prejudiced, if only to make the whole experience more interesting. I gave up in the end when I couldn't stop associating the word mango with evil.

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  7. Clearly it must be a seriously flawed test because the results aren't measured in prejudons, the internationally recognised scientific unit of racial prejudice.

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  8. philip wallingJune 08, 2007 3:42 pm

    I thought associating failure and pain with evil was the best give-away. Either or preferably both would do teach the makers of this nonsense a lot more than they'll learn from their scientific materialism. And peter w, prejudon is the internationally recognised unit of measurement, I'd forgotten about that: may Peter Simple rest in peace and rise in glory!

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  9. Dawdler's twaddle.

    (Enough said.)

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  10. On matters Archer, why is the official blog? Does he think someone might do an unofficial one

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  11. After taking the racism test, I think the test is racist itself. I'm not sure if it the sorting sides are random, but my test had me initially associate African-American faces with "bad" things. When it was time to switch sorting sides, the previous sets had already trained my brain to associate the two. If African-American faces were first related to "good" things, the set results might be quite different.

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  12. I've been enjoying fake Steve Jobs. Maybe it's time for a Fake Jeffrey Archer?

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  13. I think Marydell is right. The test reflects the testers' presumptions and is rigged to confirm them.

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