The Rhetoric of Pop Psychology – The Nation


A couple of years ago, just one simple quiz could determine how racist you are. Such was the sudden ubiquity of the implicit association test, or IAT, a diagnostic tool purporting to measure one’s unconscious biases. While it can be calibrated to gauge any number of hidden prejudices, the IAT has most commonly been used to determine lurking racial attitudes. And during Barack Obama’s second term, the IAT, which was developed in 1995, found a new life online. NPR calmly instructed its liberal readers what to do if they flunked it; The Washington Post wrote up what an aggregate of test results allegedly told us about America; even Hillary Clinton brought up the concept of implicit bias, in her 2016 debates with Donald Trump.

My own results have been lost to the maw of online history, so you’ll have to trust me that the test—which took about 15 minutes
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