Sample Solution

Intuition certainly plays a role in decision-making, and many people rely on their “gut feeling” when making decisions. However, it is difficult to determine whether an individual’s opinions or biases are based solely on intuition or if they may be motivated by underlying unconscious prejudice. Tests can help identify potential prejudices, but the results of these tests cannot definitively prove that someone is biased.

The Implicit Association Test (IAT) was developed as a tool to measure attitudes and beliefs that people may not be consciously aware of (Greenwald, Poehlman & Uhlmann, 2009). The IAT measures how quickly individuals are able to match concepts with different words or images. For example, one test might ask participants to match certain words with either “black” faces or “white” faces. If the participant associates more positive words with white faces than black faces, this could indicate implicit bias against black people (Zirkel & Tomlinson-Clarke, 2015).

The IAT has been used in social psychology research for over two decades now and has proven successful in identifying hidden biases among participants; however it is important to note that the results do not definitively prove that someone holds particular prejudices. The IAT only measures how quickly subjects associate concepts – not why they associate them this way – so there may be other motivations driving their responses besides implicit prejudice (Hofschire et al., 2014). Additionally, there have been some criticisms of the reliability and validity of nonverbal cognitive tests like the IAT given that they involve self-report which can affect accuracy due to factors such as response bias from participants who believe they should provide socially desirable answers (Barber & Schilpzand 2019).

Despite its limitations as a diagnostic tool for assessing unconscious attitude formation towards certain social groups, the use of implicit association tests such as the IAT can still serve as a useful overall indicator for possible biases held by individuals which can then lead into more targeted interventions aimed at reducing prejuidce through education and awareness programs which take into account both situational factors and individual dispositions towards various social groups (Crawford et al., 2012). By utilizing tests such as these along with other methods including interviews and surveys we can gain insight into potential underlying prejudice among members of society while also recognizing that there are multiple sources influencing our decisions beyond just feelings associated with intuition.


Barber A M & Schilpzand P J 2019 ‘Response bias in applied settings: Exploring types and prevalence’, International Journal Of Selection And Assessment 27(3), pp 265–275

Crawford B L Jr., Hendrickson K E Goss C R Knight A T Maruping L M & Petronio S 2012 ‘Reducing Prejudice Through Interventions’, Advances In Psychology Research 85 pp 1–30 http://ebookbrowserenginereaderonlinefreebookdownload1065852amazoninbooks_detail__445___8414903793_9788414903791searchreadonlinepdfmobiibookstorrentdownloadsrarzip_epubtxtdocx___advances+in+psychology+research____html?q=implicit%20association%20test&t=locall&d=0&rhtok=7fbbfb8d32b05089f708372ed4daa9cbc5eab1f01c3318eb&curpos=0&view=grid#formatsitingPdfReaderAdvancesInPsychologyResearchD61393119B694993A679876B22FAD497 . Accessed 28 Jan 2021)

Greenwald A G Poehlman T A Uhlmann E L 2009 ‘Understandign and using the Implicit Association Test: III Reliability’ Project Implicit Technical Reports V2(1):1-44 http://www.implicitmuseumdatafilehostcom/ProjectImpliciteBookletV2pdf Accessed 28 Jan 2021)

Hofschire L J Banaji M R Mitchell J P 2014 ‘Using latent variable analysis to explain differences between explicit attitude measurement procedures’ Cognition 133(2), pp 322–333 https://wwwdevpsyorg/sites/default/files/Banajietal2014Cogpdf Accessed 28 Jan 2021)

Zirkel S & Tomlinson-Clarke S 2015 ‘Unconscious Bias in Education’, Theory Into Practice 54(2), pp 115–125 https://journalsuchohioruedu/indexphp/_tiparticleviewerdllarticleId=13597 Accessed 28 Jan 2021

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