Saturday, April 22, 2006

Arrrgh! Not Another Online Quiz!

Actually, it is a serious online quiz. It measures a person's implicit bias, with regard to some particular set of concepts. Implicit bias can be measured using, among other instruments, the Implicit Association Test (IAT). You can take this test here. It appears to select a topic for you, either at random, or perhaps according to an internal protocol of some sort.

My results were as follows:
Your data suggest a strong automatic preference for Open-Source compared to Microsoft.
While that is not what I would call an earth-shattering result, it was kind of fun to take the test. Specifically, it was fun to try to figure out why the test works the way it does.

The results of this particular iteration of the test did not result in any new knowledge. I suppose it must happen occasionally that people get results that they don't expect. In fact, before you take the test, you are alerted to the possibility that you might find the results to be objectionable. If that possibility bothers you, you are supposed to stop immediately.
Important disclaimer: In reporting to you results of any IAT that you take, we will mention possible interpretations that have a basis in research done at the University of Washington, University of Virginia, Harvard University, and Yale University. However, these Universities, as well as the individual researchers who have contributed to this site, make no claim for the validity of these suggested interpretations. If you are unprepared to encounter interpretations that you might find objectionable, please do not proceed further.
That would be common sense. My question for tonight is this: What is the opposite of common sense? Is it absurdity?
Having no mental handicap herself, she had to ask George what the latest sound had been.

"Sounded like somebody hitting a milk bottle with a ball peen hammer," said George.

--Kurt Vonnegut, in Welcome To the Monkey House