Monday, June 20, 2005

Social and Cultural Considerations

Tonight I attended the first night of class in the last course of my program at Whitworth College: Social and Cultural Considerations in Counseling. I'm excited for this course, perhaps more than other courses I've taken up to this point; mainly because I truly value discussion around issues of equality and human dignity.

As part of our coursework, the instructors asked us to complete an internet-based assessment designed to detect hidden bias regarding such varied issues as race, gender, age, and sexual orientation. Each assessment takes about five minutes to complete and requires participants to make automatic associations of 'good' or 'bad' with various categories of people. The test generates a brief analysis describing potential biases based on discrepencies in response time. Presumably, quicker response times associating 'bad' with a certain race, for example, tend to show bias.

Tonight we completed only one assessment designed to detect potential bias around the issue of age. Frankly, I anticipated a moderate bias in favor of young people, but the test reported no significant difference between my automatic response to older people versus young people. Interesting...

Some class members had questions regarding the validity of the assessments, but one way or another, they provide a good starting place for discussion. I recommend them to all dedicated readers everywhere. Take the tests. I'll share my results if you share yours. *grin*

You can find the assessments by consulting the following web page:

No comments: