Understanding Prejudice
Understanding Prejudice
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Exercises and Demonstrations
Frequently Asked Questions: Gender IAT

This page contains answers to several frequently asked questions about the gender Implicit Association Test (IAT). For further information, see the general FAQ Page or the Race IAT Page.

1. If I first had to group male items with career-related words and later had trouble grouping female items with career-related words, could my test score have been the result of this task order?

The order in which tests are administered does make a difference, but not a large one (and it rarely changes the direction of the outcome). Because of this difference, tests on this web site randomize the order of presentation. To check whether the order made a difference in your case, you can take the test a few more times and see what your score is when the order is reversed. If your score changes depending on the order of presentation, the best estimate of your result is somewhere in the middle.

2. How often do female test takers associate males with career-related words and females with family-related words?

Laboratory studies show that in the United States and several other countries, most female test takers show these associations (as do most male test takers).

3. If my test results suggest that I associate males with career-related words and females with familty-related words, does this mean I'm prejudiced?

Psychologists typically use the word "prejudiced" to describe people who endorse or approve of negative attitudes and behavior toward various outgroups. Many people whose show gender-stereotypic associations on the IAT are not prejudiced by this definition. These people are able to behave in a relatively unprejudiced way in part by making active efforts to prevent their automatic associations from leading to discriminatory behavior. However, in the absence of active efforts, these people may still be prone to prejudiced thoughts or behavior.

4. Do automatic gender associations occur outside the United States?

Yes. Studies using the IAT have documented a variety of automatic gender associations among several Asian, European, and Australian groups. Although more research is needed, evidence thus far suggests that automatic associations are prevalent both inside and outside the United States.