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📍 Post 1: Write a 50-100 words response to the post below:
Implicit and Explicit Attitudes

An article written in the New York Times (2018) speaks about the reoccurring shootings of black males. The author talks about 15 different deaths by police, some who were shot while others died in custody. Though this is a regular occurrence for those in the black community, it has risen to national attention and highlighted on a more regular basis. Out of the 15 cases that the article discusses only a handful resulted in convictions while in the other cases there is a full belief that the police officers got away with murder. This issue has become very divisive as some argue that the police are justified in taking the actions that they did if the individual presented themselves as a threat. On the other side of the fence, we have those who believe that these primarily white officers were motivated by their inherited prejudices.

For this discussion, we were tasked with discussing a controversial social issue and explain the distinction between explicit and implicit attitudes that are related to the point. For the topic of police-involved deaths of unarmed black men and women, it is undoubtedly a controversial issue. An implicit attitude (Greenwald & Banaji, 1995) is defined as memory that serves as a connecting link between an object and feelings or thoughts toward an object. For police shootings, several instances can stand out in the national memory that represent the injustices that minorities feel. This would be an implicit attitude towards any police shooting that occurs from those instances forward, the crimes that they felt during trials such as Trayvon Martin (Library, 2019). Trayvon Martin did not involve police, but the shooting included a white male who shot an unarmed black teen, this incident incited rage in the public eye especially as the shooter was not punished for his act. This would and every other episode where the race was a significant factor where police were involved would serve as a connecting tie between an event that occurred after. This implicit attitude would create distrust between the minorities that encounter these injustices regularly and the police. According to a Gallup poll conducted in 2018, it indicated that there is a lack of trust in law enforcement in comparison to previous years. This could be related to the implicit attitudes that were created due to police shootings. Regardless of the reason, implicit attitudes play an important role in the perception of trust towards any institution.

References

Library, C. (2019, February 28). Trayvon Martin Shooting Fast Facts. Retrieved from 

Greenwald, A. G., & Banaji, M. R. (1995). Implicit social cognition: Attitudes, self-esteem, and stereotypes. Psychological Review, 102(1), 4-27.

Park, H. (2018, October 11). 15 Black Lives Ended in Confrontations with Police. 3 Officers Convicted. Retrieved from 

PoliceOne. (2018, August 30). The public speaks: Cops are trusted. Retrieved from 

📍 Post 2: Write a 50-100 words response to the post below:
Measures of Implicit Attitudes and Beliefs 
The implicit association test can be very beneficial but it also has its drawbacks and some may argue that it does not accurately assess unconscious attitudes and beliefs. After its first publication in 1998, the Implicit Attitude Test (IAT) caused a lot of sensation because many finally had a possible explanation to explain prejudice (Goldhill, 2017). Many people were very surprised after taking the assessment, some arguing that they did not agree with the results. This caused much speculation and studies were performed by many other researchers to further look into the IAT and its ability to predict unconscious attitudes and beliefs. In my stance on this topic, I argue that the IAT does not accurately assess the unconscious attitudes and beliefs and instead it measures prejudice against the out-group. The idea is that people tend to rate and associate positive attributes to those they consider their “in-group” (Kaufman, 2011). Studies comparing the IAT-effect versus the in-group/out-group membership proved that when people associated themselves with the out-group there was no longer an IAT-effect (Kaufman, 2011). Therefore, this provides bases for the areas of opportunity for the Implicit Association Test (IAT).

One of the disadvantages of the IAT is its validity. According to Goldhill (2017), the IAT has been shown to have low validity. When studies are reported they are considered valid if the studies are able to prove their findings. However, though the IAT has suggested that their test can predict discriminatory behavior, however other studies showed that the IAT was a weak predictor of behavior (Goldhill, 2017). Another issue is the reliability of the test. When studies are done its reliability is measured based on the ability to reproduce the results. However, with the IAT, studies found the reliability score of the IAT to e 0.5 overall which is considered unacceptable (Goldhill, 2017). Therefore, due to the low validity and reliability scores of the IAT, it is hard to consider as a reliable test to use.

Implicit attitudes and beliefs certainly have an impact on intergroup relationship. They can influence the decisions we make which ultimately impact those around us. Whether it’s giving someone a job opportunity, or something as simple as selecting a seat at a movie theater, these unconscious thoughts affect us. These attitudes and beliefs that we have can affect all those around us. For these reasons, it is important that we analyze these attitudes and beliefs and address them if necessary in order to assure that they don’t negatively impact us or those we serve. According to Amodio and Devine (2006), studies found that behaviors such as forming judgments and goals are driven primarily by cognitive processes. Therefore, addressing any negative attitudes and beliefs can help us create better judgments and goals which can ultimately help our relationships with others.

References:

Amodio, D. M., & Devine, P. G. (2006). Stereotyping and evaluation in implicit race bias: Evidence for independent constructs and unique effects on behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 91(4), 652–661. Retrieved from 

Goldhill, O. (2017). The world is relying on a flawed psychological rest to fight racism. Retrieved from 

Kaufman, S. B. (2011). Does the implicit association test (IAT) really measure racial prejudice? Probably not. Psychology Today, 28. Retrieved from 

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