Saturday, April 09, 2005

Project Implicit

How do you view the world in terms of good/bad, young/old, black/white?


  • The tests on that have been bugging me for a while. There's no earthly use for gendanken experiments other than to test people's willingness to take them. The scenarios are drastically imperfect, unrealistic and depend on the taker's ability to dispense with "whole picture" ethical judgement.

    I smell a rat.

    By Blogger Deleted, at 10:07 am  

  • Methinks Harry racked up some less then desirable results ;-)

    These tests work on statistical levels that are not neccesarily transparent to the subject. I hope to have a test, not unlike these, online by next spring, part of my research project.

    By Blogger Peter (the other), at 6:06 am  

  • Would you torture a puppy to stop me from nuking London? The clock is ticking, ticking, ticking and the puppy will get over it. How about the terrorist's associates who know where the bomb is hidden? They'll be given the finest medical treatment afterwards and the ones who knew nothing will get a generous settelment from the government. What's the lesser evil here? The bomb is about to go off and millions will suffer. You could stop it just by saying "go ahead". You don't even have to anyone screaming.

    That's what those questions are, stripped of the persiflage and the oily clinical locutions.

    By Blogger Deleted, at 7:53 am  

  • I only took one of the tests (the young/old, bad/good one). I found it felt accurate as to a slight bias towards young. When I was taking the etst, I felt annoyed at myself for that very bias.

    Now you've put me right off taking the others. It's enough to make one curious. Mssr. Open Mind posts the link to the tests, and then husbands his opinions. A deep wisdom :-)

    By Blogger Peter (the other), at 8:40 am  

  • facinating

    By Blogger Evyn, at 8:52 am  

  • I know all my biases, and they are legion, well enough to compensate for them in dealing with others in a reasonable way. Self knowledge comes from living life, music, friends, art and some of it from books.

    These results of these tests will be studied by people who will make use of them for marketing ideology, to see what level of dissonance it's possible to maintain and to gauge the obedience of the governed. The perfect subject in a military consumer society is one who who will deal ethically with his fellows most of the time and feel guilty as hell when he obeys the orders to harm them.

    To avoid the guilt of close cooperation with the mindfuckers who will make use of the results, the people running the study will publish without actively assisting them.

    By Blogger Deleted, at 8:55 am  

  • Research ethics are an open question, and as such, one (I feel) might be left to each individual. How one understands the word responsible is also an open question. Was Einstein responsible for Hiroshima? If I invent a hammer to make a house with, but someone else uses it to clock someone on the head, am I responsible?

    These are areas where I don't expect answers, the process being what is important. But being the son of a late scientist, I tend to err on the side of the work/data. What others do with it, might be their concern.

    By Blogger Peter (the other), at 12:09 pm  

  • There are shades of gray in this. The hammer maker bears no responsibility for the misuse of his creation. The inventors of the atomic bomb don't get off so easily. Most of the atomic scientists rued the day they turned over hellfire to men who wouldn't shrink from using it. They honestly felt it was a lesser evil.

    What possible good can come from Project Implicit? With the amount of work already done in this field, and given the criminal bent of the people who will ultimately make use of it, I say it falls too far towards the black. The potential for good is there, but the urgent needs of the governing class for improved psyops and deceptive marketing is too strong.

    By Blogger Deleted, at 1:05 pm  

  • Yeah. I can see shades of grey through the whole deal. I had some vague sense of "something isn't right" when I did the test a few weeks ago when it first surfaced. There were only four tests at the time, which appears to have branched out into even more "implicit association" tests. The subliminal qualities of the images have one wondering,"What is going on?".

    Keep in mind this is from Harvard which has all the associations of power and the nursery of the future "masters of the universe". The guys and gals doing this research aren't going to be any dummies.

    So I suppose the best idea would be to find out who is financing this gig.

    Which I did..... only after Harry saying he smelt a rat.

    Here are the funding parties.

    National Institute of Mental Health
    Principal Investigators: Brian Nosek(PI), Mahzarin Banaji(co-PI)
    Project Title: A Virtual Laboratory for the Social and Behavioral Sciences
    Funding Period: June 1, 2003 - May 31, 2008

    Indiana University
    NIH DA013555
    Subcontract: Brian Nosek
    Project Title: Implicit Smoking Cognitions
    Funding Period: September, 2003 - August, 2007

    Rudd Institute
    Contract: Brian Nosek
    Project Title: Implicit Weight Bias
    Funding Period: December, 2001 - March, 2005

    So I did a google search on the Rudd Institute and find it's website is hosted on the other "nursery of power" at Yale.

    Where their mission statement reads :"The Rudd Institute’s mission is to document, understand, and ameliorate the bias, stigma and discrimination associated with obesity." (I had to look up ameliorate..... it smacks of a rough sense it means improve).

    So obesity is good, smoking is good/bad and the Institute of Mental Health stateside has a better idea how the average punter on the net ticks.

    I dunno, but the world just got one stage weirder.

    By Blogger Johnno, at 2:26 pm  

  • Well done (the research on the research). Boy, this Rudd outfit seem very curious, I wonder the back story.

    "Obese man dies, leaves fortune to Institute bearing his name".

    It looks like the gov. (Mental Health) are interested/paying for the actual web programming, and the ability to sample across a very divergent population. The two other outfits, IU and Rudd have contracted this Nosek to run some tests using this programming. There is nothing that ties these two funding sources to this actual set of tests. The ones we are seeing might be the pilot tests that are proving the "virtual" system can work reliably.

    By Blogger Peter (the other), at 2:40 pm  

  • I have just taken a few more of the (demo) tests. Although of sinisterly political titles, I see this more as wishing to test things with a certain amount of contemporary sexiness. The people doing the research (including Mr. Nosek and Mahzarin Banaji) are all displayed on the site, along with their cv's.

    I don't know, but I guess I am more curious then worried about nefarious connections. My research, at the moment, involves measuring how specific musical techniques, in conjunction with watching a motion picture, effect emotion. So, we might say I am biased in this area :-)

    By Blogger Peter (the other), at 3:16 pm  

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