Thursday, October 4, 2012

knowing your own mind...

How well do you understand your own biases? Is there a way to objectively identify your own biases, without the convoluted mess that is your own conscious meta-thinking?

Why yes, yes there is. Harvard has graciously posted online more than a dozen Implicit Association Tasks. This is a well respected, and kinda freaky, reaction time test that pairs symbols (often words, but can be pictures too) and tests how closely you associate them. It's a subtle and clever test and basically, unbeatable (you can try to *fake* your responses all you want, they'll catch you because of methodological design ... hint .. you can't go too slow).

I recommend everyone giving it a try, if only to get a taste off empirical cognitive science methods.

2 comments:

Squish Ramsay said...

I feel like this might be subject to ordering biases; if you go through several sets where the a particular category falls under 'other' and is selected with the 'bad' association words, then you might associate that category with that key by the time you get to a set where that category is 'correct'...

Chris said...

Agreed. To be done well, this would require many rounds with many variations on placement. I also think they need more fillers. Don'y let on what they're studying (BTW, I only did the demos, so the research versions may have been more elaborate).

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