Picture this: you’re just starting to cross the road when a cyclist comes screaming towards you. Immediately, without thinking, you step back to avoid being knocked over. Calamity averted.
Wait a minute, though. Without thinking? No, you clearly thought something because your body responded to electronic impulses sent by your brain, it’s just that you weren’t consciously thinking, and that’s something different entirely.
The problem is that unconscious thinking doesn’t just happen in these extreme situations, it happens all the time. And I’m going to prove it to you.
If you’re like me you think that everyone is equal in worth regardless of background, gender, sexuality, culture, religion, you name it. So I did a little test to see if that’s what I think unconsciously.
And it turns out that unconsciously I have a slight automatic preference to white people than black people.
In other words, if a black person and a white person were in two courtrooms accused of the same crime, were dressed the same, were educated the same, had the same accent, and had the same story, I’d be slightly more likely to judge the black person guilty than the white person, despite the fact that consciously I know there’s no difference.
That’s actually pretty scary.
What’s more scary is the fact that 70% of people who have taken this test have an automatic preference for white people over black people, whereas only 12% prefer black people.
So, how about it? Will you take the test? Let me know how you do! (If you’re willing to admit it, that is.)
And if you’re interested there are a whole bunch more looking at your unconscious attitude towards gender, sexuality etc.