Cultural Diversity and Individual Differences


Each individual observes the world through their own perceptions. Project Implicit is a non-profit organization and international collaboration between researchers who are interested in implicit social cognition – thoughts and feelings outside of conscious awareness and control. The website has a series of test that are available to test your social attitudes.

Take two of the Harvard Project Implicit tests, describe your results, and explain how your membership in different subcultures influenced your perceptions of others. Provide an example for each test.


Cultural Diversity and Individual Differences

The results of the Harvard Project Implicit tests gives crucial details about the social attitudes that individuals harbor outside their conscious realm. The first test aimed at investigating how individuals perceive justice and helping others, the relationship between empathy and helping others, and how non-empathetic moral concerns relate to helping others. From the results, I scored a moral expansiveness score of 39. The scores ranged from 0 to 54. Higher scores indicates that an individual has higher moral concern for other groups of people. In other words, the individual extends higher moral concern not only to family members but also to other groups of people such as immigrants and refugees. Membership in different subcultures enabled me to appreciate diversity by interacting with individuals from different cultural backgrounds. For example, by interacting with Muslims, I was able to learn that they are peace-loving. This is contrary to the opinion I held that all Muslims are bent on causing wars and conflicts.

Use of Implicit Association Task (IAT)

The second study involved the use of Implicit Association Task (IAT) to assess automatic preference among individuals. The study entailed categorizing facial images for White and Black people as well as assigning various words according to identified categories of good and bad words. The study results indicated that I have a weak automatic preference for White people over Black people. This indicates that I was responding faster when a white person was paired with a pleasant word such as ‘heaven’. Membership in different subcultures may have impacted my judgment by learning to associate whites with pleasant words such as heaven. For example in religious teachings, ‘white’ is associated with pleasant things such as heaven.

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