Exposing Your Inner Socialist
You’ve probably heard, or maybe even taken, the Implicit Association Test relating to racial bias. Now comes an IAT for policy, and specifically views on regulation and markets. I took the test, and was surprised to find that I’m not quite as pro-market as I thought. According to the test,
“Your IAT score is 0.24, which suggests a slight automatic preference for Regulations compared to Markets.”
At least it wasn’t a moderate preference! Anyway, this is an interesting test — if well-designed, it would seem to be another way to excavate underlying policy preferences, roughly supporting the cultural cognition project’s work. (A correlation between c.c. measures and IAT results would be neat.)
That said, I am a little unhappy with the specific measures the study uses. In particular, as you will see if you take the test, the proxies for regulation are exceedingly general – Congress, statutes, etc. — and for markets sometimes more specific – stock exchange. There are a few salient problems. First, right now might be a bad time to use “stock exchange” in a test. Why not something more innocuous and wholesome: farmers’ market; e-bay, etc.? Second, when people think about regulation, I don’t think they think about Congress: they are much more specific. I made tons of errors on the test, because I had some difficulty associating the test’s general measures with either markets or regulation. Or to put it another way, at no point could I just relax and hit the keys. I had to focus and concentrate the whole time.
(H/T: The Situationalist)