Thursday, April 10, 2008

Are you a racist?


This game was meant to test reaction times to suspects who might be carrying a gun. I apparently am a racist accord to the test, as my reaction time to white people holding guns was longer than my reaction time to black people holding guns. I'd like to note that "black" also appeared to include Latinos and possibly other "dark skinned" minorities. I could be wrong because I was too busy trying to tell if these guys were holding guns or not. The other thing was it wasn't really controlled at all, there were many backgrounds used in the game, and I don't know if the researcher is collecting information on this, but on some backgrounds it was harder to see a gun than others. Oddly enough, there's lots of images from Denver, so I was also a bit distracted by that. Anyway, my armed reaction times reverse it: I spent a longer time checking to see if Blacks were unarmed rather than whites. Pretty interesting study! I wish I could compare myself to other people. Feel free to post your scores in the comments.

Try it out here:

Via Poplicks


Spot . said...


honestly, I think I had a slower reaction time to the black people simply because I had a harder time seeing the guns in their hands. Perhaps that sounds horrible, but what I mean is...the black gun in a white hand is more of a I have light contrast issues visually so...I blame that ;-)

PS the comment isn't allowing the html, but the image is posted here if you can see it:

Vince said...

Game Over
Your Score: -85
Average reaction time:
Black Armed:547.04ms
Black Unarmed:638.96ms
White Armed:552.36ms
White Unarmed:631.88ms

I think by the -85 score, i'd be dead. Or arrested. Either one.

saratoga said...

Wow Vince, your timing was slow, dude! Were you confused with the controls? I started the game the first time and had the keys mixed up so I had to restart. Maybe you're just more thoughtful than the rest of us ;)

Schleuss said...

Game Over
Your Score: 625
Average reaction time:
Black Armed:613.36ms
Black Unarmed:693.4ms
White Armed:636.56ms
White Unarmed:699.2ms

I'm not thrilled that I'm a racist according to these results. Or maybe there's a simple psychological answer here. Like Spot mentions, it may be possible that it's harder based on colors. Or possibly the distracting backgrounds.

I just tried to focus on the shape of a gun at a particular height on the screen. If I saw it /, if not z. So, I didn't really see the people until after I made my selection. Maybe we should invert the colors on our monitors and try again?

Schleuss said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
helen erpud said...

Your Score: 690
Average reaction time:
Black Armed:625.56ms
Black Unarmed:688.96ms
White Armed:625.04ms
White Unarmed:669.36ms

very interesting.... :)