This month I stumbled upon an interesting citizen science project that anyone can participate in from his or her computer. Three scientists from Harvard University, the University of Washington and the University of Virginia founded Project Implicit in 1998. According to its website, “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 goal of the organization is to educate the public about hidden biases and to provide a ‘virtual laboratory’ for collecting data on the Internet.”
Once you register on the site, you can return again and again and take several tests, but if at any time you decide you would rather not participate, you can just close your browser to quit. The site is secure and will protect your privacy. According to scistarter.com, there are more than 90 different topics being tested. They seem to appear in a random order.
So far I’ve taken two of the tests, and the first one took me about 15 minutes. The second one took less than 10 minutes. They were not difficult tests, although figuring out what they were testing was a puzzle. Although I was given results at the end, I still wasn’t sure what it was about. However, I’m happy to help research as I continue my year of citizen science projects. Speaking of which, I have one to go! If you’ve enjoyed participating in any of these projects, I’d love to hear about it.
SHELLI BOND PABIS is home | school | life magazine’s senior editor. She writes about her family’s homeschooling journey at www.mamaofletters.com.