A new national study of voters who say they might vote in Democratic primaries and caucuses shows a striking disconnect between their explicit and implicit preferences, according to University of Washington researchers.The study, part of Harvard University's Project Implicit is called the Implicit Association Test. I've taken the test previously on issues of racism, and found it interesting, and challenging. Basically, you are given words and asked to quickly (i.e., without thinking about it) respond favorably or unfavorably. I took the presidential candidate test (for Democratic candidates only -- I don't need to know who I rate most unfavorably among the Republicans). Below are my results:
When asked who they would vote for, Sen. Barack Obama held a 42 percent to 34 percent margin over Sen. Hilary Clinton. Former senator John Edwards was in third place with 12 percent. However, when the same people took an Implicit Association Test that measures their unconscious or automatic preferences, Clinton was the runaway winner, the favored candidate of 48 percent of the voters. Edwards was second with 27 percent and Obama had 25 percent.
I wasn't surprised at the order, but I was surprised at far below the rest I rated Obama. Like those mentioned in the study, I would have said I was sort of "on the fence" about the Clinton-Obama rivalry, but my implicit responses indicate that's not so. Clearly, my lingering doubts about Obama's experience level and ability to lead on an international level continue to linger.
You can take the test here. It only takes about 10 minutes, and I would be curious to hear back from you about your results.