The aim of the RAVE project is to raise the awareness among those participating in an experiment of how we are affected by stereotypical assumptions. In order to measure the effectiveness of an experiment and develop the methods, we need to be able to record any changes in the participants in this respect. Thus, the testing of stereotyping tendencies among the subjects is one of the key points in the research design. The same kind of test could be used at three points in the design: for bench-marking, for measuring potential course impact and for post testing (after debriefing). Because our initial focus has been gender and stereotypes, our starting point was an implicit and an explicit test with regard to gender stereotypes.
For the implicit tests we considered a net-based and open-source tool developed and used by well-reputed institutions: we used Project Implicit(2013), Tony Greenwald (University of Washington), Mahzarin Banaji (Harvard University), and Brian Nosek (University of Virginia). However, after some careful testing in the early rounds, we have come to the conclusion that this tool did not serve us well. Thus we abandoned this method.
The explicit test we have used is also based on tested concepts. We have used seven questions regarding modern sexism developed and tested for a Scandinavian context by Ekehammar, Akrami and Araya (2000). Their study builds to a certain extent on Swim et al (1995). These are the questions from Ekehammar et al (2000):
Denial of continuing discrimination
As indicated these capture different aspects of sexism. The participants were asked to react to these statements by agreeing or disagreeing through a five-point likert scale.
In addition to these questions, we used a few questions from another sexism scale, developed by Glick and Fiske (1996): The Ambivalent Sexism Inventory (ASI). In their article, Glick and Fiske want problematize the issue of sexism, and point to the fact that sexism can be seen a multidimensional construct comprising seemingly opposite attitudes. They identify Hostile Sexism, which is represents an antipathy towards women and feminism, and Benevolent Sexism, which is positive to women but maintain a stereotypical view of them and is biased for women only having restricted roles. These two are very different but maintain a discriminatory of women and women’s rights.
These questions were used in our tests, again with a five-point likert scale capturing agreement or disagreement:
In order to evaluate whether the activities lead to increased self awareness of the effects of inadvertent Language Stereotyping or not, we include the following question in the initial part of the response survey (i.e. before the respondents have partaken in the activities) and in the post-survey (i.e. after the debriefing):
“To what extent do you think that you are influenced by stereotypical preconceptions (conscious or unconscious) in your expectations and judgements of others?”
(0-100 scale, where 0 = not at all, and 100=very much so)
Our hypothesis here was that this value will increase in the post-survey, i.e. that respondents will have become more aware of the fact that they are actually affected by stereotyping inadvertently. Note that a 0-100 scale is used here as we argue that a percentage estimate is easy for our respondents to relate to.