Testing your Hidden Biases Exercise and Reflection Paper
Multicultural Issues in Student Affairs
Instructor: Dr. Lee A. Brossoit
A perception is defined as an awareness, understanding, or idea of consciousness. In
our society today, a lot of the information being circulated is based on different individuals
perceptions, or how they were raised to feel about certain topics of discussion or ethnic groups.
Intercultural learning is a desired outcome of many practitioners working in the field of higher
education, but is very difficult to achieve. Several reasons for these communication gaps are
due to language barriers, cultural differences, and other inequalities.
The subject of Cross Cultures focuses on three levels of understanding, self-
awareness, the nature of mankind, and inter-cultural similarities and differences. Once insight
and knowledge is gained, an individual can begin to understand the life of others. It is within
these models that we can begin to grasp the meaning of cross-cultures and begin to interact
effectively. The training for this interaction does not concentrate solely on differences between
cultures. Rather, participants learn what each one is bringing to an issue and why they have a
particular view or opinion. The information gained from this approach allows people to
become a multi-cultural community and communicate on different levels where empathy can
be exercised, and through this method, participants will have the opportunity to develop a true
sense of relationship.
The Association Test was interesting to me because this was the first time I had ever
taken an exam such as this. The test is geared to measure ones multicultural awareness and
understandings on various topics ranging from race, sexuality etc. Overall, I thought the test
was somewhat accurate in terms of depicting my thoughts, feelings, and understanding in
terms of the subject matter, but I was opposed to how the test was conducted. I did not like
the fact that while taking the test I had to answer as quickly as possible, because I found myself
getting a few of the answers incorrect simply because I was rushing or became a little confused
when I was trying to select the right response with either index finger. As a result of not having
the option of taking my time and reading the answers more carefully, my final score was
In terms of accuracy, I thought the test was unfair with one of my results. My test
results suggested that I had a moderate preference for European Americans compared to
African Americans for race, a strong preference for straight people compared to gay people,
and a moderate automatic preference for thin people compared to fat people.As far as being
surprised by the test results, I can honestly say that I was surprised at the race results , but not
surprised with the sexuality, and weight results.
In terms of the race result, I was really shocked at the final outcome, because I thought
the test would automatically show me having a preference for African Americans opposed to
European Americanssimply because I grew up in a predominantly black neighborhood, and
black culture is a part of my own culture. The other two test results did not surprise me at all,
because in terms of sexuality, I mainly associate with heterosexuals, and rarely come into
contact any homosexuals. For the record, I do not discriminate against homosexuals. When God
created men and women, he created all of us with the ability to choose freely.
The third test I chose to take was the one regarding weight. It showed that I had a
preference for thin people over fat people. I’m not sure I agree with that because when it
comes to other people, my thought is, “as long as you are comfortable in your own skin, that’s
fine with me”. On the other hand, because of health reasons, and a family history of diabetes
and high blood pressure illnesses, I am much more rigid on myself in terms of diet and exercise.
Having the ability to identify and understand various cultures and groups is an
extremely important skill set to possessespecially when relating to students in higher
education. Practitioners, within the field should also be aware of making sure they do not pre-
judge students or groups or attempt to ascribe to any racial or group identifying.
As a result of my tests, the next step for me is to continue to educate myself in terms of
the different competencies within multiculturalism. My goal in this program is to continue to
demonstrate and apply identity development theories as they relate to students.
The journey of becoming an expert working in the field of multiculturalism is a lifelong
developmental process that requires a certain level of support from our personal, educational
and work environments. If you are a person with certain biased opinions, and preconceived
notions, you will struggle in this field. In my opinion, there is no room for individuals with
hidden biases or agendas.