“One can decrease racial bias scores on the I.A.T. by simply exposing people to pictures of African-Americans enjoying a picnic,” says Hart Blanton, a psychologist at Texas A&M. “Yet respondents who take this test on the Web are given feedback suggesting that some enduring quality is being assessed.” He says that even the scoring system itself has been changed arbitrarily in recent years. “People receiving feedback about their ‘strong’ racial biases,” Dr. Blanton says, “are encouraged in sensitivity workshops to confront these tendencies as some ugly reality that has meaning in their daily lives. But unbeknownst to respondents who take this test, the labels given to them were chosen by a small group of people who simply looked at a distribution of test scores and decided what terms seemed about right. This is not how science is done.”Having just taken the "Race IAT" again, I'm told: "Your data suggest little to no automatic preference between African American and European American."
(The title of this post is slightly hyperbolic. I'm not sold either way on the general usefulness of IATs, but clearly Greenwald and Banaji are bent on social engineering.)