Biased Against Disabiliteis/ ADHD?? Take the Free Prejudice Test.
Are you biased against people with ADHD? I get letters often from patients who feel that their doctor have a bias against people with a diagnosis of ADHD. The trust problems caused by these biases are monumental! It is likely that many doctors and teachers are biased against people with ADHD but it is likely that many of us, even those people with ADHD, also have a biases against people with disabilities including biases against people with ADHD disabilities.
I began to give this some thought because of a study that I just read. This published study looked at the obesity biases of three hundred third year U.S. medical students. The study will soon be published in the Journal of Academic Medicine. The researchers of this study felt that medical student biases against obesity were important to understand since a large number of Americans are overweight and unknown prejudices can affect the way that doctors relate to their patients and this, in turn, can affect how comfortable patients feel with their health care provider. These feelings can also affect how likely these patients are to go to their health care provider for care or advice.
The Journal of Academic Medicine study found that almost 40% of the third year medical students had a bias against people who were obese and fewer than 25% of these students were aware of this bias. My guess is that if you were to give this test to health care providers across this country, many of us would test in the bias range.
The specific test that was used to test this bias is called the Implicit Association Test. Anyone can take the test and it is completely free. At the link you can chose what biases you would like to test. I have included the link so that you can test yourselves if you like. The test takes about 10 minutes and is a bit difficult to understand at first but once you get the hang of it, it is easy to complete. This test is designed to determine prejudice your prejudice towards people who are overweight, disabled, of certain ethnic backgrounds, etc.
I found the test pretty eye opening. I took the obesity prejudice test first and scored as being moderately biased against obese people. When I compared my scores to most of the other people taking the test, I found that I was far from alone. My scores on the disability bias test were a bit better in that I was less prejudice but my score still reflected a slight bias against disabilities. I was surprised by my scores.
Take the Implicit Association Test!. You might be surprised by what you find.