Racism Makes You Stupid (1 Viewer)

gray

Senior Member
Moderator
Apr 22, 2003
30,077
#1
Brains drained by hidden race bias

People with implicit racial prejudices are left mentally exhausted after interacting with someone from a different race, perhaps because they are trying to quell their feelings.

The new study, the first of its kind, shows that areas in the brain associated with self-control light up in white people with implicit racial biases when they are shown images of black people.

Furthermore, the study showed that the level of this brain activity correlated very closely with poor performance in a test of thinking ability given right after a face-to-face interview with a black person. The researchers believe this indicates that the subject's mental resources have been temporarily drained by their efforts to suppress their prejudices.

Jennifer Richeson, who led the study, was surprised by the results. She believes it is now important to understand these neurological responses. "If we can understand the mechanism underlying this effect, we may be able to do something to intervene," Richeson, at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, told New Scientist.

William Gehring, at the University of Michigan, agrees that the study raises "critical issues" that should be addressed by future research on how races interact. "It is indisputable that prejudice exists, and the scientific study of its cognitive and neural underpinnings is exceedingly important," he writes in an article accompanying Richeson's paper in Nature Neuroscience.


Positive and negative

In the study, 30 white students were given computer test asking them to classify names as those of black or white people, and words as being positive and negative concepts.

"Some people find it easier to pair black with negative than black with positive," says Richeson. Those taking longer to press the key for positive words after a black name were scored as having implicit biases. The Implicit Association Test (IAT) is controversial. Gehring says "one must be cautious" regarding any claims that a test is a direct measure of racist attitudes.

The second part of the study involved the students interacting with either a black or white interviewer on controversial topics and then immediately afterwards being given an unrelated cognitive test. Finally, two weeks later, the students were shown photographs of unfamiliar black and white men, while in an MRI brains scanner.

A "robust" link was seen between the IAT-measured racial bias, poor cognitive performance after interview and brain activity in the scanner.

When viewing photos of black individuals, all the students' brains lit up in the frontal lobe area - known to be involved in cognitive control, says Richeson. In sharp contrast, this area did not light up in any of the students viewing pictures of white individuals. "It's pretty amazing," she says.

Executive function

The frontal lobe is associated with "executive function", which allows people to control their emotions and thoughts, says Richeson.

The team does not know exactly why this brain area should light up in people with biases. "They are either trying to inhibit or control something - but we don't know what that something is," she says. "It could be an emotional reaction, or thoughts that come to mind. Or it could be something as benign as simply trying not to make errors."

Richeson notes that those with low implicit bias showed no drop in their cognitive performance in the post-interview test. In a modern multicultural world, "being biased has negative consequences for us", she says.

An editorial in Nature Neuroscience calls the work both interesting and ambitious. But it stresses that while the study links certain brain activity with implicit bias, it says nothing about what causes that bias or how the bias affects behaviour towards people of other races. And on the possibility of a brain scan to detect racism, the editorial says: "This prospect is remote."
 

Layce Erayce

Senior Member
Aug 11, 2002
9,116
#4
well what happens when you come face-to-face with a nazi? how well do you do on a test after that?

its not just race people. its anything. yes even people universally hated like terrorists, JW's, etc
 
Aug 1, 2003
17,675
#6
i dont understand racists, i mean, how can you hate a person just because of their race? for eg, i hated south korea for defeating italy but i dont hate gray.. :confused:

whaddahell goes in their minds..
 
OP
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gray

gray

Senior Member
Moderator
Apr 22, 2003
30,077
#8
++ [ originally posted by sallyinzaghi ] ++
i hated south korea for defeating italy but i dont hate gray.. :confused:
Maybe because I'm North Korean? :p I explained this in another thead ;)

Thanks anyway, i'm :touched::kiss:
 
Aug 1, 2003
17,675
#10
i could still hate you because ur north korean u know, in 1966 IIRC they eliminated italy from the WC

korea- italy's jinx team :D

but nyway, it'd be interesting to meet a racist, i would love to understand their shrewd mind
 
OP
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gray

gray

Senior Member
Moderator
Apr 22, 2003
30,077
#12
Oh really? That's interesting... I'm surprised at that, because growing up in Australia should have had some influence on his views on racism... obviously not :undecide:
 

Majed

Senior Member
Jul 17, 2002
9,630
#13
++ [ originally posted by gray ] ++
Oh really? That's interesting... I'm surprised at that, because growing up in Australia should have had some influence on his views on racism... obviously not :undecide:
it doesn't matter where you grow up :) , there are racist pricks everywhere! :groan:
 
Sep 28, 2002
13,975
#16
++ [ originally posted by sallyinzaghi ] ++
but nyway, it'd be interesting to meet a racist, i would love to understand their shrewd mind
some of them are sorry little ****s, just sittting in the dark mumbling how they hate blacks, jews etc. the ones i mentioned are big, well built, shin headed, wearing military boots and bomber jackets with swasticas on them. i dont like even seeing those. not to mention meeting them.
 

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