Studies on interracial dating

The problem with asking people to report on their own attitudes about sensitive topics like race and gender, however, is that people are often either unaware of their own biases or unwilling to report them.For example, although most white Americans self-report little to no racial bias against black people, they’ve been shown to possess robust implicit, or nonconscious, biases.The other button was used to categorize images of interracial couples and silhouettes of humans.We predicted that participants who were primed to be disgusted (those who viewed the disgusting images in the beginning of the study) would do the task faster when they’d been told to categorize interracial couples and animals with the same key.One group was shown a series of disgusting images (e.g., people vomiting, dirty toilets) and the other group was shown a series of pleasant images (e.g., scenery, city skylines).This was done to induce some participants to experience disgust – which was expected to make them more likely to dehumanize people.Allison Skinner does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.University of Washington provides funding as a member of The Conversation US.

We also found that disgust and acceptance were highly correlated; the less accepting people were of interracial relationships, the more disgusted they were by them.To get around this problem, we conducted a second study in which we measured participants’ brain activity – not their own reports.Using an electroencephalogram (EEG), which measures electrical activity in the brain, we recorded the brain waves of a predominately white sample of college students while they viewed 100 images of black-white interracial couples and an equal number of same-race couples (black and white).In our final study we wanted to look at the ramifications of feeling disgusted by interracial couples.There’s a fair amount of psychological research showing that feeling disgusted by others often leads us to dehumanize them.

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