Sunday, June 22, 2014

Financial Stress Increases Racial Bias

From The Smithsonian:
Millions of people were affected by the recession, and many are still feeling its impacts. But as the Atlantic points out, some people might have unfairly suffered more—and could still be suffering—solely because of the color of their skin. According to a new study, people's racist biases might be amplified during times of economic hardship. 
Researchers asked 70 mostly white participants to fill out a survey measuring pre-existing racial biases surrounding money.The participants ranked statements such as  “When blacks make economic gains, whites lose out economically,” the Atlantic explains. Then, the participants were shown a photo line-up of faces, on a gradient of changing skin tone—the pictures were created by fusing a white person and a black person's features. The study participants had to say who on the line-up was white and who was black. The more a participant saw black people as his competition for jobs and money, the more likely he or she was to rank any face with a slight dark complexion as "black," the Atlantic reports. A second experiment focused on economic scaricty, and a third asked participants to divide up limited resources between two people, one lighter skinned than the other. (Read more.)

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