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From an article from the Sun Times that is no longer available online...

White Americans who believe that people shouldn't be judged by their skin color can still subconsciously exhibit racial bias, according to new research from a Northwestern University psychologist.

In one study, Professor Galen Bodenhausen found that even well-meaning whites look at identical facial expressions on African Americans and white Americans and see greater hostility in the African-American faces.

And, in another experiment, whites were more likely to describe a racially mixed face as African-American if it displayed a hostile expression.

Bodenhausen attributes these perceptions to a subconscious, or "implicit," bias that is not reflected in answers to direct questions about racial attitudes. "Together," he said, "these experiments suggest there is a kind of stereotypic association between hostility and African-American faces for individuals who possess this kind of implicit prejudice."

The two studies, which measured the responses of 24 white university students, do not necessarily demonstrate how common such implicit bias might be in the general population. But, says Bodenhausen, the studies are important because they provide insight into how racial stereotypes are perpetuated and the potential challenges of interracial communication.

"If you assume you're seeing hostility in another person's face when you're interacting with that person," Bodenhausen said, "it's going to affect the way you respond. It's going to affect the degree of warmth or coldness you will display to that person. And, of course, the individual will notice that treatment and respond to it."

more at 'Blunted on Reality'>>>
It's the type of thing most blacks have to learn to live with.

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( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
rtfirefly
Mar. 26th, 2004 02:19 am (UTC)
Too bad the article is no longer available, but thanks for sharing the excerpt. This is the sort of fact that should be obvious to even any white person who thinks about the attitudes lurking in the depths of his or her own soul for five minutes, but for some reason isn't. So doing research of this sort is necessary and important, even though 'necessary' is exactly what it shouldn't be.
daerlyn
Mar. 26th, 2004 03:15 am (UTC)
I find that incredibly ironic, as I am whiter than milk, and am constantly being told to smile because "you look angry". Maybe they want me to look less black?

I think this guy surveyed a bunch of twits. Black people are no more or less angry than anyone else (and most of the black guys at work are a lot more cheerful than I am. Or maybe they're just trying to impress me, because we all know black men go for white women[/sarcasm]).
(Deleted comment)
sterlingnorth
May. 23rd, 2004 01:59 pm (UTC)
Thanks...
I'd like to thank you (albeit an entire month later --lazy me) for finding that study. New post here...
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )