Testing & Bias

Charlie Darling csd_1212 at JUNO.COM
Mon Nov 17 09:24:47 MST 2003

Is this ANOTHER test "The Man" has designed so Blacks will score lower?


Brain scan 'identifies race bias'

A brain scan that can apparently root out racists has been developed by
The technique was used on white volunteers shown photographs of black
In those with racist tendencies, a surge of activity was seen in part of the
brain that controls thoughts and behaviour. Scientists believe this
reflected volunteers' attempts to to curb their latent racism.
After interacting with real black individuals, the same group performed
poorly in a task designed to test mental resources.
The American researchers concluded that harbouring racial prejudice, even
unintentionally, stirred up an inner struggle that exhausted the brain.
Dr Jennifer Richeson, assistant professor of psychological and brain
sciences at Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, said: "We were
surprised to find brain activity in response to faces of black individuals
predicted how research participants performed on cognitive tasks after
actual interracial interactions."
The scientists first measured the racial bias of 30 white individuals using
a standard technique.
Volunteers were given a computer test to record the ease with which they
associated with white and black racial groups with concepts that were
positive or negative. Those with higher levels of racial bias took longer to
associate white people with negative concepts and black people with positive
The study participants were then asked to interact with either a white or a
black individual. Afterwards, they underwent a test which involved making a
mental effort to inhibit instinctive responses.
The scan experiment employed a technique called functional magnetic
resonance imaging (fMRI) to map brain activity.
Story filed: 13:54 Sunday 16th November 2003

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