sexta-feira, 18 de dezembro de 2009

Study: TV May Perpetuate Race Bias

Most people regard watching television as a passive activity. You sit, you watch. Occasionally, you change the channel. But a new study reveals that even this passive diversion may lead to actively damaging effects, particularly when it comes to issues of race.

In a series of intricately designed experiments, psychologists at Tufts University demonstrate that subtle racial biases are often expressed by characters on popular television shows, and that viewers not only pick up these attitudes but allow them to shape their own outlooks on race. The most insidious part of this cultural traffic, the researchers found, is that the transmission of race bias appears to occur subconsciously, unbeknownst to the viewer. (Watch a video of the best television series of 2009.)

Led by Max Weisbuch, a postdoctoral student in the lab of Tufts psychology professor Nalini Ambady, researchers designed the multipart study to examine the communication of race bias on television to white college-age volunteers. Weisbuch and his team were intrigued by the fact that despite a significant reduction in overt expressions of racism in modern American society — the country has, after all, just elected its first black president — studies consistently find that many people still show biased or negative attitudes toward African-Americans, primarily through nonverbal means such as facial expressions, crossed arms and averted gazes. The psychologists wondered how such biases could persist in a society in which racism is socially unacceptable and indeed publicly denounced.



Nenhum comentário: