The promise and limitations of a bio-psych approach to racism.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/22/magazine/the-brains-empathy-gap.html?smprod=nytcore-iphone

Neuroscience Finding:

“the width of this empathy gap did not correlate with a person’s empathy rating on personality assessments … [but] the strength of a person’s group identity [ie red team vs blue team] … even … something as inconsequential as a computer game”

Neuroscience Caveat:
“He likens the brain to a human riding an elephant: The human rider is the part we can consciously assess and control, and the elephant is the subliminal rest.”

Critique from Social Psychologist:
“”the dominant group may accept a Roma who comes from the settlement and somehow makes it into college,” Kende says. “But it’s not, ‘Oh, wow this changes my perception of Roma.’ It’s, ‘Oh, well that person is not really Roma.’ And then what you have left is, the word “Roma’ becomes shorthand for ‘dirty, lazy thief.'” Those norms are so pervasive, she said, that the Roma themselves have adopted them.”

Critique from NGO worker:
“”Sometimes I think that even the very best research will only make things worse,” he said. “You may provide concrete evidence of racism, but being told by outsiders that thy are racist and need to change will only inspire a fuller rejection of outsiders.””

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~ by moz on April 13, 2015.

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