livescience.com

 

It's interesting to see research into mental causes of racism.  

 

For years, social scientists have uncovered the unsettling truth that no matter how egalitarian a person purports to be, their unconscious mind holds some racist, sexist or ageist thoughts.  But a new study finds that this may say less about the person and more about the culture that surrounds him or her.

...

"This suggests that at least part of the alleged racist/sexist/ageist hiding inside us all is a monster not of our own making; it is built out of memes borrowed from close contact with our environment,...  Prejudiced thought begetting prejudiced speech, which is then internalized to begat even more prejudiced thought.

 

Interesting article.  Once we understand how certain thought processes are reinforced, it also helps create solutions, such as the possible "benefit" of political correctness.

 

 

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Replies to This Discussion

For some reason, people get worked up over the expression "politically correct".  To me the phrase indicates an attempt to reformulate language in such a way as to achieve certain goals and change the way that we think.  Which can be laudable, depending on whether or not I agree with those goals.   I'm not an academic when it comes to social psychology.  Is there a politically correct term for "politically correct"?

 

It seems to me the term can be used for this concept, pairing various words to see what impressions people have of various categories of people.  Again, I would enjoy learning the current word or expression for this concept.

Being PC was mostly a punchline for comedians during the 80s, and something for Rush to get in a tyrade over.

 

I imagine the term PC probably originated in the conservative community as a pejorative term used to describe other people who actually cared about the welfare and feelings of their fellow humans.

As memory serves, that sounds right to me as well.  Although my memory doesnt always serve.

I don’t know SB. This seems to fall under the “no shit” category for me. I’ve posted some of these implicit tests before, and I’ve even taken some of them, but I’m not quite prepared to put a lot of faith in them. In my case, I’m pretty slow when I read something – as though I have to double check my understanding or impressions. So when I take those tests I think I naturally have a slower response time, which may have nothing to do with psychological makeup.

 

However, the study of how much our unconscious or intuitive selves influence our attitudes, beliefs, and morals is certainly an interesting one – and one that is finally getting some attention it seems. Lots of books and studies on that very subject.

 

Nonetheless, I don’t associated “black” with “poor” because of language or literature. I associate the two because I grew up in a culture in which black people were poor – because they were disenfranchised, jilted on their education and employment opportunities, and generally treated as less deserving, less civilized, and less trustworthy. Of course they remained poor.

 

Sure by the 70s and 80s this wasn’t universally true – but it was true enough. A truth based in fact, not in memetic contagion.

Dallas, I agree our experience gives us mental pairings, just as culture does.  I don't know the answer.  My own (white) family was a mixture of poor and working class.  My mother's birthplace was a house with a dirt floor, she went to school in a one-room schoolhouse, her town had one church and a general store with a gas tank in front.  Much of her side of the family didn't get much beyond that.  So I grew up thinking of "poor" as basically "normal" and "country", whether white or black.  Then I went into the army, and no recruits came from moneyed backgrounds, and "poor" still seemed "normal" and I didn't associate race with other categories.  Life after that is much, much different for me, so who knows?   I haven't taken the tests, so I don't know what my subconscious mind would do now.   It would be interesting to see who is dwelling in my brain but I'm a little afraid to find out.

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