January 15, 2014

"The students primed with 'educated'..."

"... were more likely to rate the black man's skin tone as lighter on a memory test later. "

36 comments:

rhhardin said...

Another proof of racism.

Half the tests will come out that way if there's no racism.

Half the tests are published.

100% racism is proved.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

So who told the media that George Zimmerman was highly educated?

rhhardin said...

The trouble with prejudice isn't that it's irrational.

You keep your eye on the black stranger more than the white stranger by Bayes theorem.

You put your resources where the most likely danger is.

That reduces the chances that you're mugged (a type I error) at the expense of caution where it was in fact not needed (a type II error).

The trouble with prejudice is that the cost of a type II error is sometimes mostly put on the other guy (cab won't stop), where the gain of a type I error avoided is on you.

So it's a who pays for type I and type II errors thing, not a moral thing.

Oso Negro said...

Odd. The most terrifying black man in America is relatively light skinned and holds degrees from Columbia and Harvard.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Odd. The most terrifying black man in America is relatively light skinned and holds degrees from Columbia and Harvard.

Why is it odd. Light skinned and educated.

The only thing throwing them off is the fact that they seem to think educated is a complement.

Well educated is a compliment. Highly educated, not so much.

Fen said...

More interesting is the fact that Blacks are more aware of "lighter" blacks than whites are.

Fen said...

But they can't be racist because, ya know, they're black.



/s

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

My advice to black people would be to wear eyeglasses.

Bob Boyd said...

I wonder if all the students in the study were white or if black students had the same response to the priming.

Terry said...

Perhaps they should do research to determine why Atlantic authors choose to write on obscure research on topics they know nothing about? Gosh! Might even be some unconscious bias involved in that!
I would love to know how the Atlantic author -- Brian Resnick -- found out about this study and what editor decided it was 'newsworthy'.

EMD said...

Did Jesse Jackson take the test?

Scott M said...

The very ugly truth is that black people judge themselves along these same lines. There is a very strong self-segregation which affects everything from dating choices on up, that has to do with skin color, the darker being worse, the lighter being better. It's one of the greatest unspoken ironies in American culture.

Fernandinande said...

So they noticed a pattern.

You're not supposed to notice patterns.

exhelodrvr1 said...

What does the demographic data show about blacks and education?

Carol said...

The trouble with prejudice isn't that it's irrational.

Au contraire, it seems like rational adaptive behavior that evolved for good reason.

Balfegor said...

The stereotype that darker skin = bad is one that many journalists work very hard to promote.

That said, though, regardless of race, the traditional stereotype of the "educated" is that they are pale because they spend all their time indoors reading, unlike the uneducated, who are always out in the fields working (or hunting, shooting, and fishing, if they are toffs).

David said...

So were these white students or black students?

Because sure as hell lighter skin has been a marker of status and accomplishment in the black community since before the Civil War began.

Maybe that was Clarence Thomas' problem?

Megaera said...

I did not read the base article but I take it the writer did not choose to comment on the fact that a similar bias exists in India, one which predates colonialism, and is apart from the caste system itself. Indians culturally select for lighter skin tones, and the sale of skin lightening compounds is a large element of the cosmetic industry there. Similar bias can be demonstrated in East Asia. I assume no mention of this was made in the study. Of course.

jacksonjay said...


What about Speaker Boehner? I hear lots of negative talk, even from the POTUS, about his skin color! Hmmmmm

virgil xenophon said...

@Megera/

Same for Japan. Dark skinned Okinawa types are regarded as inferior to their lighter-skinned Japanese cousins and the northern-most inhabitants of northern Honshu Japan the highest class of all.

James said...

And to confuse things even more; John Boehner's son-in-law is a black Jamaican with dreadlocks down to his waist: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2324023/The-moment-proud-father-John-Boehner-watched-daughter-say-I-Do-dreadlocked-Jamaican-born-love.html

Unknown said...

There is just no end to this sort of grant-snaffling makework race hustling twaddle.

traditionalguy said...

Somebody call Henry Louis (Skip) Gates of the DNA Roots program on PBS. Being half Scottish, Skip he doesn't lose an arguement unless he loses his temper first.

The last black black I remember doing well in Politics is Thomas on the Supreme Court.

Scott said...

If the students were primed with "sexy" I bet they would remember his skin as being darker.

Laura said...

What about who sunburns the fastest? Or can African Americans get their redneck on?

Sorun said...

Stunning research, given that everyone around the world does the same thing.

But liberals love to do studies and write articles about how awful it is to be a black American.

Sorun said...

Are literacy rates in the world randomly distributed?

Anglelyne said...

Terry: Perhaps they should do research to determine why Atlantic authors choose to write on obscure research on topics they know nothing about?

No kidding. Aside from the general incoherence of the article (dude, what is your point here?), linking to a Lewontin paper right out of the gate is a dead giveaway that he knows no more about the topic than a good boy should.

Which actually answers your question about why he's writing the article.

Terry said...


Traditional guy:
"The last black black I remember doing well in Politics is Thomas on the Supreme Court."
An educated, dark skinned black man no liberal will admit is intelligent enough to be a supreme court justice.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

..subjects implicitly associate "ignorance" with dark skin tone...

Well, I do tan quite nicely, thank you very much.

n.n said...

Will no one rid us of the intellectual's burden?

ALP said...

"...grant-snaffling makework race hustling twaddle."

LOVE THAT - it bears repeating.

ALP said...

Also, having worked with SE Asian refugees (Laotian, Vietnamese, Cambodian) I can attest that the light vs dark skin awareness, and the ideas that go with it, is present in those cultures as well.

Maybe somebody needs to dig up some historical evidence from Europe's history showing the same biases. Didn't ladies of a certain class in England use white powder on their faces to appear really, REALLY white as opposed to the poor sods who had to work in the fields, thus getting a good tan?

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

The Japanese women I've known wear driving gloves so their hands don't get tan.

Fen said...

I'm guessing the bias is due to genetic memory from our pure white alien ancestors.

Right now my hair looks like the guy on the History Channel. Thats my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

gregq said...

Given how many of these "priming"" studies have turned out to be unrepeatable bullshit, I call "bullshit" on this one, too.