Social Psychology Experiment Finds That White Male Undergraduates Continue to Harbor Deep-Seated Racist Views

New research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology finds that many white Americans still subconsciously hold deep-seated beliefs that blacks are inferior to whites. The research was conducted under the supervision of Jennifer Eberhardt, an associate professor of psychology at Stanford University. For test subjects, Professor Eberhardt used undergraduate white male students at Stanford University and at Pennsylvania State University.

Subliminal photographs of white and black subjects were flashed on a computer screen. These images were shown so fast that students were not conscious of what had been presented to them. Then blurry images of the faces of apes were shown on the screen. White students who had been primed with subliminal photographs of African Americans were able to identify the photographs as apes quicker than students who had been primed with subliminal images of white faces.

When the same test was done with Asian subjects there was no discernible difference between those primed with white or black facial images in the time it took them to identify the ape image.

The authors concluded that whites still harbor subconscious views that blacks are ape-like. This dehumanization of blacks, according to the authors, can lead to racism and discrimination.