University Study Finds That Racial Prejudice Produces a Far Different Reaction in the Brain Than Other Types of Personal Snubs

A study conducted by researchers at UCLA has found that people are more offended by personal snubs and criticisms than they are by racial prejudice. The experiment involved black and white students who played a computer ball-tossing game while connected to brain scans.

A black student was matched with two white students while playing the computer game. After a while, the white students were told to ignore the black student and only toss the ball to each other. The brain scans showed that this “insult” generated activity in the part of the brain involving self-control and contemplation.

But when a white student was the subject and two other white students ignored the test subject by not tossing him the ball, brain activity was observed in the part of the brain associated with physical pain and severe mental conflict.

Researchers concluded victims of racial prejudice experience a far different reaction in the brain than other types of social rejection.