Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Scarcity of Resources Might Make People More Racist, Shows Cool Face-Morphing Study
New York Magazine ^ | June 9, 2014 | Jesse Singal

Posted on 06/09/2014 6:45:51 PM PDT by nickcarraway

Both common sense and a bunch of social-psychological literature suggest that when resources are scarce, folks tend to get more territorial and possessive, to stick with people whom they view as members of their in-groups more tightly than they usually would. An interesting new study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences used face-morphing to show that white people, in one experiment at least, actually perceive black people differently when primed to think about situations in which resources are scarce.

The study mostly revolved around getting a group of white respondents to react to a range of faces generated by morphing the features of a stereotypically Caucasian face with a stereotypically African-American one. Here are some of them, from most white (left) to most black (right):

The researchers sum up their findings:

Together, our results provide strong converging evidence for the role of perceptual biases as a mechanism through which economic scarcity enhances discrimination and contributes to racial disparities. Studies 1 and 2 demonstrated that perceptions of scarcity, whether based on one’s economic beliefs or manipulated nonconsciously, increased subjects’ tendency to view mixed-race faces as “Blacker.” Studies 3 and 4 revealed that when resources were framed as scarce (versus neutral), decision makers’ mental image of African American faces became “Blacker,” and this perceptual shift was sufficient to cause a disparity in the allocation of resources. These findings demonstrate that socioeconomic context can shape perceptions of minority racial group members, introducing a novel perspective on the widening of racial disparities during economic stress.

The second study is probably the most interesting. In it, the researchers quickly flashed positive, neutral, or scarcity-related words, then flashed a face that was 100 percent black or white, or somewhere along the spectrum at 25 percent intervals. (The word-flashing thing is an established way of detecting bias when people might be reluctant to admit it, and forms the backbone of respected so-called implicit association tests.) Respondents were asked to determine the race of the face.

Those who had been primed with the scarcity words were more likely to see middle-of-the-road faces as black — on average, faces were identified as black if they were only 35 percent to the right on the spectrum, as compared to 40 percent for the neutral and negative groups (interestingly, there was no difference between these groups). This suggests that in-group/out-group perceptions — which we know are correlated with all sorts of not-good aspects of human nature — were heightened when the white subjects were made to think about scarcity, to the point where they were identifying faces that were more white than black (stereotypically speaking, at least) as black. Another one of the studies carried this a little further, showing that people divvied up hypothetical money-pies less equitably to a fictional black co-player in a game when scarcity-priming was used.

The standard caveats apply: This was a lab setting; in real life people make these sorts of decisions differently; and so on. But given previous research on race, scarcity, and bias, it's a useful data point, and a useful reminder that scarcity has a lot of negative effects on human behavior — some of them a bit surprising.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: anotherstudy; fearmongering; playtheracecard; racist; whiteprivilege

1 posted on 06/09/2014 6:45:51 PM PDT by nickcarraway
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

Sun rises in the East because racism.


2 posted on 06/09/2014 6:46:35 PM PDT by ClearCase_guy ("Harvey Dent, can we trust him?" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBsdV--kLoQ)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

This explains why blacks live in fear of being beaten down or frequently killed and raped by whites if they get caught outside after dark, or in the wrong neighborhood.


3 posted on 06/09/2014 6:49:42 PM PDT by ansel12 ((Ted Cruz and Mike Lee-both of whom sit on the Senate Judiciary Comm as Ginsberg's importance fades)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

Maybe this horrible economy has made taxpayers hostile toward the Takers for very good reason.


4 posted on 06/09/2014 6:50:57 PM PDT by txrefugee
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

In our country’s recent history we’ve celebrated diversity in our population as if it were a good thing. However, one look at world history will show you that no country with a diverse population of different races, languages, and religion has long survived.

Countries don’t naturally form with a diverse population, and when in the past they’ve occurred it’s usually been as a result of armed conquest. These unnaturally formed countries have either melded together into a single population made up of one mixed race with one language and one religion or they’ve come apart, and they’ve usually come apart with extreme violence. The longer these diverse populations are forced to coexist with one another without mixing and becoming one, the more the hatred grows among them and the more violently they break apart, but break apart they will, or genocide will settle the issue once and for all.

Why is this and why can’t we all just get along? The truth of the matter is that we (the human race) just aren’t as civilized as we would like to think we are. Our species, Homo-sapiens-sapiens, isn’t that long “out of the trees” and the veneer of civilization is very thin, to non-existent, upon us all. We’re all carrying the genes that got us here and some of those genes carry a very basic survival instinct that has allowed us to survive thus far.

This most basic of all survival instincts is self preservation and it’s the one that warns us to be very wary of those who are different than us, our family, and our tribe. Those who possessed this survival instinct survived and reproduced, and those who had no fear/distrust of strangers didn’t survive. Over the years, this survival instinct has been referred to as tribalism, nationalism, ethnocentrism, racism, and various other isms, but it’s an inborn instinct carried in our genes whether we like it or not.


5 posted on 06/09/2014 6:57:21 PM PDT by DJ Taylor (Once again our country is at war,and once again the Democrats have sided with our enemy.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

Scarcity causde by government intervention doesn’t help


6 posted on 06/09/2014 7:00:31 PM PDT by jsanders2001
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DJ Taylor

Well put. Humans survived that banded together in groups. We’re pre-wired to associate those that look like us and fear those that don’t.


7 posted on 06/09/2014 7:04:40 PM PDT by TigerClaws
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: ClearCase_guy

I’ve spent way to many nights/days on drinking adventures between both hard core “redneck” bars and the “hood”, and everything in between.

My ex-girl and I wanted to experience real life.

In the hood, we seemed to get along but were advised on multiple occasions that we needed to leave, for our own safety.

At the so-called redneck bars, everything was good until my ex-girl got so drunk and obnoxious that they wanted to beat ME up, just for being with her. I was always able to extract ourselves, but in the “hood” bars, there was always a sense of uncertainty. It was like “everything is cool”, “you guy’s are cool”, but you need to leave now if you value your life.


8 posted on 06/09/2014 7:07:26 PM PDT by Zeneta (Thoughts in time and out of season.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: ansel12

What you said.


9 posted on 06/09/2014 7:08:42 PM PDT by mrmeyer (You can't conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him. – Robert Heinlein)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: TigerClaws
"Well put. Humans survived that banded together in groups. We’re pre-wired to associate those that look like us and fear those that don’t."

Everyone knows this but have to pretend it's not true.

Acknowledging the truth is racist.

10 posted on 06/09/2014 7:12:09 PM PDT by blam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: DJ Taylor
There you go again, ... using common sense and biological history to explain something that, yes, becomes obvious if one knows a little biological history and applies common sense.

Very well put, FRiend.

Now if only more of our species knew some biological history, and had some common sense...

11 posted on 06/09/2014 7:13:42 PM PDT by dayglored (Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is...sounding pretty good about now.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Zeneta

There’s no feeling quite like the flesh-crawling one you get when you realize you’ve wandered into to wrong neighborhood at the wrong time of day.


12 posted on 06/09/2014 7:15:08 PM PDT by skeeter
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: DJ Taylor

Exactly.


13 posted on 06/09/2014 7:19:36 PM PDT by Southside_Chicago_Republican (If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Zeneta

I always knew when it was time to leave one particular black bar in Oakland. Everything was cool when my white landlord and I went to lunch. (He had, after all, set up the black owner in business. ) If I stayed past 3 o’clock, though, I was sure to hear the words “Who’s the f’n honky?”. I took that as a pretty clear signal that it was time to depart (quickly).


14 posted on 06/09/2014 7:22:18 PM PDT by Bob
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: skeeter

There’s no feeling quite like the flesh-crawling one you get when you realize you’ve wandered into to wrong neighborhood at the wrong time of day.


Yes, and then there are those times when that feeling wasn’t instituted by your own self awareness, but by the awareness of others.

Now that will drive you to sobriety.


15 posted on 06/09/2014 7:24:58 PM PDT by Zeneta (Thoughts in time and out of season.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: blam

The article basically states the hard truth.

People are racist, and that is all there is to it.

In situations where people have little or nothing, such as in prison, it is the only thing that matters at all.


16 posted on 06/09/2014 7:27:08 PM PDT by chris37 (heartless)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Zeneta

When I was surveying, my two running buddies who worked with were black and the other Native American/Mexican, during work we could sometimes argue race and race politics all day long (both were smart guys), with them attacking white racism, but every evening when it was time to go in our work clothes to a working class Houston bar, I would win the argument with asking them which redneck bar do we go to, black, or Mexican, they always insisted on the white one as we would shop the various bars in that part of town.

Did I dig at them and ask them “but why? those are redneck Texas cowboy and construction types”, “wouldn’t we be safer as a mixed race trio in the black or Mexican bar?” at that they would laugh, and if I pushed it they would flat out beg that it might cost all of us our lives.


17 posted on 06/09/2014 7:28:48 PM PDT by ansel12 ((Ted Cruz and Mike Lee-both of whom sit on the Senate Judiciary Comm as Ginsberg's importance fades)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

Wonder what happened when they showed white faces to black people. {crickets}


18 posted on 06/09/2014 7:29:17 PM PDT by PistolPaknMama
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

people bad
desert tortoise good


19 posted on 06/09/2014 7:32:53 PM PDT by dontreadthis
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Zeneta
I have to wonder if there is any place in this country where that same feeling is even possible were the racial rolls reversed.

And, no, being stopped and questioned by the police is NOT the same thing.

20 posted on 06/09/2014 7:33:02 PM PDT by skeeter
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: ansel12

Interestingly enough, my ex-girl, was very very liberal, also drop dead gorgeous.

She seemed to want to “understand” this “black” culture as well as the “redneck” culture. She had been raped by a black man when she was much younger. Her attempts to “get along” were always meet with “you need to leave”. She never attempted to “get along” with the rednecks. She, as a liberal, was consistently antagonist to the point where we had to go.


21 posted on 06/09/2014 7:41:34 PM PDT by Zeneta (Thoughts in time and out of season.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: skeeter

An interesting thought experiment.

You are desperately looking for work, you’ve been out of work for some time and the only place that has offered you a job, is 100% black. You are not.

This is an office job.

Do you take the job or wait for something else ?


22 posted on 06/09/2014 7:46:40 PM PDT by Zeneta (Thoughts in time and out of season.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Zeneta

People aren’t as wild in white bars as they used to be, but 45 and 50 years ago, that kind of girl could get you into serious biker type Texas fights, which used to often include guns and knives.

That used to be a serious problem being a teen inside of absolutely rough bars, and our teen date would be wanting to assert herself against hardcore dangerous men in their late 20s and 30s who literally saw part of a night in a bar being a fight, you wouldn’t believe what the words “are you looking at my gal?”, meant, the translation was, “your it, let’s get it on”, and it was on, being innocent or guilty was meaningless, the saying was merely a formality, and to play pool, you had to have the muscle or the gun, to reinforce your quarter, there were no pool table rules or a chalk board, like in California. Fighting for the pool table was probably the number one reason for bar shootings, in the old days.

By 1970 that truly deadly and constant violence was leaving the white redneck bars, there were still plenty of fights and occasional shootings, but it was no longer total insanity.


23 posted on 06/09/2014 7:57:43 PM PDT by ansel12 ((Ted Cruz and Mike Lee-both of whom sit on the Senate Judiciary Comm as Ginsberg's importance fades)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

I see lots of examples of Whites “reaching out” to Blacks, e.g., Affirmative Action, Bussing, Section 8 housing, etc. The examples of Blacks reaching out to Whites is more typically things like The Knockout Game.


24 posted on 06/09/2014 8:16:51 PM PDT by Rembrandt (Part of the 51% who pay Federal taxes)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Zeneta

If you mean the business is all black, I take the job in a heartbeat. If you mean the city or the part of it I would have to live in is all black, then I take my chances with starvation because it’s much slower than murder. I knew of a guy who lived his whole life in Detroit. Things went bad, the neighborhood demographic changed, but he was older and wasn’t going to be driven from his home. They broke in and murdered him one night. There are lots of great black folks out there, no doubt the majority are good people, but I’ve seen the statistics and don’t intend to become another data point.


25 posted on 06/09/2014 8:30:00 PM PDT by Trod Upon (Every penny given to film and TV media companies goes right into enemy coffers. Starve them out!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: DJ Taylor
However, one look at world history will show you that no country with a diverse population of different races, languages, and religion has long survived.

Sorry, but the Roman Empire did just that for millenia. And the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth did that for nearly 400 years

ditto for the Chola, Pandya empires

Countries with a diverse population tend to survive longer and are the norm -- Japan gives it's story about being a mono state but for much of its history was divided by different war lords. Ditto China (though it absorbed many groups)

26 posted on 06/09/2014 11:17:16 PM PDT by Cronos (Obama’s dislike of Assad is not based on Assad’s brutality but that he isn't a jihadi Moslem)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: DJ Taylor
Countries don’t naturally form with a diverse population, and when in the past they’ve occurred it’s usually been as a result of armed conquest

Not completely true. The Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth is a fact. Most states throughout history were diverse -- yes to a large extent conquest, but then you had what you had in the UK with Norman rulers, Saxons ruled.

27 posted on 06/09/2014 11:18:39 PM PDT by Cronos (Obama’s dislike of Assad is not based on Assad’s brutality but that he isn't a jihadi Moslem)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: DJ Taylor
The longer these diverse populations are forced to coexist with one another without mixing and becoming one, -- on this we agree, but I argue that most of the mixing is natural -- think of Sumerians speaking Akkadian etc.
28 posted on 06/09/2014 11:19:34 PM PDT by Cronos (Obama’s dislike of Assad is not based on Assad’s brutality but that he isn't a jihadi Moslem)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson