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freemanjud
Boston, US
Posts: 246


Reading:

  1. Kenneth and Mamie Clark, "Racial Identification and Preference in Negro Children," 1950 You can also read this here: https://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/05/13/doll.study.1947.pdf
  2. Paul Bloom, “The Moral Life of Babies,” New York Times, May 5, 2010. You can also read this here: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/09/magazine/09babies-t.html
  3. James H. Burnett III, “Racism Learned: New Research Suggests Prejudices May Form at a Much Earlier Age, but It Also Offers Hope that Biases Can be Unlearned,” Boston Globe, June 10, 2012. You can also read this here:

https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2012/06/09/harvard-researcher-says-children-learn-racism-quickly/gWuN1ZG3M40WihER2kAfdK/story.html


Wait a minute: wasn’t it just recently that we were talking about the problem of the definitions of race and ethnicity and the arbitrary nature of these categories? Holy moley, how did we get here?


As we saw in class on Tuesday, with the children in Anderson Cooper’s 2010 piece on skin color preferences: when asked to judge what skin color young children preferred, the general sense was that the children preferred lighter skin to darker skin. The question of whether adults preferred a particular skin color again, according to the children interviewed, seemed to be that, “Yes, they do. They prefer the lighter skin-colored people.”


Now granted, Cooper’s study was not scientific and therefore could easily be questioned, but it is a quasi-recreation of an study done by Kenneth and Mamie Clark in 1940-1941, a study that was at the core of the arguments made in favor of the plaintiff in the landmark Brown v Board of Education case that led to desegregation of the nation’s public schools after the Supreme Court ruled in 1954. A summary of that study by the Clarks in the link as the reading above. It’s essential that you read it!


So what explains why the children feel the way they do? Does Paul Bloom’s article offer any explanation? Is Mahzarin Banaji’s research helpful in this context? In other words, are there factors that affect the growth and views of children? Offer your thoughts on this and support them with specific, clear evidence. In other words, take a thoughtful post taking a position on these questions, reflecting what you learned from the three readings and what you saw in the Anderson Cooper video.


Be sure to respond to the comments of at least two people who precede you (or follow you) in this discussion.


BTW, in case you were not in class on Tuesday, the URLs for the various clips that we watched in class, as well as several related ones, are:

part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cWgV5sigbQ (5:27)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQACkg5i4AY (5:18)

part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Xh1dkE7yn8 (2:00)

part 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ll9O9Inohnc (1:15)


Kids on Race: The Hidden Picture, 2012:

Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPVNJgfDwpw (9:29)

Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9OKgUdQF-Fg (6:25)


watermelon2
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 14

A solvable problem? Racial preference among children

All of these different studies showed that prejudice and bias are developed from a young age. Paul Bloom’s article offered a lot of explanation that helps in understanding why children have these biased preferences and opinions. Bloom explains that babies are a lot smarter and aware of what’s happening around them than we think that they are. This sense of awareness even amongst babies shows just how much the views of children can be affected. Although people once thought that your prejudice didn’t develop until later on in life, Bloom’s article counters this. In one of his studies, he shows that babies are drawn to the “nice guy” while often avoiding the “bad guy.” This can be applied to the racial bias developed amongst children, because, similarly, with race, babies and young children are trained to believe that white people are the “nice guys,” therefore susceptible to bias. In Bloom’s study, the babies’ opinions that made them see certain people as the “nice guys” were from the previous information he gave them. Similarly, when it comes to race, there is tons of information babies are being given and learning from. This information that they are learning and adapting to all comes from the experiences in their environment, which gives them a bias to believe that people of color or the “bad guys” and white people are the “good guys.”


The information that children pick up from their environment comes in many different forms. Practically everything around a child has an influence that affects their racial bias. These physical things include their family and the media. The information that a child’s parents and other adults they look up to in their life give them is the most influential information affecting their beliefs. The problem, which we talked about in class, is that their parents also grew up unconsciously (or consciously) influenced by racial bias. Therefore, this creates a cycle, where generations will continue to pass on racial preferences to one another. The media, including television, commercials, celebrities, etc., is also a huge part in explaining why the children feel the way they do about race. All these different forms of media are filled with predominantly white people, which puts out a message that being white is considered normal and expected. Therefore, it makes children influenced by the media feel isolated or ashamed if they aren’t white since everyone they are interacting with through media is white. Additionally, the fact that so many of the celebrities portrayed in the media are white contributes to children looking down on darker skin colors. If all the people they look up to have light skin, this leads them to associate whiteness as being favorable.


Just like how a lack of celebrities of color influences children’s beliefs of race and preferred skin color, similarly, a lack of people of color in positions of power also influences their beliefs. The fact that the people in power and holding high and positive-associated positions are predominantly white sends out a message to children of color that they aren’t meant to be in those positions. It causes them to devalue their potential and associate success and fame with being white. As a person of color myself, when I was younger, I often felt like there were certain jobs I was destined to go into and others where I simply wouldn’t belong. I had trouble seeing myself in certain fields because I would look into them and see that they weren’t led and run by people that looked like me. This contributes to an idea that Banaji’s study touched on, which is that a lack of diversity is an explanation for racial preferences. The fact that we are still living in such a racially segregated country allows for these barriers and divisions to be made, therefore leading to racial preferences. Banaji explains that “even a child whose parents make no conscious effort to teach [him] not to be prejudiced can shed that prejudice if he finds himself in a diverse enough place.” If children grow up in a diverse environment with little racial bias influencing their beliefs, they would most likely have less racial preferences. But if children grow up in a place where there is racial diversity and they feel loved for who they are, their racially biased views will change.

jellybeans101
Boston, MA
Posts: 9

In Bloom's article we see how babies have an expectation as to how objects or people should behave. Babies don't have the predetermined expedition of beliefs and desire but the concept of push and pull. The experience shows children prefer people who act the same way as then, have the same shirt, or speak the same language. The goes hand in hand with the idea that being similar is being "nice." The article is kinda of contradicting to the doll study in which kids of color pointed out themselves to be a "mean kid". Which makes me wonder if was the reasoning the doll test got different results was because they were older? The gap of ages between the 1 year olds and preschools is not too far from each other. If they are not charactering people from behavior in preschool where are they learning this from?

In the high school experiment the kids believe that kids who are from the same race black, white,or Latin American have the same DNA. The documentary brings up a great point as to their is no measurement of Race. What is black in America will not be black in Brazil. There is the concept of when the kids are doing this where is Asian girl's skin is almost perfect similar with one of the white males. There is the idea of there is a gene for "athletic" or things such of that is a grey area. This comes into play with the Jewish team doing well and society saying it was because of their genes. There will never be a gene for any complex trait. Race is more than just skin deep.Jon an white male thought he would have the most differences with Jackie an Asian female but he in fact had the same differences with her as someone he thought he would be most similar to Kiril, a white male. Relating to the doll study we see these foundational thoughts about race from our early childhood does not change as we grow older. When in relatity race really cannot be measured.

cnovav
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 10

What's Up with Racial Preference among Children?

Paul Bloom’s article pretty much explains that babies don’t necessarily have an understanding of what is and isn't moral, they just react to things based on a “gut feeling”. Which is actually extremely similar to adults because even though adults typically have a general idea of what is right and what is wrong, it’s usually their gut feeling that influences how they react to something. As Paul Bloom puts it, “The babies’

experiences might be cognitively empty but emotionally intense, replete with

strong feelings and strong desires”. So essentially, babies have to be taught what is right and what is wrong because they are not born knowing the difference, they’re just born knowing how to follow their instincts.


I believe that this was very evident in the Anderson Cooper video because the younger kids tended to answer the questions asked by the researchers pretty quickly without taking time to acknowledge if what they were saying was “right” or “wrong”. To us, as we were watching the video, we’re able to acknowledge the fact that some of the things they were saying was morally incorrect but it’s possible that the younger kids didn't even know the real difference between what is morally correct and incorrect, or if they even knew what morals were at the time. However, with the older kids we saw that more of them paused and didn't want to answer the questions because they knew that no matter what way they answered, it would've been morally incorrect or just wrong as a whole.


In addition to children having to be taught what is right and wrong, James Burnett’s article is centered around the fact that racism is taught. Children are not born being racist. Just like children are not born knowing what their morals are. Which proves that it is very possible for things to change. It would be much more difficult to teach a child not to be racist if they were born feeling that way, than it is if they were taught racism growing up. However, that doesn't mean that either scenario is easy. Either way, the most important thing is that we act and do something to change how these young children are being taught, and why they’re being taught those things too.


In Kenneth and Mamie Clark’s article, the data tables show that the young black children tended to have “preferences” in skin color, not just the young white children. The black children associated positive traits to lighter skin and negative traits to darker skin even if their own skin color was dark. Which in a way made the claims in the previous documents seem a little less reliable. You could quickly argue that this means these children were taught by their parents to hate their skin color. But that’s not necessarily the truth. The studies simply show that these children were taught to associate different traits to different skin tones, even if it meant their own skin tone was “bad” and they were taught this by the media. The world around them.

cnovav
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 10

Originally posted by watermelon2 on October 12, 2021 20:24

If children grow up in a diverse environment with little racial bias influencing their beliefs, they would most likely have less racial preferences. But if children grow up in a place where there is racial diversity and they feel loved for who they are, their racially biased views will change.

I think this is a really interesting point and I definitely agree. I also think it's possible that children could still have racial preferences even if they grow up in racially diverse places, although it may not be as common as if they grow up in a pretty segregated area.

cnovav
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 10

Originally posted by jellybeans101 on October 13, 2021 11:21

Relating to the doll study we see these foundational thoughts about race from our early childhood does not change as we grow older. When in relatity race really cannot be measured.

I agree that race cannot be measured. Although the study does in a way prove that thoughts on race don't change as we age, do you think it is still possible for someones prejudices and bias to change if they are exposed to the right enviornment?

OverthinkingEnigma
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 13

Children’s feelings, behavior, and thought processes are influenced by their surroundings, environment in and out of their home, society, and the people they spend the most time with. The perfect mixture of these points is school, children are constantly in contact with different students and adults of varying ages and races. Moreover, children continuously absorb information they’re exposed to and internalize its message and these lessons all play a part in their developing personality and beliefs. This theory is present in Paul Bloom’s article, for example, data had shown that all the children from the South and North were aware of racial differences because they had chosen the correct dolls when asked which one was white or colored. By proving that most children can differentiate people based on race, it only increased the volume of the children’s following actions when asked which doll they preferred. The data showed that 67% of the subjects preferred the white doll while 32% preferred the colored doll, and the stark difference in preference from children aged 3-7 proves that they’ve been influenced/are influenced by some force that deems POC as undesirable/bad and white as perfect. The children of color from mixed race schools could’ve been exposed to more direct racism/stereotypes from students or adults thus finding white to be the best color. However, the children of the south resonated the most with the colored dolls than the white dolls and possible reasoning could have been segregated schools. Segregation placed kids of color with peers of a similar race thus encouraging acceptance/inclusion while also facing racism from society (this explains the reappearing preference for the white doll but at a lower percentage). In the present day, segregation is illegal but children are still exposed to the beliefs that fueled such a system, and the media causes the spread of harmful stereotypes and glorification of the white race which ultimately lead to the same effect seen in Paul Bloom’s article.

Moreover, Mahzarin Banji’s research revealed that children, especially those of early age, displayed signs of basic understanding of morality. This is very significant because it means that young children are completely capable of grasping onto the lessons or information from what they’ve been exposed to (shows, parents’ actions/reactions and so on). Moreover, this research mentioned that babies make examples of their parents and base their reaction process or behavior off their guardian’s actions or emotions. This connects to how children act the way they do, they’ve based their triggers for unhealthy or healthy thought processes/behavior off of what they had grown up with. For example, if a child were to grow up surrounded by racist ideologies, this way of thinking and discrimination will become the founding blocks of their sense of self. Furthermore, Mahzarin Banji stated that children accept and embrace racism at a young age but preference in race gradually develops and becomes cemented in their teens. Thus, factors such as a diverse school environment or neighborhood play major roles in a child’s developing view on race, and parents who may refrain from teaching prejudice or racism could be overruled since their child’s school and peers have a bigger impact on them for long periods of time. Nonetheless, it’s heartbreaking to see kids have an overwhelming preference for the white race and saddening to see children of color feel insecure about their skin color because it’s against the ‘majority.’

OverthinkingEnigma
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 13

Originally posted by cnovav on October 13, 2021 15:51

Paul Bloom’s article pretty much explains that babies don’t necessarily have an understanding of what is and isn't moral, they just react to things based on a “gut feeling”. Which is actually extremely similar to adults because even though adults typically have a general idea of what is right and what is wrong, it’s usually their gut feeling that influences how they react to something. As Paul Bloom puts it, “The babies’

experiences might be cognitively empty but emotionally intense, replete with

strong feelings and strong desires”. So essentially, babies have to be taught what is right and what is wrong because they are not born knowing the difference, they’re just born knowing how to follow their instincts.


I believe that this was very evident in the Anderson Cooper video because the younger kids tended to answer the questions asked by the researchers pretty quickly without taking time to acknowledge if what they were saying was “right” or “wrong”. To us, as we were watching the video, we’re able to acknowledge the fact that some of the things they were saying was morally incorrect but it’s possible that the younger kids didn't even know the real difference between what is morally correct and incorrect, or if they even knew what morals were at the time. However, with the older kids we saw that more of them paused and didn't want to answer the questions because they knew that no matter what way they answered, it would've been morally incorrect or just wrong as a whole.


In addition to children having to be taught what is right and wrong, James Burnett’s article is centered around the fact that racism is taught. Children are not born being racist. Just like children are not born knowing what their morals are. Which proves that it is very possible for things to change. It would be much more difficult to teach a child not to be racist if they were born feeling that way, than it is if they were taught racism growing up. However, that doesn't mean that either scenario is easy. Either way, the most important thing is that we act and do something to change how these young children are being taught, and why they’re being taught those things too.


In Kenneth and Mamie Clark’s article, the data tables show that the young black children tended to have “preferences” in skin color, not just the young white children. The black children associated positive traits to lighter skin and negative traits to darker skin even if their own skin color was dark. Which in a way made the claims in the previous documents seem a little less reliable. You could quickly argue that this means these children were taught by their parents to hate their skin color. But that’s not necessarily the truth. The studies simply show that these children were taught to associate different traits to different skin tones, even if it meant their own skin tone was “bad” and they were taught this by the media. The world around them.

I agree with your point that children act with their gut with no real knowledge of what may be considered 'right' or 'wrong' about their decision. Moreover, the fact that racism is taught brings awareness to the crucial part parents play in molding their child's way of thinking and behavior. This reminds me of the big debate on whether people's actions are always connected to how they've been raised or if they're in full control of their decisions and actions.

OverthinkingEnigma
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 13

Originally posted by watermelon2 on October 12, 2021 20:24

All of these different studies showed that prejudice and bias are developed from a young age. Paul Bloom’s article offered a lot of explanation that helps in understanding why children have these biased preferences and opinions. Bloom explains that babies are a lot smarter and aware of what’s happening around them than we think that they are. This sense of awareness even amongst babies shows just how much the views of children can be affected. Although people once thought that your prejudice didn’t develop until later on in life, Bloom’s article counters this. In one of his studies, he shows that babies are drawn to the “nice guy” while often avoiding the “bad guy.” This can be applied to the racial bias developed amongst children, because, similarly, with race, babies and young children are trained to believe that white people are the “nice guys,” therefore susceptible to bias. In Bloom’s study, the babies’ opinions that made them see certain people as the “nice guys” were from the previous information he gave them. Similarly, when it comes to race, there is tons of information babies are being given and learning from. This information that they are learning and adapting to all comes from the experiences in their environment, which gives them a bias to believe that people of color or the “bad guys” and white people are the “good guys.”


The information that children pick up from their environment comes in many different forms. Practically everything around a child has an influence that affects their racial bias. These physical things include their family and the media. The information that a child’s parents and other adults they look up to in their life give them is the most influential information affecting their beliefs. The problem, which we talked about in class, is that their parents also grew up unconsciously (or consciously) influenced by racial bias. Therefore, this creates a cycle, where generations will continue to pass on racial preferences to one another. The media, including television, commercials, celebrities, etc., is also a huge part in explaining why the children feel the way they do about race. All these different forms of media are filled with predominantly white people, which puts out a message that being white is considered normal and expected. Therefore, it makes children influenced by the media feel isolated or ashamed if they aren’t white since everyone they are interacting with through media is white. Additionally, the fact that so many of the celebrities portrayed in the media are white contributes to children looking down on darker skin colors. If all the people they look up to have light skin, this leads them to associate whiteness as being favorable.


Just like how a lack of celebrities of color influences children’s beliefs of race and preferred skin color, similarly, a lack of people of color in positions of power also influences their beliefs. The fact that the people in power and holding high and positive-associated positions are predominantly white sends out a message to children of color that they aren’t meant to be in those positions. It causes them to devalue their potential and associate success and fame with being white. As a person of color myself, when I was younger, I often felt like there were certain jobs I was destined to go into and others where I simply wouldn’t belong. I had trouble seeing myself in certain fields because I would look into them and see that they weren’t led and run by people that looked like me. This contributes to an idea that Banaji’s study touched on, which is that a lack of diversity is an explanation for racial preferences. The fact that we are still living in such a racially segregated country allows for these barriers and divisions to be made, therefore leading to racial preferences. Banaji explains that “even a child whose parents make no conscious effort to teach [him] not to be prejudiced can shed that prejudice if he finds himself in a diverse enough place.” If children grow up in a diverse environment with little racial bias influencing their beliefs, they would most likely have less racial preferences. But if children grow up in a place where there is racial diversity and they feel loved for who they are, their racially biased views will change.

I agree with you on children's vulnerability in the learning and development process which is the reason as to why racism still festers in society today. Moreover, the people who children see on the internet or television heavily influences how a kid may regard their skin color, specifically if it's desirable or something to be ashamed of.

booksandcandles
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 8

What's Up with Racial Preference among Children?

In Paul Bloom's article, he discusses babies and their morals, if they have them. What he found is that very young children don't have an inherent sense of right or wrong, they just know what they want. If this is true, it means that children learn their morals from the people around them.

We talked about this in class, and how parents have huge impacts on their children's lives, whether it be beneficial or harmful. In the Anderson Cooper study, we see some of these learned behaviors come into play, as many children, when asked who was the bad or mean child, pointed to the pictures of kids with darker skin. Now, this has no basis in genetic fact, as shown by the study we saw in class, but it does have an impact on children themselves. The majority of them said the same thing: that white kids were good, smart, and nice, while black children are bad, dumb, and mean. While this is not true in itself, it's true in the fact that this is a real thing; people believe these stereotypes and we can see them being passed on to their children. Even if a parent isn't flat out telling their kid what to think, behaviors can be learned. Kids are incredibly perceptive and sort of like sponges, in the sense that they absorb whatever comes their way. Biases such as these are passed on in the same way; kids see the people around them behaving in certain ways, so they embody that.

Even though this seems to be a learn and be done situation, it's not. We all have biases, and we can't really change how we see the world. But we can work on recognizing our biases and reworking our mindset so we don't base anything on those biases. Children can do that too. I thought it was interesting how more of the older kids in Cooper's study were saying things like "I don't care what color you are," or "It only matters what's on the inside." Those things are learned as well. They probably come from a more welcoming and understanding environment, and if your environment is what shapes your values and beliefs, then the only solution is to create those environments.


booksandcandles
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 8

Originally posted by cnovav on October 13, 2021 15:51

Paul Bloom’s article pretty much explains that babies don’t necessarily have an understanding of what is and isn't moral, they just react to things based on a “gut feeling”. Which is actually extremely similar to adults because even though adults typically have a general idea of what is right and what is wrong, it’s usually their gut feeling that influences how they react to something. As Paul Bloom puts it, “The babies’

experiences might be cognitively empty but emotionally intense, replete with

strong feelings and strong desires”. So essentially, babies have to be taught what is right and what is wrong because they are not born knowing the difference, they’re just born knowing how to follow their instincts.


I believe that this was very evident in the Anderson Cooper video because the younger kids tended to answer the questions asked by the researchers pretty quickly without taking time to acknowledge if what they were saying was “right” or “wrong”. To us, as we were watching the video, we’re able to acknowledge the fact that some of the things they were saying was morally incorrect but it’s possible that the younger kids didn't even know the real difference between what is morally correct and incorrect, or if they even knew what morals were at the time. However, with the older kids we saw that more of them paused and didn't want to answer the questions because they knew that no matter what way they answered, it would've been morally incorrect or just wrong as a whole.


In addition to children having to be taught what is right and wrong, James Burnett’s article is centered around the fact that racism is taught. Children are not born being racist. Just like children are not born knowing what their morals are. Which proves that it is very possible for things to change. It would be much more difficult to teach a child not to be racist if they were born feeling that way, than it is if they were taught racism growing up. However, that doesn't mean that either scenario is easy. Either way, the most important thing is that we act and do something to change how these young children are being taught, and why they’re being taught those things too.


In Kenneth and Mamie Clark’s article, the data tables show that the young black children tended to have “preferences” in skin color, not just the young white children. The black children associated positive traits to lighter skin and negative traits to darker skin even if their own skin color was dark. Which in a way made the claims in the previous documents seem a little less reliable. You could quickly argue that this means these children were taught by their parents to hate their skin color. But that’s not necessarily the truth. The studies simply show that these children were taught to associate different traits to different skin tones, even if it meant their own skin tone was “bad” and they were taught this by the media. The world around them.

I like your observation on the way older vs younger kids responded. You could see a pause after the question before the older kids' actually answered it, while there wasn't a long pause during the younger children's answers. I agree that this kind of shows the developing morality, since younger kids don't think as much about if their answer is morally right or wrong as an older child might.

booksandcandles
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 8

Originally posted by watermelon2 on October 12, 2021 20:24

All of these different studies showed that prejudice and bias are developed from a young age. Paul Bloom’s article offered a lot of explanation that helps in understanding why children have these biased preferences and opinions. Bloom explains that babies are a lot smarter and aware of what’s happening around them than we think that they are. This sense of awareness even amongst babies shows just how much the views of children can be affected. Although people once thought that your prejudice didn’t develop until later on in life, Bloom’s article counters this. In one of his studies, he shows that babies are drawn to the “nice guy” while often avoiding the “bad guy.” This can be applied to the racial bias developed amongst children, because, similarly, with race, babies and young children are trained to believe that white people are the “nice guys,” therefore susceptible to bias. In Bloom’s study, the babies’ opinions that made them see certain people as the “nice guys” were from the previous information he gave them. Similarly, when it comes to race, there is tons of information babies are being given and learning from. This information that they are learning and adapting to all comes from the experiences in their environment, which gives them a bias to believe that people of color or the “bad guys” and white people are the “good guys.”


The information that children pick up from their environment comes in many different forms. Practically everything around a child has an influence that affects their racial bias. These physical things include their family and the media. The information that a child’s parents and other adults they look up to in their life give them is the most influential information affecting their beliefs. The problem, which we talked about in class, is that their parents also grew up unconsciously (or consciously) influenced by racial bias. Therefore, this creates a cycle, where generations will continue to pass on racial preferences to one another. The media, including television, commercials, celebrities, etc., is also a huge part in explaining why the children feel the way they do about race. All these different forms of media are filled with predominantly white people, which puts out a message that being white is considered normal and expected. Therefore, it makes children influenced by the media feel isolated or ashamed if they aren’t white since everyone they are interacting with through media is white. Additionally, the fact that so many of the celebrities portrayed in the media are white contributes to children looking down on darker skin colors. If all the people they look up to have light skin, this leads them to associate whiteness as being favorable.


Just like how a lack of celebrities of color influences children’s beliefs of race and preferred skin color, similarly, a lack of people of color in positions of power also influences their beliefs. The fact that the people in power and holding high and positive-associated positions are predominantly white sends out a message to children of color that they aren’t meant to be in those positions. It causes them to devalue their potential and associate success and fame with being white. As a person of color myself, when I was younger, I often felt like there were certain jobs I was destined to go into and others where I simply wouldn’t belong. I had trouble seeing myself in certain fields because I would look into them and see that they weren’t led and run by people that looked like me. This contributes to an idea that Banaji’s study touched on, which is that a lack of diversity is an explanation for racial preferences. The fact that we are still living in such a racially segregated country allows for these barriers and divisions to be made, therefore leading to racial preferences. Banaji explains that “even a child whose parents make no conscious effort to teach [him] not to be prejudiced can shed that prejudice if he finds himself in a diverse enough place.” If children grow up in a diverse environment with little racial bias influencing their beliefs, they would most likely have less racial preferences. But if children grow up in a place where there is racial diversity and they feel loved for who they are, their racially biased views will change.

I like that you added points about the lack of people of color in media and positions of power. This definitely has an impact on kids of all colors. I remember how excited black children were when the movie Black Panther first came out, because there was finally a Marvel superhero that looked like them. It was similar with Shang-chi, because there had never really been an Asian American protagonist in a movie franchise as big as Marvel.

red
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 8

Children are very receptive to the things they are taught both directly from parents and media and also implicitly in the form of biases spread in their environment. As shown in Banaji’s research white children showed the bias when shown pictures of black, assumed to be black, or asian faces (no matter the expression) determined them angry faces, while black children didn’t show increased favorability towards one race. This exemplifies the continued ideologies within the white community that lead to stigmatized views of people of color, specifically black people. The babies reflected the things they were being taught as a result of their environment. Banaji points out that the society we have created unproportionately shows white people in positions of power, saying, “It is not the fault of the children that they grow up to see a majority of power and

influence concentrated among one race.” This unbalanced representation that the children are exposed to influences their views on race and how they interpret “in-group” and “out-group” people. Without parents that actively work to combat the biases shown, by introducing the children to equal and positive interactions with all races, the children continue to form their ideas around prejudices and biases taught to them by their environment.


The doll experiment also exemplifies the biases in children as well as the segregated mindset in all. When asked which doll the white child would get 94% of children said the white doll, while when asked which doll the child of color would get 93% said the black doll. This common theme of discrimination and segregation within the children shows the continuation of ideas produced in the environment they grow up in. In the 1940s, when the experiment was conducted, the children were witnesses to segregation and reproduced the same ideology in their own thoughts one a more basic level. Despite these children not understanding the meaning behind the ideas they are reflecting, they are taking in the information from their environment and reproducing it. That is not to say that babies aren’t smarter than we think though. In fact babies are proven to grasp ideas such as the ways objects should behave in accordance with physics and also understand the idea that people can have false beliefs (or can be tricked). Paul Bloom, a New York Times writer, suggests that babies use their intelligence for learning and it enables them to intake more information at a young age, which stresses the importance of the environment in which babies are raised. Knowing that they are smarter than previously assumed, the information provided to them because more and more important in their developmental years, which can influence their biases forever, if not changed by the environment.


red
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 8

Originally posted by watermelon2 on October 12, 2021 20:24

All of these different studies showed that prejudice and bias are developed from a young age. Paul Bloom’s article offered a lot of

Just like how a lack of celebrities of color influences children’s beliefs of race and preferred skin color, similarly, a lack of people of color in positions of power also influences their beliefs. The fact that the people in power and holding high and positive-associated positions are predominantly white sends out a message to children of color that they aren’t meant to be in those positions. It causes them to devalue their potential and associate success and fame with being white. As a person of color myself, when I was younger, I often felt like there were certain jobs I was destined to go into and others where I simply wouldn’t belong. I had trouble seeing myself in certain fields because I would look into them and see that they weren’t led and run by people that looked like me. This contributes to an idea that Banaji’s study touched on, which is that a lack of diversity is an explanation for racial preferences. The fact that we are still living in such a racially segregated country allows for these barriers and divisions to be made, therefore leading to racial preferences. Banaji explains that “even a child whose parents make no conscious effort to teach [him] not to be prejudiced can shed that prejudice if he finds himself in a diverse enough place.” If children grow up in a diverse environment with little racial bias influencing their beliefs, they would most likely have less racial preferences. But if children grow up in a place where there is racial diversity and they feel loved for who they are, their racially biased views will change.

I agree with what you said about people of color being subjected to certain roles in society and jobs, and it reminded me of the DNA video in class. They talked about how DNA only that differs by race only determines superficial characteristics, yet we continue to make stereotypical blanket statements that continue to define people's roles in society, such as "all jewish people are good at basketball" like they said in the video.

red
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 8

Originally posted by booksandcandles on October 13, 2021 19:32

Even though this seems to be a learn and be done situation, it's not. We all have biases, and we can't really change how we see the world. But we can work on recognizing our biases and reworking our mindset so we don't base anything on those biases. Children can do that too. I thought it was interesting how more of the older kids in Cooper's study were saying things like "I don't care what color you are," or "It only matters what's on the inside." Those things are learned as well. They probably come from a more welcoming and understanding environment, and if your environment is what shapes your values and beliefs, then the only solution is to create those environments.


I agree with determining the environment in which you live impacts your biases, and I found it interesting that the white kids on a much higher level than the black kids showed those biases. It brings to attention the lack of action in white families to actively create an environment that fosters equality, and also the dire need to increase the awareness of the impact that earlier life has on children, carrying through to their adult years.

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