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facingstudent8
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 12

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

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.


I like how you incorporated the other genetic study in your response I also found that a really interesting study to learn about and it really put in perspective how much of a social construct race really is.

iris almonds
Posts: 12

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

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.



I agree with your point when you said that kids are sort of like sponges. Kids act a certain way because they have seen someone else act that way. Parents don't tell kids how to act, but their actions are quickly picked up by their children. It leaves me to wonder why parents aren't more straight up with their kids. If they think blacks people are bad and white people are white, why don't they just tell them? What leads these parents to their belief in the stereotype that white children are good, smart, and nice while black children are bad, dumb, and mean? This leads to the point that education is important. It is important to educate oneself about these ideas.

iris almonds
Posts: 12

Originally posted by pink12 on October 13, 2021 23:13

As shown through the study that was conducted among children, they all agreed that they preferred lighter skin to darker skin. This shows how although children might not be as educated at such a young age, they are educated by the things they hear and see around them. You may think that the color of your skin at such a young age isn't really thought about, but all the children in this study were quick to choose the lighter skin over darker. Even the children with darker skin were quick to choose that they wanted lighter skin, which I found very interesting. In Bloom's article it states how children seemed to "like" other kids that looked the same as them, and felt more of a connection with them. Now the kids at an older age were more educated than the younger children. Some of them choose to say that they were all equal, instead of simply pointing to an option. This shows that they have grown and understood racial bias, even with that small age gap of a preschooler to kindergartner. The environment that these kids grow up in impact their biases, and shows how kids who grow up in a lighter skin household need to do a better job at teaching their kids equality.

In the high school experiment, they thought that people of the same race or who looked the most alike primarily based on skin color, would show the most similar dna. This experiment proved them wrong and actually showed how even people of different races can have the same dna traits/sequences. Some of the highschoolers who guessed someone who would be the most different from them, actually ended up having their data show that they were in fact the most similar. This experiment shows how skin color and looks don't completely determine how similar two individuals are.

I totally agree with your point on the high school experiment. It shows that skin color and looks don't determine how similar two individuals are. I was actually kind of shocked myself when I watched that video. I have always had the same thoughts as the high schoolers in that video. It is an eye-opening experience for the high schoolers and it emphasizes the importance of educating oneself about these issues and topics. The way our society can change and understand each other is by learning about each other.

iris almonds
Posts: 12

What's Up with Racial Preference among Children?

The various studies and experiments performed by psychologists all suggest the fact that babies and children are fully capable of understanding the world around them. As proved by the doll study, children as young as age three can identify racial differences. Children feel the way they do base on the various interactions they have had with the real world (like in school or witnessing the way that adults act). Parents and cultural beliefs play a big role in the perspective of how children view race. Paul Bloom’s article included various studies and experiments that help explain the way children act. Bloom discusses the idea of how much smarter babies are than we think they are. Bloom talks about how babies and young children don’t lack the sense of wrong and right but their sense of wrong and right is greatly influenced by the views of their parents, which comes to show how society and the environment they live in can greatly affect one’s views. Bloom states that the baby's mind is empty and rapidly takes in information that is the basis of how they will enable them to get smarter. At a young age, babies start to take in information that will form their views in the future. In a series of moral baby experiments, Bloom used shapes to represent the help and hinder. Most of the babies choose the helpful one over the hindering one. This experiment concluded that babies preferred the good guys over the bad guys. At a young age, they are greatly influenced by their parents and are taught that “white = good” and “black=bad”. In the doll study, it was found that black children preferred white dolls over black dolls and almost 60% of them thought that the white dolls were the nice ones. This comes to shows that children are taught at a young age which race is good and which race is bad. The conclusion of Bloom’s study stated that babies are no different from adults, they are both able to identify the difference between the good and the bad guys.


Mahzarin Banaji’s research reflects the idea of the good race and the bad race. White children were asked to identify whether the faces were happy or angry. The study showed that most of the white faces were perceived as happy and the black/Asian faces were perceived as angry. The white children’s perception of race comes from the environment in which they live. They probably grew up with parents with a fixed view on the idea of race, or the children might not be exposed to the diverse environments in the world. It is of great possibility that the parents are also unaware of their fixed view. Mahzarin Banaji discussed at the end of his article how children’s perception of race changes as they get older. The perspective of these children only changes because of their access to education and resources that educate them on this idea of race. Various factors affect the growth of children. It was kind of shocking to find out that the black children preferred white dolls over black ones. The society they live in has brainwashed them into the notion that white is good and black is bad.


The way that the media perceives race also affects one’s view. The video about the high schoolers going to a DNA lab reflects the importance of education. Before going into the lab, all of the high schoolers had a perceived notion that they were mostly related to the person who looked most like them. They found out that they were more related to someone who wasn’t the same race as them. They learned that they could be more related to someone who looks completely unlike them (different race) than to someone who is the same race as them. This lab really promoted the growth mindset of these high schoolers. Cultural pressure, societal pressure, the way parents act, and many other factors influence the ideas of race on children.


Bluekoala
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 11

What’s Up with Racial Preference among Children?

The environment of a child’s upbringing determines the way a child feels because they learn from what they see. At just months old, babies already start making decisions based on what they see. In Bloom’s study, he saw that babies made preferences for people that they saw do good things and help others. Though their brains may not be very developed, they could differentiate between good and bad intentions through the actions of shapes. Then in Kenneth and Mamie Clark’s study where they experimented with 4-7 year olds, they said that it was “reasonable to assume attendance at public schools facilitates the development of this verbalization of the race concept held by these children” because public schools tend to have much more diverse people compared to private schools. Interacting with people of different backgrounds in school has a huge influence on children’s developing knowledge because these are some of the first constant interactions of their life outside of their families. Mahzarin Banaji further corroborated the idea that kids learn from seeing by saying that even though kids don’t fully understand why their feelings, they accept the beliefs very quickly once they are exposed to racism. This was seen in the Anderson Cooper video. Even though the kids had a strong understanding of race and their preferences, most of their explanations were very vague.


However, kids can unlearn racist beliefs the same way they learned them in the first place. Mahzarin Banaji explained that bias could be lessened when conscious decisions are made to place a child in a position where they can see different groups interacting. This connects to the perceptions of what we see in our everyday life. For example, as we discussed in class, having a black president was a big moment particularly for kids of color because they finally had someone who looked like them in a high position of power. Before, they had only seen a long list of white presidents so they may have assumed that people who looked like them couldn’t achieve that level of success. I personally know how much of an impact having someone who looks you in a position of power can have because of the current Boston mayoral candidates. Not only do people in political positions affect perceptions, but characters in shows and advertisements that we see in our everyday life affect the beliefs of children. Thus, we need to push more diversity in every setting to break these normalized beliefs regarding correlations between race and success.

Bluekoala
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 11

Originally posted by iris almonds on October 13, 2021 23:51

The various studies and experiments performed by psychologists all suggest the fact that babies and children are fully capable of understanding the world around them. As proved by the doll study, children as young as age three can identify racial differences. Children feel the way they do base on the various interactions they have had with the real world (like in school or witnessing the way that adults act). Parents and cultural beliefs play a big role in the perspective of how children view race. Paul Bloom’s article included various studies and experiments that help explain the way children act. Bloom discusses the idea of how much smarter babies are than we think they are. Bloom talks about how babies and young children don’t lack the sense of wrong and right but their sense of wrong and right is greatly influenced by the views of their parents, which comes to show how society and the environment they live in can greatly affect one’s views. Bloom states that the baby's mind is empty and rapidly takes in information that is the basis of how they will enable them to get smarter. At a young age, babies start to take in information that will form their views in the future. In a series of moral baby experiments, Bloom used shapes to represent the help and hinder. Most of the babies choose the helpful one over the hindering one. This experiment concluded that babies preferred the good guys over the bad guys. At a young age, they are greatly influenced by their parents and are taught that “white = good” and “black=bad”. In the doll study, it was found that black children preferred white dolls over black dolls and almost 60% of them thought that the white dolls were the nice ones. This comes to shows that children are taught at a young age which race is good and which race is bad. The conclusion of Bloom’s study stated that babies are no different from adults, they are both able to identify the difference between the good and the bad guys.


Mahzarin Banaji’s research reflects the idea of the good race and the bad race. White children were asked to identify whether the faces were happy or angry. The study showed that most of the white faces were perceived as happy and the black/Asian faces were perceived as angry. The white children’s perception of race comes from the environment in which they live. They probably grew up with parents with a fixed view on the idea of race, or the children might not be exposed to the diverse environments in the world. It is of great possibility that the parents are also unaware of their fixed view. Mahzarin Banaji discussed at the end of his article how children’s perception of race changes as they get older. The perspective of these children only changes because of their access to education and resources that educate them on this idea of race. Various factors affect the growth of children. It was kind of shocking to find out that the black children preferred white dolls over black ones. The society they live in has brainwashed them into the notion that white is good and black is bad.


The way that the media perceives race also affects one’s view. The video about the high schoolers going to a DNA lab reflects the importance of education. Before going into the lab, all of the high schoolers had a perceived notion that they were mostly related to the person who looked most like them. They found out that they were more related to someone who wasn’t the same race as them. They learned that they could be more related to someone who looks completely unlike them (different race) than to someone who is the same race as them. This lab really promoted the growth mindset of these high schoolers. Cultural pressure, societal pressure, the way parents act, and many other factors influence the ideas of race on children.


I love the point you made about the associations of "white=good" and "black-bad." These were never things that we instinctively knew from birth so they are solely a result of our parents and those around us. Even though we think babies don't understand what is going on, they actually do so we need to be conscious of our teachings starting from birth, not just when we think they've reached a certain development stage.

Bluekoala
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 11

Originally posted by strawberry123 on October 13, 2021 22:49

Is racism something that you're born into? Is it a behavior that is taught by one's surroundings? How can we prevent future generations from prejudice and bias ideologies? These are all questions that remain partially unanswered by many psychologists and anthropologists. If we focus on adolescents, many studies have found biased preferences and opinions when it comes to questions about race. In Paul Bloom's New York Times article, "The Moral Life of Babies", there is strong growing evidence that socialization is critically important. Bloom emphasizes the idea that babies do not have preexisting beliefs on a subject deeply complex as the classification of a so-called superior race. In his "Nice Babies" section of the article, he elaborates that similar behavior is ranked as "nice" behavior by children. This ties into the doll study in which foreshadows this issue that children have between being able to disconnect similar attributes from "good" ones.

Mahzarin Banaji, a renowned Harvard University psychologist, brain researcher, and racism and physical prejudice expert, also researched children's biased and shocking opinions in a study that prompted young children to draw the faces of certain races -- black, white, and Asian. Here, he was able to include that children process information depending on how adults react. In a way, children reflect adults' internal and external racism through their facial expressions: frowning means angry, and smiling means happy. From this, the varying drawings of white people were described in a positive way whereas Asian and black faces were rather negative. This shows that children do indeed adapt and follow what their surroundings are doing.

From these many similar studies, the one conclusion that we can draw is that children do not create these biased opinions on their own. Their interpretation of what is "good" from what is "bad" comes from society, itself. Adults play a vital factor in how children will act since it is clear that even their minor facial expressions create a complete concept of what is morally right. A diverse community is what is needed for the future. If we want equality and if we want children to not make their own racial hierarchy, we must have everyone treated the same.

I loved the way you connected the different articles because it shows how kids are conscious of their surroundings at every age. Even at just a couple of months old, parents really need to be conscious of the littlest things like their facial expressions because babies notice everything and it will affect their actions for a long time to come in their development.

apples21
SOUTH BOSTON, MA, US
Posts: 10

What’s up with racial preference among children?

I think that there is one main overarching reason behind why the children in these studies are acting the way they are. The main reason is the influence of the media, their parents, and their peers. Nobody is born with any racial bias, it is something that has to be learned as one is growing older. Once someone’s brain is fully developed in their mid 20’, it becomes much harder to influence them. But these children who are aged from around 3 to about 10, are at the stage in their life and developmental period where they can be most easily influenced. Children that are around this age, especially the younger ones, and constantly picking up things that other people do. For example, one of the main things that influences a young child’s mindset while they are growing up is there parents. If 2 parents have implicit racial biases, and they come home from work or pick their children up and complain about a certain race or something along those lines, the young child is going to pick these things up and start believing it themselves. It is the responsibility of parents to raise their children correctly and to not allow them to think like this from such a young age. Even a few kids in the older group had been able to notice that none of the questions had an answer, because race does not change anything. But still, a majority of the kids in the older group still showed racial biases. Mahzarin Banajis research is definitely helpful, because it gives explanations for the study’s that were done on cnn. Her research proves how young children’s views are always screwed by their parents and the people around them. These children are way too young to make these decisions on their own without the help of their parents. When young children are seen with these biases, it is really their parents that are the main ones to blame.
apples21
SOUTH BOSTON, MA, US
Posts: 10

Originally posted by OverthinkingEnigma on October 13, 2021 17:03

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.

I think your point about how babies are really smarter and more aware than we have thought is really interesting because if this is true then it really sets up for why children this young can develop prejudices

apples21
SOUTH BOSTON, MA, US
Posts: 10

Originally posted by user01135 on October 13, 2021 22:27

Children's behavior is learned at a very young age. Because of this, it is very easy for children to learn to be biased and racist at a young age. Bloom's article teaches us that babies are very aware and can easily pick up biased ideas and characteristics from family members. Babies don't have a sense of what is right and what is wrong, they just copy what others do.

You can see this idea in Andersen Cooper's video. The younger group of kids were quick to respond to the questions with bias. These kids have no idea that what they are saying is wrong they just know it is all they have been taught. It is possible that children taught these things at a young age will never outgrow them and will grow up to join extremist groups who cause terror on the world like the groups we talked about in class the other day. It is also possible that children outgrow these ideas. Some of the older kids took the time to say that it does not matter what color someone is and that all people can be just as smart.

James Burnett talks about these possibilities. He talks about how things can change. He talks about how it is easier to teach someone who grows up with the right morals how to be a good person than someone who grows up biased. Everyone has grown up and been taught something biased, but there is always a solution to the problem. People can work on realizing when they are biased and wrong and fixing their ideas, while working on learning how to teach young children good morals. If the environment outside every babies eyes is unbiased, then the problem does not exist.

I think that you’re point about the difference between the two age groups in Coopers video is very intriguing. Your point that these very young children are so young and impressionable that the things they’re saying are probably exact what their parents say or something similar, while the older children hesitate a little bit, but still show some of that bias that can be very hard to shake

jellybeans101
Boston, MA
Posts: 9

Originally posted by apples21 on October 14, 2021 06:57

I think that there is one main overarching reason behind why the children in these studies are acting the way they are. The main reason is the influence of the media, their parents, and their peers. Nobody is born with any racial bias, it is something that has to be learned as one is growing older. Once someone’s brain is fully developed in their mid 20’, it becomes much harder to influence them. But these children who are aged from around 3 to about 10, are at the stage in their life and developmental period where they can be most easily influenced. Children that are around this age, especially the younger ones, and constantly picking up things that other people do. For example, one of the main things that influences a young child’s mindset while they are growing up is there parents. If 2 parents have implicit racial biases, and they come home from work or pick their children up and complain about a certain race or something along those lines, the young child is going to pick these things up and start believing it themselves. It is the responsibility of parents to raise their children correctly and to not allow them to think like this from such a young age. Even a few kids in the older group had been able to notice that none of the questions had an answer, because race does not change anything. But still, a majority of the kids in the older group still showed racial biases. Mahzarin Banajis research is definitely helpful, because it gives explanations for the study’s that were done on cnn. Her research proves how young children’s views are always screwed by their parents and the people around them. These children are way too young to make these decisions on their own without the help of their parents. When young children are seen with these biases, it is really their parents that are the main ones to blame.

I think this point goes hand in hand with the documentary on gene pooling and how there is no gene fora certain trait. There is a big emphasize on the environment you grow up in big factors are environment are the people and what is seen in your environment.

jellybeans101
Boston, MA
Posts: 9

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.

The effect of the world around you through makes up who you are. Subconiously implemented traits are unknown to an exact point of change but seen in the overall effect of life.

Karma
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 8

What's up with Racial Preference among Children?

I want to start off by saying that it has been a long time belief of mine that racism and prejudice is taught from young. Children learn both through their environment or even directly from their parents. I remember when we had to read a few stories from that book a few weeks ago of different students from across the country talking about their differences experiences with racism, one girl, Jennifer I think was her name, mentioned how her father blatantly told her that black people were "dirty" and all types of things. That directly relates to the doll study because it shows the clear impact parents have on their children. The doll study, as well as the study that had pictures of different colored children, were both sad to see and read about. The video of the study where the children had to choose between different colored children was especially depressing because of how there were black children who even associated their own skin colors with negative traits and attributes. One girl even said she wished she had a different skin color. Paul Bloom's article, especially when it was mentioned how baby's cry to the sound of other babies crying rather then their own goes to show how easily influenced babies are as well as the experiment involving babies morals in which they always chose the helpful individual. I'm glad that there is research going on to shed light on this topic because people as a whole need to be mindful of the type of information they are teaching their children, whether directly or indirectly.

Karma
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 definitely agree. I feel like there most definitely needs to be more representation for people of color which is something that I can see happening in the near future. I dislike how certain skin colors are favored as well like you mentioned but I feel like this issue with skin color has become so widespread that it may take generations in order to fix. Things like colorism are interracial issues especially in the black community which are very harmful.

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