posts 16 - 30 of 45
freud
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 13

Originally posted by Sunshine on October 13, 2021 11:23


The reasons behind children having racial bias from such a young age is solely because of their environment as Paul Bloom’s research clearly shows. No one is born racist or with bias. They pick up on anything their families might say about another race and internalize it. They look up to their parents and want to emulate them. Later, when kids go to school they meet new friends and want to emulate that behavior too, whether it’s right or wrong. They see it happening around them and automatically think that it’s okay or that it’s right. Another problem is the way that many schools have large majorities of some races. This makes some kids completely unaware about other peoples’ experiences that they wouldn’t have experienced on their own. Also, people of the same race tend to group together because they are familiar with each other. They feel safe in that group because they can relate on some sort of level. Many might be scared from what they grew up hearing about other races in their home to interact or be friends with other races. All of these combined contribute to racial bias and preference in children.

I think you made a really important distinction hear about how racial bias is not someone anyone is inherently born with. Paul Bloom's study shows how we are all born with some kind of moral compass and it makes sense how that can work in tangent with one's environment to enhance racial stereotypes, but that doesn't make racism inherent.

freud
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 13

Originally posted by mango04 on October 12, 2021 20:45


While viewing all of the evidence presented in class and through these readings, I was disheartened to see that black children were perceiving their own race negatively. I was extremely saddened when asked what skin color she wanted, a young black girl chose the second whitest option, saying that she doesn’t like “the way brown looks.” This young girl was then asked to point to the child with the skin color that most adults wouldn’t like, and almost immediately pointed to the darkest skin color. This, as Dr. Spencer says in the Anderson Cooper video, is a product of children being exposed to various stereotypes, with white children often maintaining the stereotypes more strongly than black children. These stereotypes can be credited to the media that children absorb being mainly pro-white biased, meaning that children of color that view this media often feel unrepresented, causing them to feel insecurities regarding their own race. As mentioned by Mahzarin Banaji, children begin understanding media at very young ages, therefore, racial preferences can be learned by children as young as 3-years-old. The underlying theme in each of the articles and studies show that the extent of exposure to diversity in children is a major factor in determining their racial preferences and biases.

I talked about something very similar in my own response, but I used the example of the 1950 doll study. I think it's important to recognize the parallel attitude of young black children both back then and now. The racism in our society has caused black children to dislike themselves, or to try and be something they're not. This also makes me think of how many beauty standards have racism ingrained into them and how difficult it is for a black child to feel good about themselves with the media that surrounds them.

giraffes12
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 12

What’s Up with Racial Preference among Children? Response

Originally posted by turtle17 on October 13, 2021 09:37

"Another possibility is that babies do, in fact, use their knowledge from Day 1, not for action but for learning". Bloom's research was already extremely interesting, but to me, this quote just stuck out. It made me think about the studies shown in the videos watched in class on Tuesday. In the videos, researches continuously saw young children answering questions relating to skin color of dolls, and most of the answers favored the dolls with lighter tones, even answers from black children. But how does Bloom's research connect to this? It's actually pretty simple, these children were able to repeatedly learn about preferences surrounding skin tones by watching. People always state to watch your language around a baby, when they are learning to speak, but they never think about watching actions as well. Bloom proves that kids have literally been able to seen racial preference from the day that they were born, and they have grown up thinking that it was normal.

Something I also saw in the Anderson Cooper Video was the desire to be white, held by many Black Children, and it was extremely upsetting to see. Because these children have grown up with this mindset about being better or worse, it really affects how they see themselves. Not only does this emphasize the problems of racism that are ingrained in our society, but it also shows the severity of them, and how people are becoming uncomfortable and unhappy with themselves.

I agree that the views held by the Black children in this study are very sad. It definitely shows that society in ingrained with racism, that every aspect of our society has racism held close to it. The issues of racism are so pronounced in this society that even small children become biased against themselves and their own race. It's very sad to see.

gato927
West Roxbury, MA, US
Posts: 13

What's Up with Racial Preference Among Children?

Children are interesting characters. They absorb everything they see and hear in many environments. But, they are also born with their own feelings. In Paul Bloom's article, "The Moral Life of Babies", he explains how babies are born with a natural sense of morality. Many tests conclude that babies can sense another's pain and feel for them. Bloom quotes "Human babies, notably, cry more to the cries of other babies than to tape recordings of their own crying, suggesting that they are responding to their awareness of someone else’s pain, not merely to a certain pitch of sound." Already, humans have a sort of understanding in the world. Babies can know good from bad, and are able to interpret more than adults think. Children feel the way they do about races because of the environments they are exposed to, and what they hear around them. If a child is not exposed to people who look like them, they can be confused or even scared when seeing someone different. In Mahzarin Banaji’s article, "Racism Learned", she quotes "It’s quite shocking really, but the gist of it is that 3- and 4-year-olds demonstrate the same level and type of bias as adults. This tells us that children ‘get it’ very, very quickly, and that it doesn’t require a mature level of cognition to form negative biases.’’ There are factors that affect the growth and views of children. In Anderson Cooper's video, he interviews many children from different, diverse schools. When given an array of different shaded people, the children were also asked questions like "who is mean?" or "who is smart?". There was an overwhelming majority of the "good" traits going to the white figures, and the "bad" traits going to the light and dark skin figures. When an older group was given these same questions, many said that they could not answer those questions based off of someone's skill color. This is important to note because racism and biases are taught to young children, and it can take at least a few years for them to change their beliefs. Mahzarin Banaji’s end the article by saying “The odds of aging children losing or at the very least lessening their bias against out-group people are only increased, of course, when responsible adults in their lives consciously place their children in a position to see different groups interacting as equals’’. Even though babies have a sense of right and wrong in the world, and children can learn biases when they are toddlers, this only emphasizes the fact that racism is taught, and you can "unteach" yourself these biases.

gato927
West Roxbury, MA, US
Posts: 13

Originally posted by giraffes12 on October 12, 2021 22:23

Children feel this way because of the society that they were raised in. Every small aspect of children's lives in this country has some incorporation of race in it; for example the dolls that they play with, who their parents bring to their house, who they grow up with, listening to their parents talk. A lot of it is subtle, most parents probably don't even know that they're teaching their children implicit bias. Paul Bloom's article was very interesting, because it showed that babies actually do have some sense of morality. I think this shows us that racism is a learned behavior, that we are not born with bias. Babies are born ignorant and moral, and as they grow older in this society that changes. Mahzarin Banaji’s research is very helpful with this question, because it shows us that implicit bias is real, that we learn this bias through subtle signs from our parents and the society we live in. In the Anderson Cooper video, young children almost always identified the picture of the child with darker skin as "bad" and the picture of the child with lighter skin as "good." Even if the children played with other children that didn't look like them, they still had a bias against them. This is because they have learned it. I wonder if the morality that Bloom found in babies stays prevalent throughout dealing with these issues, do white children still maintain morality when it comes to race? The other studies seem to say "no" to this question. Although in the Anderson Cooper video, when older children were asked about race they had more progressive views, especially if they went to school in a diverse setting. So do they get that morality back? And when? This is all very interesting, and I would love to learn more about it.

I had the same question about whether children are able to get their morality back. I believe that they can, however I don't think they're losing their morality. Obviously if they hear something in their home environment, they won't know it is wrong until they are exposed to other views. But I think it's important to note how children's views can change just in the span of a few years.

gato927
West Roxbury, MA, US
Posts: 13

Originally posted by turtle17 on October 13, 2021 09:37

"Another possibility is that babies do, in fact, use their knowledge from Day 1, not for action but for learning". Bloom's research was already extremely interesting, but to me, this quote just stuck out. It made me think about the studies shown in the videos watched in class on Tuesday. In the videos, researches continuously saw young children answering questions relating to skin color of dolls, and most of the answers favored the dolls with lighter tones, even answers from black children. But how does Bloom's research connect to this? It's actually pretty simple, these children were able to repeatedly learn about preferences surrounding skin tones by watching. People always state to watch your language around a baby, when they are learning to speak, but they never think about watching actions as well. Bloom proves that kids have literally been able to seen racial preference from the day that they were born, and they have grown up thinking that it was normal.

Something I also saw in the Anderson Cooper Video was the desire to be white, held by many Black Children, and it was extremely upsetting to see. Because these children have grown up with this mindset about being better or worse, it really affects how they see themselves. Not only does this emphasize the problems of racism that are ingrained in our society, but it also shows the severity of them, and how people are becoming uncomfortable and unhappy with themselves.

I think it is interesting how you pointed out how watching actions around young children is just as important as watching what you say. Children pick up on a lot of things that you might not notice which is why it is so important that we stop (whether it is accidental or not) teaching them implicit biases and racism.

etherealfrog
Boston, Massachusetts , US
Posts: 11

What’s up with racial preference among children?

My impression after reading the articles and watching the clips is that the main factors in racial bias in children are exposure and the ways in which their parents speak to them about people who are a different race from them. Kids often take in more information than adults think, and they may internalize things more easily than adults. For example, kids are exposed to a lot of media, whether this be books, movies, TV shows, or other things, and the subtle messaging in these forms of media can form biases in children. If they only see white protagonists, they might feel like white children are somehow better than Black children. Kids seem to subconsciously notice the lack of diverse representation in media and form opinions based on that. In the doll study, most of the Black children children would prefer to play with the white doll, likely because they had been exposed to the idea that white people were better. One of the videos also said that kids in a majority white school were much more likely to be negative about the idea of interracial friendships than kids in more diverse schools, possibly because they hadn’t had many interracial friendships through school.


Parents have a strong effect on the way children view people of different races, even if their parents don’t realize that they are doing anything to alter their children’s perceptions of others. Several of the sources talked about how white parents don’t discuss race with their children as often as Black parents do, so white children usually don’t have their biases challenged. One parent’s reaction to her (white) daughter’s responses to the questions— she clearly showed a preference for lighter skin tones. Her mother was very upset about this, and she thought it could be because her daughter hadn’t been exposed to enough people of color, and that she chose people who look like her because she wanted to be the “good child”. The biggest thing that stood out to me in this mother’s response, however, was that they had never really talked about race. Because this girl had never had conversations with the people around her with race, she had nothing to tell her that her that people who looked different from her were not bad. This is a contrast to the Black child who, when asked what skin color she would rather have, said she loved the way she looked, and when asked about which skin color teachers like best, she said teachers don’t care. Her father reacted to her responses and said that he had taught her that. Other sources also said that Black families seemed to have more conversations about race with their kids, while white families are either uncomfortable, or think that children are color blind, or just don’t realize the importance. However, these studies show the importance of having conversations about race with children.

etherealfrog
Boston, Massachusetts , US
Posts: 11

Originally posted by giraffes12 on October 12, 2021 22:23

Children feel this way because of the society that they were raised in. Every small aspect of children's lives in this country has some incorporation of race in it; for example the dolls that they play with, who their parents bring to their house, who they grow up with, listening to their parents talk. A lot of it is subtle, most parents probably don't even know that they're teaching their children implicit bias. Paul Bloom's article was very interesting, because it showed that babies actually do have some sense of morality. I think this shows us that racism is a learned behavior, that we are not born with bias. Babies are born ignorant and moral, and as they grow older in this society that changes. Mahzarin Banaji’s research is very helpful with this question, because it shows us that implicit bias is real, that we learn this bias through subtle signs from our parents and the society we live in. In the Anderson Cooper video, young children almost always identified the picture of the child with darker skin as "bad" and the picture of the child with lighter skin as "good." Even if the children played with other children that didn't look like them, they still had a bias against them. This is because they have learned it. I wonder if the morality that Bloom found in babies stays prevalent throughout dealing with these issues, do white children still maintain morality when it comes to race? The other studies seem to say "no" to this question. Although in the Anderson Cooper video, when older children were asked about race they had more progressive views, especially if they went to school in a diverse setting. So do they get that morality back? And when? This is all very interesting, and I would love to learn more about it.

I was also thinking about how parents often unknowingly instill racial biases in their children. It’s also important to note that babies do have a sense of morality, that racism is a learned behavior, but babies also do tend to naturally gravitate towards people who look the most like them, even if this just means the same colored shirt. I think what’s important is to make sure that they are exposed to people who are different so they can learn to accept and trust them as much as people who look more similar to them.

eac
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 7

What’s Up with Racial Preference among Children?

I do believe that the biggest reason why these kids answered this way is because of learned behavior and what groups they spend their time with. Not only can the children pick up the same mannerisms that their parents have, but they can pick up biases just based on who their friends and family are. If a child is surrounded by rascists, then it's likely that they'd show the same attitude, at least in the case of younger children. But even if someone just, say, has a white family and white friends, it's likely that they'd be biased against dark skin. The more interesting thing is the black children being largely biased against their own skin color. One cause of this is that the black children see more white people in places of authority, such as their teachers, people on TV and movies, cops and doctors, etc. Plus, the black children can pick up the biases from these authority figures, say if their teacher is slightly biased towards white kids. I do feel like this test was sort of like a trick, as it was made to be a test with no non-biased answers. Young children generally don't think outside the box very well, and they're much more likely to just give an answer that's on the paper, because to them, it's the only choice. If it was clearly stated that they didn't have to choose a skin tone, then a lot more children would've given that answer.

I did appreciate Bloom's experiment that removed race as a factor, giving all the kids different color shirts, as it sort of proved what I detailed in the first paragraph. Young children don't make their choices based on any advanced idea of races or genetics or whatever, they make it based on what they see. Banaji's study also shows that those who spend more time in a diverse school or friend group are generally more accepting towards other races. It is interesting that children are more perceptive than I realized, they can see and absorb a lot more about their surroundings than I expected.

hisoka
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 8

What's Up with Racial Preference Among Children

Because of personal bias and because of how they were raised and the environment they grew up in, at home or in school. He says babies are born with their own moralities and without being taught “babies are drawn to the nice guy and repelled by the mean guy”, meaning that for them to have a bias they would have to unteach what they already have in their minds then be taught something else. This would mean they could tell the difference between a good person and a bad person regardless of race even though they have yet to be taught the idea of race in the first place. Then Banaji’s research comes into play because this will be their first wave of biased media that will influence their future behavior and start to challenge their original beliefs. Personally I think the factors are your own race, the race you grew up around (neighborhood/family), and then your overall environment (school/social media/society). Growing up in a monoethnic environment can cause you to have a heavy preference for that race, but if you are educated about the other races(without bias) then you won’t have a preference or at least not make choices based on stereotypes. And this is show to be possible to not have a biased towards any race and not feed into the stereotypes as seen in Coopers videos where some of the children black and white either didn't chose one specifically or chose all of the skin tones when it can=me to answering the question. This kids live in the same society just different environments and that is what influenced their views.

Something that I want to discuss more about is how at a younger age some of the black children identified as white. Not saying this is good or bad but, would this be good because then there is no worry about kids segregating themselves by race, or is this bad because then the kids can’t recognize their own race and differences from others?

dinonuggets
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 10

Racial Preference Among Children

Paul Bloom’s article taught us that babies have a natural sense of “morality” and they can pick up on other peoples’ pain, actions, and emotional expressions. Some of his experiments also showed that babies have “a general appreciation of good and bad behavior,” and he means that they can sense when something is helpful or unhelpful, often preferring the helpful action. One of Bloom’s lines stood out -- he said, “Much of the morality that humans possess is a consequence of the culture in which they are raised, not their innate capacities.” Mahzarin Banaji said something similar. She said that a child’s environment plays a big part in how they perceive others. Different factors of one’s environment contribute to what types of ideas and biases they develop, like diversity of their town or school and influence of their parents. If babies and children already have a sort of primal, gut understanding of “good” and “bad,” then whatever information they internalize can turn into bias and blend with these innate values.

Many of the white children in the video pointed to a darker-skinned picture when asked who was the mean kid, the ugly kid, or the bad kid. This racial bias is an example of kids favoring people of the same race as themselves and a reflection of their environment. Children are shaped by adults and peers in their lives, and things that aren’t necessarily “taught” are still internalized and reflected in their speech, actions, and morals. Banaji stated that children can learn to recognize and lessen their biases if adults actively point them out. In one of the videos someone said that black parents made more of an effort to do this than white parents, which could contribute to the amount of racial bias among the white children. Banaji also said that kids are less likely to be biased against “out-group people” if they are in a diverse environment. This relates to part of the doll study comparing kids from different schools. Although kids from both schools (racially segregated and mixed) had a preference for the white doll, kids from the mixed school were less likely to reject the brown doll. This supports Banaji’s argument about the influence of one’s environment and the people they are surrounded by.

hisoka
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 8

Originally posted by giraffes12 on October 12, 2021 22:23

Children feel this way because of the society that they were raised in. Every small aspect of children's lives in this country has some incorporation of race in it; for example the dolls that they play with, who their parents bring to their house, who they grow up with, listening to their parents talk. A lot of it is subtle, most parents probably don't even know that they're teaching their children implicit bias. Paul Bloom's article was very interesting, because it showed that babies actually do have some sense of morality. I think this shows us that racism is a learned behavior, that we are not born with bias. Babies are born ignorant and moral, and as they grow older in this society that changes. Mahzarin Banaji’s research is very helpful with this question, because it shows us that implicit bias is real, that we learn this bias through subtle signs from our parents and the society we live in. In the Anderson Cooper video, young children almost always identified the picture of the child with darker skin as "bad" and the picture of the child with lighter skin as "good." Even if the children played with other children that didn't look like them, they still had a bias against them. This is because they have learned it. I wonder if the morality that Bloom found in babies stays prevalent throughout dealing with these issues, do white children still maintain morality when it comes to race? The other studies seem to say "no" to this question. Although in the Anderson Cooper video, when older children were asked about race they had more progressive views, especially if they went to school in a diverse setting. So do they get that morality back? And when? This is all very interesting, and I would love to learn more about it.

I also question what happens to a child's morality when they grow older. What influenced it? Their parents or their schools? I ask this because some children have white supremist parents but their children are raging liberals.

hisoka
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 8

Originally posted by gato927 on October 13, 2021 17:30

Children are interesting characters. They absorb everything they see and hear in many environments. But, they are also born with their own feelings. In Paul Bloom's article, "The Moral Life of Babies", he explains how babies are born with a natural sense of morality. Many tests conclude that babies can sense another's pain and feel for them. Bloom quotes "Human babies, notably, cry more to the cries of other babies than to tape recordings of their own crying, suggesting that they are responding to their awareness of someone else’s pain, not merely to a certain pitch of sound." Already, humans have a sort of understanding in the world. Babies can know good from bad, and are able to interpret more than adults think. Children feel the way they do about races because of the environments they are exposed to, and what they hear around them. If a child is not exposed to people who look like them, they can be confused or even scared when seeing someone different. In Mahzarin Banaji’s article, "Racism Learned", she quotes "It’s quite shocking really, but the gist of it is that 3- and 4-year-olds demonstrate the same level and type of bias as adults. This tells us that children ‘get it’ very, very quickly, and that it doesn’t require a mature level of cognition to form negative biases.’’ There are factors that affect the growth and views of children. In Anderson Cooper's video, he interviews many children from different, diverse schools. When given an array of different shaded people, the children were also asked questions like "who is mean?" or "who is smart?". There was an overwhelming majority of the "good" traits going to the white figures, and the "bad" traits going to the light and dark skin figures. When an older group was given these same questions, many said that they could not answer those questions based off of someone's skill color. This is important to note because racism and biases are taught to young children, and it can take at least a few years for them to change their beliefs. Mahzarin Banaji’s end the article by saying “The odds of aging children losing or at the very least lessening their bias against out-group people are only increased, of course, when responsible adults in their lives consciously place their children in a position to see different groups interacting as equals’’. Even though babies have a sense of right and wrong in the world, and children can learn biases when they are toddlers, this only emphasizes the fact that racism is taught, and you can "unteach" yourself these biases.

I strongly agree with the idea that racism is taught but also that it can be unlearned and people can learn not have those views anymore.

runningdog96
Posts: 5

What's Up with Racial Preference among Children?

@Sunshine says it best when they say “Children are like sponges. They pick up every piece of information that’s around them and they emulate behaviors of those around them”. I completely agree with this statement, as it is stated throughout the articles multiple times that children tend to be more perceptive than we think. Bloom cites evidence for this through the study done with the 3D shapes, in which children were shown one shape helping another up a hill, and another pushing that shape down the hill. Most of the children, when given the option, picked the shape that helped another up the hill, showing just how perceptive they are. While this study isn’t 100% foolproof, as the shapes were different colors and some infants may have simply been partial to one color over another, there have been multiple other studies similar to it-which Bloom presents- that proves this point.Most of us would not think that this would be the outcome of this study, because most of us are under the assumption that infants and young children don’t really pick up on much However, Bloom’s article proves this to be wrong with the mention of this study, along with many others. Therefore, children feel the way they do- and develop any sort of bias- as a result of their environment, and that influence begins much quicker than we think. As seen in the studies given by Bloom’s report, even infants are extremely perceptive. This is not simply to shapes and puppets, however- this is also to much more complex ideas, including racism. If the environment an infant grows up in is one is normalized and extremely evident, they will grow up with those beliefs. In America, as of right now, racism is everywhere and as a result, all infants grow up with a bias towards white- as clearly evidenced by Anderson Cooper’s study of children. It was quite shocking to especially see black children point to white children when prompted with the question “point to the nice child”, or “point to the good-looking child”, because one would think that a child would point to the picture that most resembles them in an attempt to paint themselves as good. This isn’t the case, however, and I 100% agree with @groot when they say that “It’s depressing to watch as the black children explain how aware they are about how different adults treat them vs. the white students”, because even at such a young age, black children are aware of the racism within our country, while white children are most likely not. In the same way, Banaji’s study was equally as shocking because even if those with non-white looking skin had a smile, they were more likely to be described as angry, or associated with negative emotions. This very clearly shows a white bias, but also that black children are much more aware of this bias than white children, which very much speaks to why racism is still so prominent within our society.
dinonuggets
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 10

Originally posted by Sunshine on October 13, 2021 11:23

Children are like sponges. They pick up every piece of information that’s around them and they emulate behaviors of those around them. Even implications or things seen as “small” could impact a child. Children also tend to fixate on certain things which causes them to have misconstrued perceptions of things. On top of that, they also have no filter because they haven’t been able to decide if their behavior is right or wrong. This makes it extremely important for parents to talk with their children about race and tell them that everyone deserves to be treated the same and that no race is better than another.


The reasons behind children having racial bias from such a young age is solely because of their environment as Paul Bloom’s research clearly shows. No one is born racist or with bias. They pick up on anything their families might say about another race and internalize it. They look up to their parents and want to emulate them. Later, when kids go to school they meet new friends and want to emulate that behavior too, whether it’s right or wrong. They see it happening around them and automatically think that it’s okay or that it’s right. Another problem is the way that many schools have large majorities of some races. This makes some kids completely unaware about other peoples’ experiences that they wouldn’t have experienced on their own. Also, people of the same race tend to group together because they are familiar with each other. They feel safe in that group because they can relate on some sort of level. Many might be scared from what they grew up hearing about other races in their home to interact or be friends with other races. All of these combined contribute to racial bias and preference in children.

I agree with how you said kids simply want to emulate behavior of their parents and peers. Kids do that pretty much as soon as they can (when they are very young) without much thought. Kids that are even just a few years older can be more conscious about implicit biases - they are more aware of what they are saying and doing.

posts 16 - 30 of 45