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dinonuggets
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 10

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

After reading the various articles and study summaries, I think that one of the main explanations for why the majority of children tested, black and white, normally had opinions more favorable to white people all originates from the children’s exposure. For example, in Paul Bloom’s essay he writes that there is ample evidence supporting the idea that babies have “within-group preferences,” or biases “toward [their] own kind.” This evidence helps support conclusions like white children overwhelmingly connected to and preferred other white dolls, pictures, and features. Along the lines of children being more inclined to prefer those like them, Paul Bloom writes, “once they are segregated into different groups — even under the most arbitrary of schemes, like wearing different colored T-shirts — they eagerly favor their own groups in their attitudes and their actions.” This acts, similarly to the study done by the Clarks, as evidence for segregation in schools effect on the development of children and their opinions of those they are less surrounded by. Also, as mentioned in Mahzarin Banaji’s research, children that are less exposed to diversity in their daily life activities, like school, are more likely to draw a distinctive like between those they perceive as their “in-group” and “out-group” people, fueling prejudice.

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 like how you emphasized the idea of exposure in your post. So much of peoples' implicit bias stems from who they are surrounded by. The idea of "in-group" and "out-group" people is extremely important because people start to form these biases for people like themselves when they are segregated.

dancingsnail
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 8

What’s Up with Racial Preference among Children?

How a child was brought up and the environment they are exposed to the outside of their home explains why children feel they do. Mahzarin Banaji found that children who were exposed to racism had accepted it by the age of 3, and many children showed the same level of bias as adults. In his experience, he showed white children and black children different pictures of people making different faces. The white children showed a clear bias for white people as for the majority they chose white faces as the happy face, no matter the facial expression. Interestingly enough Black children showed no bias in this study. This could mean since black children grew up in a different environment, possibly a more racially conscious one, this affected their capability for bias. Paul Bloom further adds to this idea as he found that 3-month olds prefer races most similar to themselves. A white child not exposed to other races, not having to face the realities of racism might choose their own race more often since it is what they associate with good qualities and themselves. Paul Bloom states that “Morality, then is a synthesis of the biological and culturel…” Like we learned in class on Wednesday, race is a social construct, and the way children understand race is taught by our home environment and our society.

Something I found interesting in the study the Clarks did in the 1900s was what they found between kids of color in the north and south. They did not find any significant difference in their data when it came to children’s preference and treatment of the black doll or the white doll. In fact children in the North, black children made fewer identifications with the dolls of color. The Clarks believed racial diversity in the north might count for this difference. In the northern United States, we often like to believe that we are more progressive than our southern counterparts and our takes on race are much more progressive. Even though this study was done many years ago I believe it is still relevant today as it proved that racial bias and self-identification issues were just as prevalent in the north. Society doesn’t change and white supremacy doesn’t disappear when you cross a state border, children are still internalizing the same racial messages across the country.

dancingsnail
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 8

Originally posted by eac on October 13, 2021 20:54

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.

I agree with your point in your first paragraph that just because white kids aren't surrounded by racists doesn't mean they won't develop a racial bias. Developing racial bias is inevitable in America, but I liked how you pointed out that a white child surrounded by a white family in friends will develop a bias against people with darker skin even if their immediate circle isn't racist. I see what you mean when you say you think this test was a trick, but there were still children who didn't pick any race for a good or bad category. When children picked a certain race for a category it was abundantly clear why as they would often offer an explanation, for example saying the darkest skin character was the dumbest because they were black. Maybe some children wouldn't have picked one race if given that option, but if they had been given that choice their bias may have never been revealed.

dancingsnail
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 8

Originally posted by dinonuggets on October 13, 2021 21:27

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.

I agree that bias and racism aren't necessarily taught directly, but it's internalized based off of a child's environment. I think it is important for parents and educators to understand the point that you mentioned, that if adults point out bias children are more likely to recognize it. This simple action could revolutionize childrens' understanding of race and if it was applied more often maybe it would drastically change studies like Anderson's.

Bumble Bee
Posts: 10

What’s Up with Racial Preference among Children?

Children have to unlearn racism. According to Bloom’s article, all babies are born with a sense of morality. However, their morality is biased toward their own kind. “There’s plenty of research showing that babies have within-group preferences: 3-month-olds prefer the faces of the race that is most familiar to them to those of other races,” wrote Bloom. So babies have a preference to race at a very young age. They are very susceptible to prejudices. Banaji wrote, “Children exposed to racism tend to accept and embrace it as young as age 3, and in just a matter of Days.” As babies and young children we have to go against some of our moral instincts and unlearn the prejudices we’ve picked up. The environment that children grow up in plays a huge role in developing a better sense of good vs bad people. Children who are exposed to people who aren’t like them will have less prejudices. Children need to be exposed to “in-group and out-group people interacting positively and as equals,” as Banaji put it.

Bumble Bee
Posts: 10

Originally posted by dancingsnail on October 13, 2021 22:39

How a child was brought up and the environment they are exposed to the outside of their home explains why children feel they do. Mahzarin Banaji found that children who were exposed to racism had accepted it by the age of 3, and many children showed the same level of bias as adults. In his experience, he showed white children and black children different pictures of people making different faces. The white children showed a clear bias for white people as for the majority they chose white faces as the happy face, no matter the facial expression. Interestingly enough Black children showed no bias in this study. This could mean since black children grew up in a different environment, possibly a more racially conscious one, this affected their capability for bias. Paul Bloom further adds to this idea as he found that 3-month olds prefer races most similar to themselves. A white child not exposed to other races, not having to face the realities of racism might choose their own race more often since it is what they associate with good qualities and themselves. Paul Bloom states that “Morality, then is a synthesis of the biological and culturel…” Like we learned in class on Wednesday, race is a social construct, and the way children understand race is taught by our home environment and our society.

Something I found interesting in the study the Clarks did in the 1900s was what they found between kids of color in the north and south. They did not find any significant difference in their data when it came to children’s preference and treatment of the black doll or the white doll. In fact children in the North, black children made fewer identifications with the dolls of color. The Clarks believed racial diversity in the north might count for this difference. In the northern United States, we often like to believe that we are more progressive than our southern counterparts and our takes on race are much more progressive. Even though this study was done many years ago I believe it is still relevant today as it proved that racial bias and self-identification issues were just as prevalent in the north. Society doesn’t change and white supremacy doesn’t disappear when you cross a state border, children are still internalizing the same racial messages across the country.

I agree that the environment a child grows up in explains why they feel the way they do. I liked what you said about the faces experiment and why black children showed no bias in the study.

Bumble Bee
Posts: 10

Originally posted by freud on October 13, 2021 12:22

Some aspects of why children do what they do makes perfect sense and does not seem to hold any racial prejudice. Generally, children wanted to associate with people that looked like them. Paul Bloom supports this in his study saying, “they (referring to babies) eagerly favor their own groups in their attitudes and their actions.” Especially in younger children, when they’ve only really been exposed to a family who most likely looks like them, this makes sense. This can be reinforced even further by Bloom: “Babies prefer the good guy and show an aversion to the bad guy.” Babies would associate their parents as good guys, so it makes sense that they would prefer that. In some ways, this seems positive because it means these children have a healthy ego, and this was echoed by a parent in Andersen’s study. However, it becomes more racially motivated when a child dislikes a doll because of their skin tone. It’s one thing to like something because it’s similar to yourself, and it’s another to dislike something that is different from oneself. The older the child gets, the more their culture and environment have had a chance to impact them, so when an older child makes these distinctions it’s clear racial prejudice is at play.


However, racial prejudice is highlighted the most in Clark’s 1950 doll study. In this, black children tried to distance themselves from their own blackness. Majority of them had a, “preference for the white doll,” which clearly shows their knowledge of white people being the preference in society. The even more disheartening response was when they were asked to identify themselves, especially after they had done their association. Many of the children could not grapple with the reality of their own race. Some, especially Northerners, thought that they themselves were white, but others ran out of the room in tears when they realized that they were black. The racism that was prevalent all around them literally caused the children to dislike themselves, and this is a phenomenon that can still be seen today.

The ending remarks you made are so heartbreaking. That child who said he was white but he just got a tan shouldn't be ashamed of his skin color. This shows how important it is that children see other people like them as equals to people who aren't like them in their daily lives.

etherealfrog
Boston, Massachusetts , US
Posts: 11

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 your point about paying attention to actions as well as language is really interesting. The things you expose young children to can very easily affect them. I was also upset by the way many Black children wanted to e white, because it shows how deeply racism affects everyone, even if adults don't really notice.

eac
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 7

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 like the sponge comparison, children are typically much better at learning different things than adults. Hence why it's much easier to, say, learn to ride a bike when you're younger, rather than when you're older. It makes sense that they would adopt biases from their environment in the same way.

flowerpower
Posts: 11

Whats Up with Racial Preference among Children

One factor that went into the kids racial biases was their environment, at home and at school. Kids who attended more diverse schools were more positive about the relationship between white kids and black kids, while kids at mostly white schools were more pessimistic about these relationships. They were also asked what their parents would think of them being friends with or dating someone of the opposite race. Many of the kids said their parents would not approve which means in those households racism and racial biases are being taught and upheld. Paul Bloom's article offers the explanation that we all, from a young age, have had a sense of good vs bad. Babies in their study choose the helping character over the hindering character an overwhelming amount. Then babies chose to punish someone that was rewarding a bad guy, this showed that babies weren’t just attracted to positive actions, they had a sense of morality and opinions on good and bad characters in relation to justice. The babies did not have a preference of color or shape; they were only attracted to the moral good. This makes me think about how racism is taught, babies are born having a sense of supporting what is right and not supporting what is wrong. So when grown ups/people do bad things to good people for no reason we know it is wrong, if we choose to ignore it it is because we have been taught that for some reason morality doesn't matter. Another interesting thing about the doll study was that younger children choosing the nice colored doll chose more white dolls (58%) while older kids choosing the nice doll had an even choice of 36 of kids choosing the black doll and 36 choosing the white doll. My assumption is that as the kids got older they started to realize for themselves that there was no difference between the white and black dolls. They began to think and realize this for themselves and shed the racial biases that they had when they were younger due to their parents and their environment. The boston globe article supports this by telling us that yes young children have racial preferences but if they are put in diverse environments and experience interracial postive relationships and connections their racial biases will begin to shed.
flowerpower
Posts: 11

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

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 agree that racism is taught and if people grow up in more diverse areas and more diverse schools they will be able to unlearn bias. Another thing that interested me was when the article said something like its not babies fault they see more white people in positions of power which can lead to thoughts of white superiority, its important for parents to step in and explain why the world is like this and why that isn't true.

flowerpower
Posts: 11

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

For example, in Paul Bloom’s essay he writes that there is ample evidence supporting the idea that babies have “within-group preferences,” or biases “toward [their] own kind.” This evidence helps support conclusions like white children overwhelmingly connected to and preferred other white dolls, pictures, and features. Along the lines of children being more inclined to prefer those like them, Paul Bloom writes, “once they are segregated into different groups — even under the most arbitrary of schemes, like wearing different colored T-shirts — they eagerly favor their own groups in their attitudes and their actions.” This acts, similarly to the study done by the Clarks, as evidence for segregation in schools effect on the development of children and their opinions of those they are less surrounded by. Also, as mentioned in Mahzarin Banaji’s research, children that are less exposed to diversity in their daily life activities, like school, are more likely to draw a distinctive like between those they perceive as their “in-group” and “out-group” people, fueling prejudice.

The quote about t-shirts was really interesting to me because I understood it right away. At soccer when we get split into teams and have a pinney color we all automatically start saying things like "lets gooo redddd" or "yellow suckkks" and these are all mostly jokes and exaggerated to support our team, but it was interesting to see how even as teens we still are subject to fall into supporting those of our kind. While this is less connected to race it intrigued me to think about this in regards to my own life.

Nightshade
Posts: 10

Racial Preference Among Children

Children’s racial preference is mostly based on experience and surroundings. In “Racism Learned” by James H.Burnett III, Banaji says, “Parents...can shed that prejudice if he finds himself in a diverse enough place and consistently observes in-group and out-group people interacting positively and as equals.’’ This quote fantastically summarizes many of the experiments described in Paul Bloom’s article, Kenneth and Mamie Clark’s explanation, and Anderson Cooper’s video. For example, the quasi-scientific experiment described in Cooper’s video included a lot of childrens’ stories and experiences about how the adults or other children react to different races. One boy says everyone in his family is white, which is why it would be hard to convince his parents to let someone with a different skin color come over. This is even more support for Banaji’s quote, because it shows how important it is to be surrounded by all people, regardless of their features, in order to prevent prejudice. Paul Bloom also describes how important surroundings are for the moral development of humans. Humans have an innate sense of kindness, empathy, and decency, but building on that is up to society. He says, “It is the insights of rational individuals that make a truly universal and unselfish morality something that our species can aspire to.” This is essentially saying that humans want to be kind and our biological impulses to do so allow us to work for a selfless society. This further supports Banaji’s research that prejudice can be prevented and unlearned, because we know humans innately want to be kind.
Nightshade
Posts: 10

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 appreciate that you included the point about black children wanting to be white. I also noticed that in most of the experiments, black children would often say that the white child or doll was good, but a white child would virtually never say that about a black child or doll. This definitely reflects the way society treats people of color and the disastrous effects it can have on self esteem and mental health.

Nightshade
Posts: 10

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.

The questions you're asking are really thought provoking. To add on to them, is implicit bias stronger than humans' innate tendencies for morality? If so, why? It seems counter intuitive to pick up on the smallest things in our surroundings and have it grow into a prejudice that affects the way we treat others forever, especially when Bloom says we're born with general morality.

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