Where Bias Begins: The truth about Stereotypes
- Annie Murphy Paul.
Published, May 01 1998.
In this article that looks to help realize the truth about stereotype and racial prejudice, Annie Murphy Paul helps realize a rather surprising truth about who we think tend to be prejudice. It was believed by many scientists that only bigoted people tend to be prejudiced. However, in a study of the unconscious, it has been found that stereotypes and prejudice exist in the very minds of those that claim to be otherwise. Mahzarin Banaji, a professor at Yale University, has faced the sting of racial and ethnic prejudice being from a minority race. She has had firsthand experience in the field of stereotypes and prejudice. But when she took the test herself, she “disconcertingly” found that she was strongly prejudiced. Back in her graduation days, theories on stereotypes were only concerned with their explicit experiences such as sexism, anti- Semitism etc. She came to a conclusion that stereotype and prejudice exist rather subtly in every being instead of it existing outright. What is known as automatic or implicit stereotyping, we find ourselves doing the very same thing without even realizing it.
Previously, psychologists studying stereotypes and prejudice simply asked the sample group to record their feelings on minority groups… However, they found that the conscious decisions made by these test subjects posed only half the truth. “How progressive a person seems to be on the surface bears little or no relation to how prejudiced he or she is on an unconscious level.”
Following the birth of the study of ‘automatic stereotyping’, was the cognitive revolution of the1970’s where psychologists focused more on the way people think rather than studying observable behavior. The study of the cognitive approach showed that we all categorize… categorization is a part of human nature without which man cannot survive,...