Black Person or Ape?
Black Person or Ape?
Is that an ape or a black person?
Published on January 31, 2011
Recent research tested if Americans associate Black people with apes.
Phillip Goff, a psychologist at Penn State University, and colleagues recently tested Americans implicit associations between Black people and apes. Implicit associations (as opposed to conscious, explicit associations) are largely unconscious and automatic. As such, they are arguably well suited to measure people's true attitudes (as opposed to what they tell you when you explicitly ask them).
In one study, these researchers subliminally primed participants with White or Black faces. The task for the participants was too correctly identify the images they later saw as quickly as possible. All participants were then shown an image of an ape, that became progressively more clear with each passing image.
When primed with Black faces, participants took fewer slides to correctly identify the image as an Ape. This suggests that the Black faces increased the cognitive accessibility (the thought level) of apes, which suggests that people associate Black people with apes.
In a second study, these researchers examined historical documents of executions. They found that Black defendents were more likely to have animal words used to describe them. And further, the more animal words were used to describe the criminals in these trials, the more likely the person was to be executed.
This isn't to say that if you asked people if they associate apes with Black people, that they would know this about themselves. Like I said, these are implicit associations that are outside of consciousness.
These implicit associations are of consequence, however. For instance, research shows that primes that people are not aware of exert a huge influence on behavior (e.g., implicit aggression primes, for instance, increase aggression).
So, although no one would probably say they think Black people are ape-like, research shows that, at an implicit (but important) level, people do think just that.
p.s. I find these results disturbing, so don't shoot the messenger. The disturbing nature of the findings is all the more reason to report them. It should go without saying that I do not think people should associate black people with apes, but that doesn't change the fact that they do. The results can't be changed or hidden just because they are unpleasant.
Kind of unrelated
I've noticed before the mass killings of jews, they were said to be vermin. Khadafi is said to call his people names of animals before reportedly sending in aircraft and gunman to kill them. Before one kills another, there seems to be a process of dehumanizing them. How could one kill another when they identify them as a fellow human being?
This is a great way to say that black people are sub-human while non-blacks are human. They're just researching new methods so racism against blacks can be relevant in today's world. Crap like this boosts the ignorance and self-esteem of non-blacks so they can think that they're superior in everyway. The negativity has to remain high!
I don't see it that way. It is just telling us what some already think of blacks. When I was a child in the 80's, I remember being told that I was a monkey and should go back to Africa by racists. Nowadays, people are more subconscious with their racism. You probably will not here somebody call you a monkey at least consciously, but they might think it. Just because some people think it, doesn't make it so.
Sure. Well an argument sparks, believe me racial slurs and ape names will fly!
Originally Posted by FMJ
white people look like goats. who cares? if i sent my kid to penn state, i'd be pissed they were wasting the money a stupid fucking study like this.
different races are always going to have certain perceptions towards each other. a proper study would be on how to move past these tendencies.
Well, the study indicates that people associate Black people more than they associate white people with apes.
But i see your point and some people do explicitly call black people "monkeys", which is disturbing.
A guy i know once tried to argue with me that black people were less evolved than white people (it's actually the other way round technically, but whatever), so there is no doubt that this kind of attitude does exist.
Your comment about dehumanising people is interesting, but i think it's more people anthropomorphising animals than the other way round.
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