AFRICANGLOBE – People become more prejudiced against darker-skinned people when money is tight, a recent study has claimed.
Researchers at New York University discovered that people with lighter skin were more likely to perceive “Afrocentric features” as more pronounced or “darker” during an economic downturn.
That kind of perception is likely to increase discrimination against Black people, they said.
Their work follows a study last year, which suggested racism was on the rise in the UK an was fuelled by financial strife.
In a series of experiments, involving nearly 300 non-Black Americans, scientists David Amodio and Amy Krosch found people see faces differently during an economic downturn.
In the first experiment, participants were shown a range of Black and White faces before being asked to state what colour the face was.
Individuals who held strong beliefs that White people suffer financially when Black people make economic gains, were more likely to perceive mixed-race faces as Black, than individuals without such beliefs.
Krosch said: “People typically assume what they see is an accurate representation of the world so if their initial perceptions of race are actually distorted by economic factors people may not even realise the potential for bias.”
Those who more strongly believed in resource competition between both racial types had a lower threshold for identifying mixed-race faces as Black, than did subjects who did not hold these views.
People under financial strain generated images of faces with darker skin and stronger “Afrocentric features” than people without tight budgets, in the third experiment.
According to the study, which is published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the research suggests that “perceived scarcity influences people’s visual representations of race in a way that may promote discrimination.”
What do you think, is this a legitimate study or just another attempt at psychological warfare against Black people?
By: Rykesha Hudson