University of Toronto Scarborough
New research shows that you can reduce racial prejudice simply by having a person mimic the movements of a member of the race he or she is prejudiced against. The method may work by activating brain mechanisms that contribute to feelings of empathy.
Normally, when we watch another person perform an action, our brain activity changes as we mentally simulate the other person. But the brain activity is less strong when we're watching people from other racial groups, and is least strong among people who are prejudiced against the racial group.
Michael Inzlicht, professor in the department of psychology at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC) and affiliate faculty at the School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Toronto, wondered if he could turn that around. If prejudice reduces mental simulation, can physical simulation, or mimicry, reduce prejudice? It turns out that it can.
"We've shown that when people mimic others who belong to a different race than their own they tend to be less prejudiced toward that race," Inzlicht says.
Inzlicht, along with Jennifer N. Gutsell and Lisa Legault, also of UTSC, divided 63 white students into three groups and had them watch a video of a person repeatedly reaching for a bottle and taking a drink of water. One group watched a video with a black actor, and group members were instructed to mimic his movements. For comparison, another group mimicked the movements of a white actor, and the third group simply watched a black actor. After the video, the group that had mimicked the black actor scored lower on a test of implicit prejudice against black people than either of the other two groups.
Previous research has shown that we experience "motor resonance" when we watch other people perform an action. For instance, in prior research, Inzlicht and Gutsell measured electroencephalographic (EEG) oscillations in the motor cortex that occurred while watching other people perform actions. The study showed that motor resonance was stronger in white people when they watched other white people, compared to watching blacks or South Asians.
Although the mechanism isn't certain, it's possible that physically mimicking someone activates the same brain mechanisms that are normally activated when someone watches a member of his or her own race, inspiring the missing feeling of empathy and reducing prejudice.
This study did not directly measure motor resonance. Instead, the researchers used a test that measured levels of implicit prejudice. During the test, an image of a black or white face is flashed on a screen for 75 milliseconds, followed by an image of an unfamiliar pictogram. Test-takers are asked whether they liked the pictogram or not. In fact, their answers really reveal their feelings about members of the other race.
Inzlicht thinks that the reduction in prejudice he saw in his study is likely only short-term, since it was based on mimicking movements for only 140 seconds. But he thinks mimicry over the longer term might make more permanent changes. He's planning on studying athletes to see if he can find any changes caused by coordinating movements with teammates of a different race.
The study will be published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology and is available online.
What this Jew professor is actually saying is that since most Blacks (there are always a few exceptions) seem to be unable to bring themselves up to our level, the only other way to have equality is for us to be lowered to theirs.
It's like with education. Non Whites as a rule (again, there are always a few exceptions) cannot keep up with White children. The solution? Dumb down the curriculum so White children get a lower level of education, thereby making them "equal" with non Whites.
Comrades, all races are NOT equal. Just look at the overall accomplishments of the White race with those of all others.
We should not have to "hold ourselves back" so the other races can keep up with us. It's absolutely ridiculous. If they can't keep up with us, then they must be left behind.
It reminds me of a troop of Boy Scouts where they are all athletic except for one fat kid. They go on a five mile hike, but they can't walk as fast as they are able because the fat kid won't be able to keep up.
If you can't keep up with the best, then you do not belong there.
Just as in any society, there are natural born leaders and natural born followers. Some of the followers may desire to lead, but it's not in them to so they must learn to follow.
If a person, or a race is not naturally qualified for the top level jobs, then they must learn to be satisfied with the support jobs. It only makes sense. To give someone with inferior qualifications and abilities a top level job just so there will be racial balance is plain crazy. Totally illogical, as Mr. Spock would say.
One way to encourage the "less abled" to accept their place in society is to stop measuring a person's success by what his job is. Both a doctor and a janitor are necessary, valuable, and honourable professions. We must teach our children that it doesn't matter what their job is, as long as it is valuable to the community. That makes it honest and honourable work. If they do their job, no matter what it is to the best of their ability, then a janitor, gardener, factory worker, or truck driver is just as valuable as a doctor, lawyer, teacher, or scientist.
If you serve your community to the best of your ability, regardless of what you do, then you've done good.
My thanks again to Comrade Raymond B. for bringing this story to my attention.