The Brain Likes Categories. Where Should It Put Mixed-Race People?

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2016-03-16 00:52Z by Steven

The Brain Likes Categories. Where Should It Put Mixed-Race People?

Shots: Health News from NPR
National Public Radio

Katherine Du

Humans like to place things in categories and can struggle when things can’t easily be categorized. That also applies to people, a study finds, and the brain’s visual biases may play a role in perceptions of mixed-race people.

The study, published in Psychological Science on Monday, asked people to sort images of people as either white or black, but it included multiracial faces in the mix, too. There has been much less research into attitudes about mixed-race people, even though they are the fastest-growing racial group in the United States.

The 235 study participants, who all self-identified as white, signed up through the online survey site Mechanical Turk and provided their ZIP codes. The researchers then used U.S. Census data to determine their level of exposure to other racial groups…

…”Where you live influences how easily you process biracial faces which may, without your awareness, be affecting your attitudes toward them,” according to Diana Sanchez, an associate professor of psychology at Rutgers and an author of the study…

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