Racial bigotry creates undeniable hardships for its targets. Such prejudice may cut two ways, though. A provocative new study suggests that intolerance undermines the mental resources of biased individuals when they interact with those whom they deem inferior.
White people who hold biased feelings toward blacks have to work to control their thoughts and behaviors during interracial encounters, say psychologist Jennifer A. Richeson of Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., and her coworkers. This social strategy depletes the limited pool of mental resources available for monitoring and using various types of information, the scientists propose.
Their investigation appears in the December Nature Neuroscience.
Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.