People are Hardwired to be Ethnocentric

Racism is ‘hardwired’ into the human brain – and people can be prejudiced without knowing it

Rob Waugh, Daily Mail, June 26, 2012

Racism is hardwired into the brain, say scientists – and it operates unconsciously.

The same circuits in the brain that allow us to see which ethnic group a person belongs to overlap with others that drive emotional decisions.

The result is that even right-thinking individuals make unconscious decisions based on a person’s race. But most racism operates on an unconscious level, say researchers – and even ‘right thinking’ individuals may react in a racist way.

Brain scans have proved that interactions with people of other ethnic backgrounds set off reactions that may be completely unknown to our conscious selves.

The finding may force researchers to think about racism in entirely new ways.

It’s possible, the researchers say, that even right-thinking, ‘egalitarian’ people could harbour racist attitudes without knowing.

The chemicals involved in perceiving ethnic backgrounds overlap with those for processing emotion and making decisions, according to new research.

And the findings published in Nature Neuroscience could lead to fresh ways of thinking about unintended race-based attitudes and decisions.

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Updates:

“So-called racism [sic] is a perfectly natural in-group bias which has been stigmatized by the politically correct West.” – Martin Sewell, professor of economics, Oxford University

 

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5 thoughts on “People are Hardwired to be Ethnocentric

  1. Jared

    And of course, this terrible flaw of human nature must first be eliminated in White countries.

  2. Kirt Higdon

    The article is a lot of meaningless speculation with not one scrap of hard data cited. The opening sentence, “Racism is hardwired into the brain, say scientists” quotes not a single scientist to this effect. This is garbage comparable to the whole “gender is infinitely maleable, but gender preferences are hardwired and immutable” meme of the LGBTG crowd, who also claim that they are backed up by “science”.

  3. James

    Kirt,

    Here are some actual studies:

    http://www.alessioavenanti.com/pdf_library/Avenanti_2010CurrBiol_MainText.pdf

    http://www-personal.umich.edu/%7Eaxe/research/AxHamm_Ethno.pdf

    http://www.jneurosci.org/content/29/26/8525.full.pdf

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/4260r11031j24478/fulltext.pdf

    http://www.mankindquarterly.org/samples/SalterMQXLVIII-3.pdf

    http://web.missouri.edu/%7Esegerti/2244H/HumanEthnocentrism.pdf

    http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0037688

    http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/05/27/race.empathy/index.html?hpt=C2

    http://tinyurl.com/837cm28

    Let me know if this isn’t enough. I can provide about 100 more links.

  4. Kirt Higdon

    James, I really don’t have time to review more than 100 studies on this and if you have such time, you’re either a professional in the field of biology or sociology or you’re obsessed. I’m none of those. I tend to believe the truth of the observation that the conclusions of sociological studies are either obvious or wrong. Most of the studies I’ve seen cited in this forum on the subject of race, including ones chosen at random from your list, are of the obvious variety. No one doubts that people as a whole tend to prefer their in-group to an out-group anymore than it is doubted that the average person prefers himself as a whole to others. (I suppose that studies showing this could be labelled “egoism is hardwired”). If this is all racism means, point conceded, but so what? I’ll also say that we’re dealing with a term the definition of which has been broadened to the point of meaninglessness. All the studies certainly show that.

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