ARP Link 8.11.09

Black faces more likely to be seen as threatening

A research team led by psychologist Jenessa Shapiro of the University of California, Los Angeles conducted a preliminary study and three experiments to determine whether whites are more likely to perceive facial expressions as threatening if the face in question belongs to an African-American male. Their disturbing results are detailed in their paper “Following in the Wake of Anger,” which was published online Tuesday in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

In the key experiment, 36 white American college students viewed an online slide show in which pairs of faces appeared on a screen in succession. All were of men between 18 and 35 years of age. The first face had either an angry or a neutral expression; the second had a neutral expression. Participants were asked to rate each in terms of how threatening the person came across, on a scale of one to nine. Read…

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About Tami

Tami Winfrey Harris writes about race, feminism, politics and pop culture at the blog What Tami Said. Her work has also appeared online at The Guardian’s Comment is Free, Ms. Magazine blog, Newsweek, Change.org, Huffington Post and Racialicious. She is a graduate of the Iowa State University Greenlee School of Journalism. She is mom to two awesome stepkids and spends her spare time researching her family history and cultivating a righteous 'fro.
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