Will white people who observe positive nonverbal acts toward black Americans become less likely to perpetuate racial discrimination?
At UC Berkeley, researchers conducted 4 experiments involving more than 300 (mostly) white college students.
The experiments consisted of participants who were randomly assigned to watch one of two types of videos.
Video 1 - Showed highly biased white Americans exhibiting small, negative, and nonverbal behaviors of bias, such as less smiling, less leaning in, and less gazing, toward a black American.
Video 2 - Showed whites who held black Americans in high regard and naturally expressed their positive biases through more smiling, more leaning in, and more gazing.
The participants who had watched the videos were then asked a series of questions about the black students in the videos, as well as questions intended to gauge racial bias.
Students who watched the video showing negative bias toward black students also formed a more negative impression of black students, adopted more negative racial stereotypes, and demonstrated a greater negative racial bias themselves.
However, students who watched the video showing positive behavior were found to have less racial bias and adopted fewer racial stereotypes.
Furthermore, participants indicated that they liked and wanted to be friends with the black students who were on the receiving end of positive behaviors significantly more than they liked and wanted to be friends with the black students who received negative interactions.
“What is hopeful is that our study also indicates that positive behavior toward different social groups can be contagious.”
Make eye contact. Smile. Pass it on!
"New research finds observing a white American engage in small nonverbal acts such as smiling more often, making eye contact for longer periods of time, and standing in closer proximity to a black American makes the observer less prone to racial biases. Specifically, small acts of positivity by white Americans towards African Americans and other black Americans causes observers to hold fewer stereotypes about black Americans and to have more positive attitudes towards black Americans in general."
Full Information On This Study: click here.
It certainly will, but it goes both ways. Some Black people have been "programmed" to look at ALL White people as their enemy. I'll never forget a news report I watched years ago when a family of missionaries were in South Africa during the Apartheid years. There was a riot going on and this Black guy took a brick and smashed this young girl's head. She was there to help him, and he killed her. In an interview with him and the girl's family, he said all he saw was "white skin - one of the oppressors". The girl's family were true Christians and forgave him. But it was such a senseless, unnecessary act of violence.
The same thing happened in Los Angeles during the Rodney King riots. Those stupid ghetto trash dummies pulled poor Reginald Denny out of his truck and beat him just because he was White. It was ridiculous. But that's what happens when you let evil take over your sound thinking. I, personally, try to love everyone unless they give me a reason not to.
It works! I use it in my daily comings and goings when passing/encountering all people, including all people of color and ancestry. It's no big deal. Just be relaxed and have a casual smile and vibe as you pass. It's quite surprising that you often get the same back, although some are a bit surprised before they respond in kind. Sometimes there is even a nod of recognition or even a verbal greeting in passing. Is that so much to ask of decent humans? I think a lot of folks have been willing to do that for quite a while. I worry that some folks have let the current divisiveness in our society turn us backwards and cause people to retract this kind of decency. I plan to keep it up. Don't know what else to do.