Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Vindication -or- The Intelligence of the Intuitive

Pretty Lady would very much appreciate it if some of her readers who are expert in notions of Science and Philosophy and Linear Logic would reread this controversial post of hers, and compare it with this article which appeared today in Salon.

To refresh your memory, this is what Pretty Lady said:

In fact, it is Pretty Lady's inchoate theory that 1) deep down, we are all racist, for the very good reason that survival of the species demands that we be wary of funny-looking strangers; and 2) racism suppressed does far more damage than racism openly and cheerfully expressed. When a person is busy defending herself against charges of bigotry, however justified, this allows little energy left over for actually getting to know people, in an open, honest, organic way.
And the Scientific Report:
Admittedly, one of the greatest obstacles to a frank discussion of bias is the repugnance of prejudice. As ugly traits go, racist and bigot are right up there with pedophile and cannibal. But somehow we need to get over our puritanical revulsion with aspects of our biology that we find morally unacceptable. Being politically correct and denying the presence of unconscious bias has been shown to have its own downside. In a clever fMRI study, psychologist Jennifer Richeson has demonstrated that trying not to have inappropriate racial thoughts can actually tax brain activity and result in lesser performance on psychological tests that require maximal attention and concentration.
Pretty Lady says, hmph. Toldja so.

(With many grateful thanks to Chris, who gave her the heads up, since she is too busy today to read Salon from beginning to end.)


Anonymous said...

In his 1954 book, "The Nature of Prejudice," psychologist Gordon Allport observed that many white Americans live in a "state of conflict." ...

...In one study, Allan Hart, an Amherst social psychologist, found that when white and black subjects were given brief subliminal glimpses of faces of the other race, both showed increased activity in the amygdala, a small set of nuclei within the medial temporal lobes, believed to be responsible for processing the emotional significance of a stimulus.

It seems that Gordon Allport's conclusion was not as inclusive as it should have been.

As ugly traits go, racist and bigot are right up there with pedophile and cannibal.

So, people think of cannibalism as a bad thing? Oh. I knew that. On a completely different subject (this has nothing to do with anything at all), I need to postpone that dinner I invited y'all to this evening for about a week or so.

The Aardvark said...

Is there not a difference between racist, and race-aware ?