In the latest research produced by professors at San Francisco State University involving colorism, results of a new study reveal that people remember educated black men as having lighter skin.
The study, “When an ‘Educated Black Man Becomes Lighter in the Mind’s Eye” explored the concept called “skin tone memory bias.”From Huffington Post:
The study claims to provide evidence for the subconscious bias where educated black men are remembered as having lighter skin. The claim adds fervor to the implication that successful black people are thought of as exceptions to their race rather than examples of what people within that race are capable of. […]
Published in the journal Sage Open, the study consisted of two experiments utilizing students from the university. […] In the experiments, students were subliminally shown one of two words -– “ignorant” or “educated” — followed by a photo of a black man’s face. They were then shown seven photos with the same face with varying skin tones ranging from light to dark. The original photo they were shown was also included in the selection.
Participants were then asked to identify the original photo they were shown. The results revealed that participants who were shown the word “educated” had more errors in memory and often chose the photos with a lighter skin-tone when asked to recall the face they originally saw.
The authors describes the results of the experiments as being “consistent with the mind’s striving for cognitive consistency or the tendency to attempt to resolve an incompatible cognition in the direction of a stereotype.”
In other words, due to stereotypes of lighter skinned individuals being more intelligent, the results were influenced.
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