A new study finds that a person can "catch" racial bias just by watching someone else engage in racist behavior. There is good news. The reverse is true too.
According to Medical Daily, here's how it worked:
For the study, researchers tested out four different experiments on how racial bias can be “contagious.” In the experiments, participants observed a video in which white people either exhibited “micro-positive behavior” or negative behavior toward a black American. The researchers ultimately found that participants formed more positive impressions about the black person in videos where white people interacted with positivity toward them. Participants who observed micro-positive behavior (such as smiling, gazing longer, conversing, and standing closer) to a black American were less likely to hold racial stereotypes or bias; they were also more likely to want to be the black person’s friend.
The results of the study confirm that media and culture play a significant role in shaping racial attitudes and behaviors, and highlight the necessity for those entrusted with educating, informing and entertaining the public to know what biases they bring to their jobs.