Doctors Cure Racism! (Well...)

Seen something interesting in the news or on the intertubes? Discuss it here.

Moderators: Zamfir, Hawknc, Moderators General, Prelates

User avatar
Iulus Cofield
WINNING
Posts: 2917
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 9:31 am UTC

Doctors Cure Racism! (Well...)

Postby Iulus Cofield » Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:08 am UTC

A pill that could prevent racism?

Spoiler:
British researchers found that a common heart disease drug lowers more than blood pressure - it lowers racist attitudes as well.

Researchers at Oxford University say that volunteers who took small doses of the beta blocker propranolol scored lower on tests used to detect "subconscious" racism than volunteers who took a dummy pill, London's The Telegraph reported.

Propranolol is used to reduce blood pressure, and can also manage panic and anxiety disorders.

In the study, a group of 18 white students were given 20 mg doses of the drug before taking a test to gauge prejudice attitudes, while another group was given a placebo.

In one part of the test, volunteers were asked to sort pictures of black and white faces into categories along with positive and negative words, such as "happy" and "sad."

In another segment, the test-takers were asked to report how "warm" they felt toward certain groups, including black people and Muslims.

Results showed the group that took propranolol showed lower "implicit" racist feelings, meaning they appeared less racist on a subconscious level.

For example, during the sorting section, results showed that the drug-takers were quicker to associate the pictures of black faces with positive words, the results showed.

Scientists said they believed the drug lowered feelings of bias because it works on parts of the brain and nervous system that regulate fear and emotional responses, the Telegraph reported.

"Such research raises the tantalizing possibility that our unconscious racial attitudes could be modulated using drugs, a possibility that requires careful ethical analysis," the study's co-author Professor Julian Savulescu said.

But Dr. Chris Chambers, of the University of Cardiff's School of Psychology, told the Telegraph the results should be viewed with "extreme caution."

"We don't know whether the drug influenced racial attitudes only or whether it altered implicit brain systems more generally," he said.

"So although interesting, in my view these preliminary results are a long way from suggesting that propranolol specifically influences racial attitudes."


1) Science journalism is bad, especially its tendency to draw sensational conclusions for headlines.
2) Propranolol was originally used as a beta blocker (blood pressure reducer) but it has a lot of unpleasant side effects and nowadays is rarely prescribed for high blood pressure because there are better beta blockers with less side effects. Propranolol is more commonly prescribed for anxiety, headaches, and tremors.
3) Propranolol works by directly blocking the body's ability to absorb and use adrenaline (hence beta blocker)

So this is still really interesting because it sounds like the opposite of the "suspension bridge effect" where feelings of anxiety from an adrenaline rush, such as from being scared by a rickety rope bridge or a rollercoaster, are interpreted as anxiety from romantic attraction to whoever is with you. That suggests to me that at least some racist feelings might be caused by an adrenaline rush from contact with an unfamiliar person.

User avatar
lutzj
Posts: 898
Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2010 6:20 am UTC
Location: Ontario

Re: Doctors Cure Racism! (Well...)

Postby lutzj » Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:27 am UTC

They also apparently derived these findings from a survey of only 18 people.
addams wrote:I'm not a bot.
That is what a bot would type.

User avatar
Vaniver
Posts: 9422
Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2006 2:12 am UTC

Re: Doctors Cure Racism! (Well...)

Postby Vaniver » Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:10 am UTC

a group of 18
group of 18
18


I would be unsurprised to learn that adrenaline / similar responses influence IAT scores, but that suggests more that the IAT may be of limited use moving forward than that racism could be lowered by impeding adrenaline.
I mostly post over at LessWrong now.

Avatar from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, owned by Hasbro.

User avatar
ahammel
My Little Cabbage
Posts: 2135
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:46 am UTC
Location: Vancouver BC
Contact:

Re: Doctors Cure Racism! (Well...)

Postby ahammel » Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:36 am UTC

I'm not especially concerned by the small sample size because, you know, they found an effect.

Calmer = less racist seems like a reasonable hypothesis to me. It's worth keeping in mind that they only looked at supposedly subconscious responses, not conscious attitudes.
He/Him/His/Alex
God damn these electric sex pants!

User avatar
Izawwlgood
WINNING
Posts: 18686
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:55 pm UTC
Location: There may be lovelier lovelies...

Re: Doctors Cure Racism! (Well...)

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:31 am UTC

This just in; reducing peoples anxiety and aggressiveness makes them less anxious and aggressive.
... with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.

User avatar
Vaniver
Posts: 9422
Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2006 2:12 am UTC

Re: Doctors Cure Racism! (Well...)

Postby Vaniver » Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:43 am UTC

ahammel wrote:I'm not especially concerned by the small sample size because, you know, they found an effect.
You need to go to the bad statistics corner and think about what you did.
I mostly post over at LessWrong now.

Avatar from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, owned by Hasbro.

User avatar
TheGrammarBolshevik
Posts: 4878
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:12 am UTC
Location: Going to and fro in the earth, and walking up and down in it.

Re: Doctors Cure Racism! (Well...)

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Tue Apr 03, 2012 6:22 am UTC

That's small, but is it small enough to invalidate a t-test?
Nothing rhymes with orange,
Not even sporange.

User avatar
Angua
Don't call her Delphine.
Posts: 5825
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:42 pm UTC
Location: UK/[St. Kitts and] Nevis Occasionally, I migrate to the US for a bit

Re: Doctors Cure Racism! (Well...)

Postby Angua » Tue Apr 03, 2012 6:53 am UTC

It does say preliminary results.... 18 is probably big enough to see if there's enough of an effect for this to be worth looking into more.
Crabtree's bludgeon: “no set of mutually inconsistent observations can exist for which some human intellect cannot conceive a coherent explanation, however complicated”
GNU Terry Pratchett

User avatar
Proginoskes
Posts: 313
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:07 am UTC
Location: Sitting Down

Re: Doctors Cure Racism! (Well...)

Postby Proginoskes » Tue Apr 03, 2012 6:54 am UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:That's small, but is it small enough to invalidate a t-test?


This just in: Being a grammer bolshevik is linked to stuttering.

Also: A study was done of 1000 people. Their heads were removed, and NONE of them wanted to shoot a person of the opposite race afterwards. Conclusion: Decapitation cures racism.

User avatar
Iulus Cofield
WINNING
Posts: 2917
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 9:31 am UTC

Re: Doctors Cure Racism! (Well...)

Postby Iulus Cofield » Tue Apr 03, 2012 6:57 am UTC

Proginoskes wrote:
TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:That's small, but is it small enough to invalidate a t-test?


This just in: Being a grammer bolshevik is linked to stuttering.

Also: A study was done of 1000 people. Their heads were removed, and NONE of them wanted to shoot a person of the opposite race afterwards. Conclusion: Decapitation cures racism.


This kind of post really grinds my gears.

User avatar
sourmìlk
If I can't complain, can I at least express my fear?
Posts: 6393
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:53 pm UTC
Location: permanently in the wrong
Contact:

Re: Doctors Cure Racism! (Well...)

Postby sourmìlk » Tue Apr 03, 2012 7:39 am UTC

I have to agree. I don't really see how decapitation is equivalent to beta blockers.
Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

Technical Ben
Posts: 2986
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 10:42 pm UTC

Re: Doctors Cure Racism! (Well...)

Postby Technical Ben » Tue Apr 03, 2012 9:23 am UTC

ahammel wrote:I'm not especially concerned by the small sample size because, you know, they found an effect.

Calmer = less racist seems like a reasonable hypothesis to me. It's worth keeping in mind that they only looked at supposedly subconscious responses, not conscious attitudes.


We could do the same with massive amounts of sedative right? Or poison, poison works as well? I wonder what the headline to that will be...
"Massive Cyanide Dose program reduces crime!"

[Edit]
Sourmilk, I think it's that "correlation does not equal causation". Or that treating the symptoms does not stop the cause. Beta blockers may only prevent the racism in the same way handcuffs would prevent crime. Much more work needs to be done before they'd even publish the paper really.
It's all physics and stamp collecting.
It's not a particle or a wave. It's just an exchange.

User avatar
addams
Posts: 10009
Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2010 4:44 am UTC
Location: Oregon Coast: 97444

Re: Doctors Cure Racism! (Well...)

Postby addams » Tue Apr 03, 2012 11:26 am UTC

The Original Poster wrote the following:

"So this is still really interesting because it sounds like the opposite of the "suspension bridge effect" where feelings of anxiety from an adrenaline rush, such as from being scared by a rickety rope bridge or a rollercoaster, are interpreted as anxiety from romantic attraction to whoever is with you. That suggests to me that at least some racist feelings might be caused by an adrenaline rush from contact with an unfamiliar person."

So, funny and so, true.
Yes. A person that is completely different from anything previously encountered can cause great interest. interest turns to anxiety; Anxiety turns to fear; Racism is off and running. I think the fear component is learned, sort of.

I have seen fear in the faces of other people. They know squat about me and the first responds to me is fear? So, strange.

The other responds is so very true. That is the funny one. We can't help it. I can't. If, I go through some weird scary shit with an other person and we both live and are still on speaking terms at the end; Then we tend to be, really, good friends.

There are better ways to forge friendships.

Would Betta Blockers given to men that are in traditional Hazing situations dampen the traditions of Hazing? Hazing is so creepy and it is related to Racism. Right?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hazing
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ingroups_and_outgroups

Betta Blockers work. I was having a bit of a difficult time with a highly stressful situation and the guy I was with listened to my heart rate and gave me a Betta Blocker. Ten minutes later I was able to think about the task at hand easier. My heart rate fell to something acceptable like 80, at rest.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

Choboman
Posts: 106
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:54 pm UTC

Re: Doctors Cure Racism! (Well...)

Postby Choboman » Tue Apr 03, 2012 12:28 pm UTC

addams wrote:Hazing is so creepy and it is related to Racism. Right?


I'm no expert, but I don't think hazing and racism have that much to do with one another. The link you posted would seem to make racism [group-ism?] a matter of identifying another individual as irredeemably 'out-group', while hazing would be a ritual or test for achieving in-group status.

Going through a trial period of hazing theoretically tests an applicant's resolve/dedication/worthiness. It often degenerates into dysfunctional situations because people are generally ass-hats, and the paradigm enforces inherently unequal relationships where people in control have a tendency to take out their emotional baggage on the plebes/rats/pledges/etc under their control.

User avatar
Telchar
That's Admiral 'The Hulk' Ackbar, to you sir
Posts: 1937
Joined: Sat Apr 05, 2008 9:06 pm UTC
Location: Cynicistia

Re: Doctors Cure Racism! (Well...)

Postby Telchar » Tue Apr 03, 2012 12:55 pm UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:That's small, but is it small enough to invalidate a t-test?


I don't think they could do a t-test except on the "warmer" to certain groups test. Arbitrary assignment of values to sad or happy faces wouldn't net you much in the way of statistical insight.
Zamfir wrote:Yeah, that's a good point. Everyone is all about presumption of innocence in rape threads. But when Mexican drug lords build APCs to carry their henchmen around, we immediately jump to criminal conclusions without hard evidence.

User avatar
addams
Posts: 10009
Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2010 4:44 am UTC
Location: Oregon Coast: 97444

Re: Doctors Cure Racism! (Well...)

Postby addams » Tue Apr 03, 2012 1:07 pm UTC

Choboman wrote:
addams wrote:Hazing is so creepy and it is related to Racism. Right?


I'm no expert, but I don't think hazing and racism have that much to do with one another. The link you posted would seem to make racism [group-ism?] a matter of identifying another individual as irredeemably 'out-group', while hazing would be a ritual or test for achieving in-group status.

Going through a trial period of hazing theoretically tests an applicant's resolve/dedication/worthiness. It often degenerates into dysfunctional situations because people are generally ass-hats, and the paradigm enforces inherently unequal relationships where people in control have a tendency to take out their emotional baggage on the plebes/rats/pledges/etc under their control.


Yes. The difference between that and Racism is:??
In Hazing there is some chance of redemption from out group to in group status?
Racism has similar operations.
I loath to bring it up; Here I go anyway.
Remember the Oreo thing? (White on the inside and Black on the outside.)
Have you ever heard a white guy tell a black one, "Your not like other blacks; Are you?"
What is the proper responds to that?
"No. I am not like other blacks. But; You are, just, like other whites." ?

It is best to walk away, before, the gerbils inside their heads start running on that squeaky wheel. Don't say it, if, you can not walk away.

Well; Good friends can have those conversations. For good friends it can be fun. What is woven into our DNA? What was learned? What is, just, me? I had a friend that I teased ruthlessly about his genetic make up.

He was also ruthless. I learned to roll with it. Anything that I did that he did not like, I encouraged him to labeled a race issue. I learned to do that from a woman from the South of the US. She had it down to an art form.

Southern Belles. They are a unique breed. Black ones; White ones; Seminole ones. When confronted with a Southern Belle, just, surrender and get on with it. Don't fight. If, you are not a Southern Belle, then, you do not have a chance.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

jimsfriend
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 6:11 pm UTC

Re: Doctors Cure Racism! (Well...)

Postby jimsfriend » Tue Apr 03, 2012 1:56 pm UTC

>>during the sorting section, results showed that the drug-takers were quicker to associate the pictures of black faces with positive words, the results showed

Were they also quicker to associate non-black faces with positive words?

User avatar
Ormurinn
Posts: 1033
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:42 pm UTC
Location: Suth Eoferwicscire

Re: Doctors Cure Racism! (Well...)

Postby Ormurinn » Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:09 pm UTC

IF these results are valid, (they seem a little dubious so far) then am I alone in finding this a very scary development? "Medicating" peoples thoughts and opinions because they dont fit with what society wants has just (potentially) become a possibility.
Last edited by Ormurinn on Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:47 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
ahammel
My Little Cabbage
Posts: 2135
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:46 am UTC
Location: Vancouver BC
Contact:

Re: Doctors Cure Racism! (Well...)

Postby ahammel » Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:29 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:
ahammel wrote:I'm not especially concerned by the small sample size because, you know, they found an effect.
You need to go to the bad statistics corner and think about what you did.

I'm assuming that the researchers aren't total morons and therefore applied some sort of hypothesis test that corrects for sample size. n isn't everything. If the effect is reasonably large and the variance is relatively low, I'm perfectly willing to believe that they saw a statistically significant effect with a sample of 18.

Telchar wrote:
TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:That's small, but is it small enough to invalidate a t-test?


I don't think they could do a t-test except on the "warmer" to certain groups test. Arbitrary assignment of values to sad or happy faces wouldn't net you much in the way of statistical insight.

The had the subjects do a test which returns a number value. I assume it was something like the Implicit Association Test, which you can take online. Try taking some beta-blockers first and see if you do better (note: absolutely do not do this).
He/Him/His/Alex
God damn these electric sex pants!

User avatar
Jave D
chavey-dee
Posts: 1042
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2010 4:41 pm UTC

Re: Doctors Cure Racism! (Well...)

Postby Jave D » Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:37 pm UTC

Proginoskes wrote:Also: A study was done of 1000 people. Their heads were removed, and NONE of them wanted to shoot a person of the opposite race afterwards. Conclusion: Decapitation cures racism.


It certainly does, but one might argue that a non-lethal pill is a better treatment than an almost-always-lethal amputation.

Роберт
Posts: 4285
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 1:56 am UTC

Re: Doctors Cure Racism! (Well...)

Postby Роберт » Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:27 pm UTC

Proginoskes wrote:Also: A study was done of 1000 people. Their heads were removed, and NONE of them wanted to shoot a person of the opposite race afterwards. Conclusion: Decapitation cures racism.



Proginoskes wrote: NONE of them wanted to shoot a person of the opposite race afterwards


Proginoskes wrote:the opposite race


...what is this I don't even...
So there's a race binary now or what?
The Great Hippo wrote:[T]he way we treat suspected terrorists genuinely terrifies me.

User avatar
Iulus Cofield
WINNING
Posts: 2917
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 9:31 am UTC

Re: Doctors Cure Racism! (Well...)

Postby Iulus Cofield » Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:39 pm UTC

The master race and the inferior race?

Really, I found this preliminary study to be interesting because it suggests adrenaline may play a significant role in the dynamics of ingroups/outgroups. Once suggested, the hypothesis is very intuitive. Follow up studies may or may not establish that more firmly.

Роберт
Posts: 4285
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 1:56 am UTC

Re: Doctors Cure Racism! (Well...)

Postby Роберт » Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:42 pm UTC

Iulus Cofield wrote:Really, I found this preliminary study to be interesting because it suggests adrenaline may play a significant role in the dynamics of ingroups/outgroups. Once suggested, the hypothesis is very intuitive. Follow up studies may or may not establish that more firmly.

The preliminary study is fascinating, and it makes me wonder what other "effects" it might have. Reducing stereotyping could have pretty negative effects in addition to the positive effects of reducing bigotry, right?
The Great Hippo wrote:[T]he way we treat suspected terrorists genuinely terrifies me.

User avatar
rigwarl
Posts: 759
Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 9:36 pm UTC

Re: Doctors Cure Racism! (Well...)

Postby rigwarl » Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:56 pm UTC

I'm Chinese, so I guess the opposite race for me would be... Japanese?

Роберт
Posts: 4285
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 1:56 am UTC

Re: Doctors Cure Racism! (Well...)

Postby Роберт » Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:58 pm UTC

rigwarl wrote:I'm Chinese, so I guess the opposite race for me would be... Japanese?

I think you should go by geographic origin. The opposite race would be Native American. (Or maybe merpeople.)
The Great Hippo wrote:[T]he way we treat suspected terrorists genuinely terrifies me.

User avatar
Outchanter
Posts: 669
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2007 8:40 am UTC
Location: South African in Americaland

Re: Doctors Cure Racism! (Well...)

Postby Outchanter » Tue Apr 03, 2012 7:12 pm UTC

I assumed they were going by color negatives. The opposite of black is white, the opposite of green is violet, etc.

Example usage: "Those greenskinned merpeople really grind my gears, with their oppression of their racially opposite purple airpeople."

Most caucasians are light pink, so presumably their opposite is a dark cyan.
~ You will eat a tasty fortune cookie. Oh look, it came true already! ~

User avatar
Vaniver
Posts: 9422
Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2006 2:12 am UTC

Re: Doctors Cure Racism! (Well...)

Postby Vaniver » Tue Apr 03, 2012 7:18 pm UTC

ahammel wrote:I'm assuming that the researchers aren't total morons and therefore applied some sort of hypothesis test that corrects for sample size. n isn't everything. If the effect is reasonably large and the variance is relatively low, I'm perfectly willing to believe that they saw a statistically significant effect with a sample of 18.
Scientists in general are terrible at statistics. It's bad in neuroscience and worse in psychology, and when it's racism psychology, the data is probably faked anyway.

P values tell you the probability that a result is noticed given that it's false: P(N|F). That is only tenuously related to the probability that it's false given that it's published in a journal: P(F|J) is, in many fields, above 50%.

Outchanter wrote:Most caucasians are light pink, so presumably their opposite is a dark cyan.
If you meet Krishna on the road, kill him!
I mostly post over at LessWrong now.

Avatar from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, owned by Hasbro.

Princess Marzipan
Posts: 7717
Joined: Sun May 27, 2007 5:28 am UTC
Location: neither a road, nor an island

Re: Doctors Cure Racism! (Well...)

Postby Princess Marzipan » Tue Apr 03, 2012 7:22 pm UTC

That one's probably funnier than whatever drow joke I was going to make.
"It's Saturday night. I've got no date, a two-liter of Shasta, and my all-Rush mixtape. Let's rock!"
"I am just about to be brilliant!"
General_Norris, on feminism, wrote:If you lose your six Pokémon, you lost.

User avatar
philsov
Not a fan of Diane Kruger
Posts: 1350
Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2008 7:58 pm UTC
Location: Texas

Re: Doctors Cure Racism! (Well...)

Postby philsov » Tue Apr 03, 2012 7:23 pm UTC

Outchanter wrote:I assumed they were going by color negatives. The opposite of black is white, the opposite of green is violet, etc.


I thought the opposite of green was red. Then there's orange <-> blue and yellow <->violet.

Yellow people should be afraid of the mythical flying purple people-eaters. Aside from the people-eating thing, of course.
The time and seasons go on, but all the rhymes and reasons are wrong
I know I'll discover after its all said and done I should've been a nun.

induction
Posts: 241
Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2012 8:00 am UTC

Re: Doctors Cure Racism! (Well...)

Postby induction » Tue Apr 03, 2012 7:33 pm UTC

Outchanter wrote:Most caucasians are light pink, so presumably their opposite is a dark cyan.


When mixing paint, I go with orange mixed with white.

User avatar
ahammel
My Little Cabbage
Posts: 2135
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:46 am UTC
Location: Vancouver BC
Contact:

Re: Doctors Cure Racism! (Well...)

Postby ahammel » Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:01 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:
ahammel wrote:I'm assuming that the researchers aren't total morons and therefore applied some sort of hypothesis test that corrects for sample size. n isn't everything. If the effect is reasonably large and the variance is relatively low, I'm perfectly willing to believe that they saw a statistically significant effect with a sample of 18.
Scientists in general are terrible at statistics. It's bad in neuroscience and worse in psychology, and when it's racism psychology, the data is probably faked anyway.

So, they need a sample of more than eighteen people because they falsified their data?
He/Him/His/Alex
God damn these electric sex pants!

User avatar
addams
Posts: 10009
Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2010 4:44 am UTC
Location: Oregon Coast: 97444

Re: Doctors Cure Racism! (Well...)

Postby addams » Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:30 pm UTC

rigwarl wrote:I'm Chinese, so I guess the opposite race for me would be... Japanese?


This strikes me as so funny. Asians! Good God!

I had a bunch of Asian contacts for some reason. Oh. The Pacific Rim. The reason why does not matter.

There were people that were so upset with me, because, I could not tell a Koren from a Japanese from a Chinese from a Mongolian. I got some lessons. I developed some skill. It has slipped away with time.

Still; The Asians that I have known could tell. I think it is so funny. The opposite of Chinese=Japanese. Cracks me up.

It shows a kind of respect to be able to tell. I learned to be able to tell one kind of American Indian from a different kind. We are not all alike, on the outside.

Have you ever seen a Yuma? Those people stand out in a crowd.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quechan_people

Race is fun. It is on the outside. It is a big deal. And; Not a big deal all at the same time.

We can like and dislike people for loads of reasons. Racial differences are a great reason to be easy to get along with.

ech. It can get serious as a heart attack and Fast.

Have any of the posters here read, heard about or experienced Close Racism. The kind like Asians being all uptight about other kinds of Asians, but, blind to my race? It happens all over the world.
A friend from a long time ago started a riot in Kuwait. She could not tell one kind of person from another. She was trampling all over their boundaries.
Rocks, insults, and fur were flying. She was typically American. The whole thing pissed her off.
So, funny. She started a riot. She said, "They all looked the same to me." She was not a mindless racist. The differences were subtle. She could not see the difference between one bunch and a different bunch.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

User avatar
Telchar
That's Admiral 'The Hulk' Ackbar, to you sir
Posts: 1937
Joined: Sat Apr 05, 2008 9:06 pm UTC
Location: Cynicistia

Re: Doctors Cure Racism! (Well...)

Postby Telchar » Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:49 am UTC

ahammel wrote:The had the subjects do a test which returns a number value. I assume it was something like the Implicit Association Test, which you can take online. Try taking some beta-blockers first and see if you do better (note: absolutely do not do this).


Except that number value is arbitrary, making it a nominal scale. 0 if you associated a negative, or 1 if you associated a positive. That means you can't get information about central tendency and no t-test.

I'll also refute the claim that psychologists are terrible at statistics. You can point to faked data, but that's being terrible at life/science, not statistics.
Zamfir wrote:Yeah, that's a good point. Everyone is all about presumption of innocence in rape threads. But when Mexican drug lords build APCs to carry their henchmen around, we immediately jump to criminal conclusions without hard evidence.

User avatar
Vaniver
Posts: 9422
Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2006 2:12 am UTC

Re: Doctors Cure Racism! (Well...)

Postby Vaniver » Wed Apr 04, 2012 1:02 am UTC

ahammel wrote:So, they need a sample of more than eighteen people because they falsified their data?
It is easier to falsify small datasets than large datasets, but the real point is that P(F|J) is higher for studies with small n than for studies with big n.

addams: which facial features are distinctive in a particular people group vary from group to group. For example, hair color is a feature you can use to differentiate between Europeans but will not help you differentiate between Asians (beyond the effects of age). More subtle features- like brows, cheekbones, eye shape, and so on- also vary heavily in some groups but not much in other groups, but I don't know faces well enough to tell you what varies for particular races. That is, European faces will literally look alike to an Asian observer because most of the features they unconsciously look for (because those features are where Asians vary) are the same. It's possible to learn the differences, like you did, but it doesn't stick nearly as well.

Telchar wrote:I'll also refute the claim that psychologists are terrible at statistics. You can point to faked data, but that's being terrible at life/science, not statistics.
Does the name Daryl Bem ring a bell?
I mostly post over at LessWrong now.

Avatar from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, owned by Hasbro.

User avatar
CorruptUser
Posts: 10268
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:12 pm UTC

Re: Doctors Cure Racism! (Well...)

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Apr 04, 2012 4:28 am UTC

Being terrible at statistics is not nearly as bad for a scientist as it is for the public at large. Bad science is easy for scientists to spot, but not for everyone else. Most people don't understand Simpson's Paradox, even if it's explained to them. Especially if they WANT the bad science to be correct.

Spoiler:
For reference, Simpson's Paradox is that things which at first seem to be one way, upon closer inspection the opposite. For example, Berkeley was sued for sexism in college acceptance. 44% of male applicants were accepted, compared to 35% of female applicants. Yet, looking further into the data, women were more likely than men to be accepted to most departments they applied. How is this possible? Women tended to apply to departments with low acceptance rates such as English, as opposed to 'easier' departments like the sciences.

There are other things of course. For example, a house with more rooms is generally worth more, unless you account for sq feet of the house already; in that case each additional room tends to reduce the value of the house. Lots of fun things in regressions.

User avatar
Telchar
That's Admiral 'The Hulk' Ackbar, to you sir
Posts: 1937
Joined: Sat Apr 05, 2008 9:06 pm UTC
Location: Cynicistia

Re: Doctors Cure Racism! (Well...)

Postby Telchar » Wed Apr 04, 2012 5:03 am UTC

Vaniver wrote:
Telchar wrote:I'll also refute the claim that psychologists are terrible at statistics. You can point to faked data, but that's being terrible at life/science, not statistics.
Does the name Daryl Bem ring a bell?


For being so fond of statistics, your use of a sample size of 1 to generalize to a profession of ~93k is rather ironic.
Zamfir wrote:Yeah, that's a good point. Everyone is all about presumption of innocence in rape threads. But when Mexican drug lords build APCs to carry their henchmen around, we immediately jump to criminal conclusions without hard evidence.

User avatar
Djehutynakht
Posts: 1546
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 1:37 am UTC

Re: Doctors Cure Racism! (Well...)

Postby Djehutynakht » Wed Apr 04, 2012 5:09 am UTC

I do remember a quote from this doctor saying to not persue this, with the statement that medicine with social aims generally has a dark history and dangerous results.

User avatar
Vaniver
Posts: 9422
Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2006 2:12 am UTC

Re: Doctors Cure Racism! (Well...)

Postby Vaniver » Wed Apr 04, 2012 6:49 am UTC

Telchar wrote:For being so fond of statistics, your use of a sample size of 1 to generalize to a profession of ~93k is rather ironic.
I figured that it was the best way to communicate with you; after all, you felt comfortable generalizing from a sample size of 0. I had already provided evidence and more evidence is out there for anyone willing to look, and so responding with any evidence at all to your contentless refutation should suggest the strength of my position, not its weakness.

If you have any statistics on the statistics knowledge of psychologists, I'd love to hear it. If you've got compelling reasons to believe the file drawer effect doesn't actually exist, I'd love to hear it.

The point of the Bem debacle is not Bem. There are many people who try to publish crazy things, and so while he should be ejected from Cornell and his dissertation torn to pieces, he is just one man. The reason it is a full debacle is because the journal editors of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology somehow decided the paper was worth publishing, despite its defects, and then declined to publish replications of the experiment, citing a policy against publishing replications.
I mostly post over at LessWrong now.

Avatar from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, owned by Hasbro.

User avatar
Angua
Don't call her Delphine.
Posts: 5825
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:42 pm UTC
Location: UK/[St. Kitts and] Nevis Occasionally, I migrate to the US for a bit

Re: Doctors Cure Racism! (Well...)

Postby Angua » Wed Apr 04, 2012 6:53 am UTC

Maybe not for 'treating racism' but work like this could have interesting implications into how racism arises from a neurological standpoint, which could be interesting.
Crabtree's bludgeon: “no set of mutually inconsistent observations can exist for which some human intellect cannot conceive a coherent explanation, however complicated”
GNU Terry Pratchett

User avatar
EMTP
Posts: 1556
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2009 7:39 pm UTC
Location: Elbow deep in (mostly) other people's blood.

Re: Doctors Cure Racism! (Well...)

Postby EMTP » Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:08 am UTC

Proginoskes wrote: A study was done of 1000 people. Their heads were removed, and NONE of them wanted to shoot a person of the opposite race afterwards. Conclusion: Decapitation cures racism.


The point of the study is not to invent a drug therapy for racism. The point is to hopefully learn something about how racism works as a psychological process. You press some buttons (such as blocking some beta receptors), and you study what happens. The end product is that we understand human psychology a little better.
"Reasonable – that is, human – men will always be capable of compromise, but men who have dehumanized themselves by becoming the blind worshipers of an idea or an ideal are fanatics whose devotion to abstractions makes them the enemies of life."
-- Alan Watts, "The Way of Zen"


Return to “News & Articles”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 17 guests