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Darnocius

Looking at Racism from a Cognitive Psychology Perspective

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The psychology of racism is very simple.

We make mental shortcuts in our brains called heuristics.

These heuristics allow us to process information faster.

As an example, we have a cognitive space called “bird” and we associate that with certain attributes like flying, nests, etc. but then you get “penguin” which causes discomfort because it doesn’t quite fit into your bird space. This discomfort is reconciled by either expanding your definition of bird or you conclude that a penguin is not a bird.

Racial categories are the same way though a lot more complex because one of the first associations you make with ANY race that is not your own is “does not look like me”. 

This is a harmless association but then we get into more questionable associations

black gets associated with various forms of dance, rapping, gospel music, etc. These benign associations form a relatively harmless but still nevertheless technically a stereotype.

When black becomes associated with negative things like theft, violence, etc. you get racism.

Racism is a misfiring of heuristics in the cognitive mental mapping of the brain.

The only way to truly get rid of racism is to be rid of racial bias but the problem is racial bias is part of a much needed part of our brain to categorize and differentiate concepts.

We would literally need to disable higher brain functions in people to get rid of racism entirely.

The best we can do is just educate and give people positive experiences to look back upon when making these associations.

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22 minutes ago, Darnocius said:

When black becomes associated with negative things like theft, violence, etc. you get racism.

But is it racist to say that "X percent of the convicts for violence crimes are blacks"?

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Just now, Armchair General said:

But is it racist to say that "X percent of the convicts for violence crimes are blacks"?

Statistics are statistics and while I will admit that statistics are a bit generous on crime rates of black people they are also pretty generous in putting them in the poorer demographics of people as well. Black people engaging in criminal behaviors is thus explainable by the desperation of being in an impoverished situation whereas it WOULD be racist to say the crime was motivated by purely the fact he was black. 

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3 minutes ago, Darnocius said:

Black people engaging in criminal behaviors is thus explainable by the desperation of being in an impoverished situation whereas it WOULD be racist to say the crime was motivated by purely the fact he was black.

What if you include the arrests that comes from a wave of gang warfare? It's common knowledge that the Bloods and the Crips hate each other, and that the other minorities really hate competition in the black market, which is supposed to be lucrative in America

Edited by Armchair General

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11 minutes ago, Armchair General said:

What if you include the arrests that comes from a wave of gang warfare? It's common knowledge that the Bloods and the Crips hate each other, and that the other minorities really hate competition in the black market, which is supposed to be lucrative in America

Gang activity is a reality as well. Clearly, it’s a complex issue.

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I won't argue that what you're saying regarding about making mental shortcuts is wrong, as it definitely plays a role in maintaining racism. But I do find your conclusion to be problematic on how it short-sells how racist ideology has persisted for centauries here in the United States. For some example:

  1. There are the people who has double down hard into group bias (a.k.a, in-group favoritism), maybe it's because it makes the world simpler for them or it allows them to be part of a larger group.
  2. The person really believes what people claim the American values are, such as, everyone is free here and people succeed because of their own merits. This allows them to say, the world I value and is doing well in isn't wrong. It's just those poor people being lazy and failing due to their own flaws. The system works and they are just trying to make racism a scapegoat (and the person never really considers it being true or that big of a deal moving forward because it doesn't affect them personally, even if someone attempts to educate them about it)
  3. There are people (both in the past & present) who 'actively' encourage racism because it benefit them, maybe for monetarily reasons or political power. Whether of not they themselves know they are being racist is irrelevant because they benefit from stroking the flames of those who are (or in attempt to convert more into having racist ideology).
  4. Systemic racism is heavily needed to be addressed as well. You can say, people just needs to stop associating 'blackness' with negative connation or get more education, but it doesn't really change the fact that a lot of them were placed in disadvantage situations because of laws & regulations years ago that has long-term effects.
    1. For example: when schools in black neighborhoods are often lacking in fund due to the fact that the neighborhood's property value is often low, which were heavily caused because regulations/laws like Red-Lining that intentionally designation black neighborhood to be in a poor state, which in turn meant generations of kids grew up in bad neighborhoods that also had bad educations. So, just concluding with, we need to educate people does little to help at this front.
1 hour ago, Armchair General said:

But is it racist to say that "X percent of the convicts for violence crimes are blacks"?

Not in it by itself, inherently. What is important is intent and how it is used. Also, due to the fact that lines like these are often used by racist as a defense to defend racist acts towards minority groups, it also has a bad sigma attached to it, since the person saying this often doesn't care about diving deeper into the statistic.

It's like saying, Asian are just smarter on average than other race due to higher test scores. Statistically, it might be true, but realistically, there are many factors that causes that result that doesn't automatically mean Asian are inherently smarter than other races, one of them being filter that prevented poorer & less educated Asian people to migrate to USA in the first place.

1 hour ago, Darnocius said:

Gang activity is a reality as well. Clearly, it’s a complex issue.

What should be acknowledged that racism remains a large issue that has deep roots within the United States' history, with those of majority power within the US had a major role in creating & maintaining. 

Edited by Clear World

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Normally, I try to keep the more serious modding decisions out of the public eye, but I didn't think you'd post literal trash in here.  The only reason why this topic is around is because I want the refutation to be public.  It's also locked because I don't need any other hot takes.

8 hours ago, Darnocius said:

The psychology of racism is very simple.

Psychology is simple to those that don't think things through.  Or people who are trying to peddle snake oil.

9 hours ago, Darnocius said:

We make mental shortcuts in our brains called heuristics.

These heuristics allow us to process information faster.

They are not an excuse to not think things through.

9 hours ago, Darnocius said:

As an example, we have a cognitive space called “bird” and we associate that with certain attributes like flying, nests, etc. but then you get “penguin” which causes discomfort because it doesn’t quite fit into your bird space. This discomfort is reconciled by either expanding your definition of bird or you conclude that a penguin is not a bird.

This is a sign that you're relying way too much on labels.  I, for one, like looking at those things that don't quite fit, because it means that I learn new things.

9 hours ago, Darnocius said:

Racial categories are the same way though a lot more complex because one of the first associations you make with ANY race that is not your own is “does not look like me”. 

This is a harmless association but then we get into more questionable associations

A computer doesn't look like me, but my first thought sure wasn't fear.  Neither did people whose hair wasn't the same color as me.  Though my mom yelled at me when I asked her whether or not a woman with a large stomach was pregnant.  Loudly.  In a store.  Which reminds me, if any of this is resonating with you, then congratulations, you need to examine why you're afraid of so many things.  Some people approach new things with curiosity instead of fear.

9 hours ago, Darnocius said:

black gets associated with various forms of dance, rapping, gospel music, etc. These benign associations form a relatively harmless but still nevertheless technically a stereotype.

Do the world a huge favor and never say stuff like this in public again.  Black people are people first, and not being able to see past that is a personal flaw.

9 hours ago, Darnocius said:

When black becomes associated with negative things like theft, violence, etc. you get racism.

News flash: Every single race under the sun has negative things associated with them.  Negative stereotypes exist, but it's up to us to decide whether or not we're going to see a person as a person or those stereotypes.

9 hours ago, Darnocius said:

Racism is a misfiring of heuristics in the cognitive mental mapping of the brain.

Racism isn't a mental illness, either.  It's a choice.

9 hours ago, Darnocius said:

The only way to truly get rid of racism is to be rid of racial bias but the problem is racial bias is part of a much needed part of our brain to categorize and differentiate concepts.

We would literally need to disable higher brain functions in people to get rid of racism entirely.

The best we can do is just educate and give people positive experiences to look back upon when making these associations.

And because it's a choice, the rest of this is bullshit.  Yes, you are capable of not being racist.  You are capable of taking responsibility for your actions and choices.  But when you choose to attempt to justify your shitty decisions with this, then you chose poorly.  Choices such as these have consequences, like getting kicked off the forum for being racist and not being smart enough to shut up about it.  Thanks to the way the political environment has shifted, any benefit of the doubt I would've had has evaporated.  Blame the people who parrot this nonsense, including yourself.  Clearly some of this had to resonate with you in order for you to make a post about it.

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