|Therapy and the Soul with Tanchum Burton
||On therapy and spirituality: We need to be waited for, and not rushed into insights......
|Finding Your Emotional Sweet Spot
||The emotional sweet spot is the place between emotional awareness and attunement on the one hand and the adaptive regulation of feelings in accordance with long term goals on the other. This blog articulates key do's and don'ts for finding your emotional sweet spot.
|Top 5 Fitness Myths (And the Facts That CRUSH Them!)
||During my journey to get physically and mentally fit, I’ve run across several myths that held me up, and I’ve noticed I’m not the only one. More often than not, … ...
|Why Teachers Are More Likely to Punish Black Students
||This article is the second in a series exploring the effects that unconscious racial biases have on the criminal justice system in the United States. The first is “Can We Reduce Bias in Criminal Justice?”
Two students. One is black and the other is white. On Tuesday, they both refuse to complete math equations. On Wednesday, neither will stop talking during lessons.
Same behavior. Will they receive the same punishment?
A new Stanford University study predicts that the black student will be punished more harshly. Why? Not because of vicious, overt racism; most teachers want classrooms where everyone belongs. Rather, harsher discipline might be the result of unconscious partiality to the white student, a phenomenon called “implicit bias” by psychologists.
The significance of the finding isn’t confined to classroom walls. When students are suspended or expelled, it becomes much less likely that they will graduate or go to college, and much more likely they’ll get arrested, go to jail, or even die in the hands of police. Many studies suggest that implicit bias, not white supremacist intentions on the part of individuals, plays a role at nearly every stage.
While the lifelong impact of school disciplinary policies can affect all students, black ones are three and a half times more likely to be suspended or expelled than their white counterparts, according to a 2012 report from the Department of Education. A study published in the January American Sociological Review found that the damage of high suspension rates goes beyond those pushed out of school, generating “collateral damage, negatively affecting the academic achievement of non-suspended students.”
While these big-picture disparities are well documented, the Stanford study is the first to experimentally suggest that unconscious bias might play a role in classroom discipline, an accumulation of individual decisions that sweep thousands of students out of school and into jail over the course of their lives.
“What we have shown here is that racial disparities in discipline can occur even when black and white students behave in the same manner,” write Jason A. Okonofua and Jennifer L. Eberhardt in their paper, published in April by the journal Psychological Science. (Eberhardt won a 2014 MacArthur “Genius” fellowship for her work on implicit bias.)
It’s a pattern that might provide insight to interpersonal bias in criminal justice. “Just as escalating responses to multiple infractions committed by Black students might feed racial disparities in disciplinary practices in K–12 schooling, so too might escalating responses to multiple infractions committed by black suspects feed racial disparities in the criminal-justice system,” they write.
In the first experiment, researchers screened teachers for explicit racial bias, among other factors. They then showed a racially diverse group of 57 female teachers a picture of a middle school and asked them to imagine themselves working there. The teachers then viewed a school record—based on an actual one—of a student who misbehaved twice.
Then came the experimental trick: The students were identified with either stereotypically black names (Darnell or Deshawn) or white ones (Greg or Jake). After reviewing each infraction, the researchers asked:
How severe was the student’s misbehavior?
To what extent is the student hindering you from maintaining order in your class?
How irritated do you feel by the student?
How severely should the student be disciplined?
Would you call the student a troublemaker?
From the first infraction to the second, teachers were much more likely to increase punishment for Darnell than Greg, even though only the names had been changed. A second experiment cemented this finding. Researchers recruited 204 more teachers—predominately white and female, but including men and people of other races—to go through the same exercise. But this time, researchers also asked them to rate the extent to which they thought the student’s misbehaviors suggested a pattern and whether they could imagine suspending the student in the future.
Again, with this larger sample, racial bias emerged. Students with black-sounding names were significantly more likely to be labeled troublemakers and to be more harshly punished. But, as a group, the teachers were also more likely to see the behavior as part of a pattern in the black student and to say they could imagine suspending the student.
There was one more result that some might consider surprising: The two samples were racially diverse—and yet the researchers did not find significant differences among their responses. Black teachers could punish black students just as disproportionately as whites ones.
“I think that it attests to the pervasiveness of stereotype effects,” said lead author Jason Okonofua, a Ph.D. student at Stanford, in an email. “Research has demonstrated that exposure to media influences the stereotypical associations we all make in our daily lives. Thus, all teachers, regardless of race, are more likely to think a black child, as compared to a white child, is a troublemaker.”
In other words, in a society pervaded by racial stereotypes, hiring black teachers might not necessarily reduce the number of suspensions and expulsions of black children, or the labeling of them as troublemakers. Even rooting out obviously racist teachers of other races is not enough.
“I think this point is also driven home with our measure of explicit racial bias,” added Okonofua. “Explicit bias did not predict our findings, and our effects persisted while controlling for it.”
Where does that leave us? Fortunately, researchers have been testing inventions for decades, and they’re discovering what practices and forces can limit implicit bias.
Just being aware of the existence of implicit bias is helpful, says a large body of research, and conscious intentions and goals do matter—over time, they can help override unconscious associations. Many districts are also reducing suspensions and expulsions through restorative justice programs that focus on making amends or repairing relationships damaged by misbehavior, instead of excluding kids from the school community.
Okonofua is working with other Stanford researchers at five middle schools to help teachers think of their students’ behavior as people who can grow, as opposed to being made up of fixed characteristics or labels like troublemaker. To date, he says their project has cut in half the likelihood of students at those schools being suspended.
Of course, teachers must also see themselves as capable of growth, as opposed to seeing themselves as either racist or not. Just as students’ achievement can be damaged by negative labels, so too can teachers’. If you see yourself as capable of changing, then you might be better able to spot and cultivate that ability in other people.
|Government scrubs substance-abuse data but doesn’t tell researchers...
||What if the government decided to withhold the data it gathers on an insidious mental illness that affects nearly one in ten Americans and did not bother to tell researchers it had … ...
|Why People Conform: Maybe It’s Not Social Pressure After All
People move in herds -- but simpler forces are at work than social pressure.
» Continue reading: Why People Conform: Maybe It’s Not Social Pressure After All
» Read HealthiestBlog.com, the new site from PsyBlog's author
Related articles:Social Conformity Effect Lasts Three Days
How People Use Social Media to Manage Their Emotions
Can This Simple Trick Stop Athletes Choking Under Pressure?
Depressed People Take Social Rejection Harder, Here’s Why
Rethinking The Stress Mindset: Can You Find The Upside of Pressure?
|The Bananas of Slip, Lapse and Re-Lapse Prevention
||The essay below is adapted from Recovery Equation (Somov, Somova 2003-4) and is written up with a prospective client in mind. You can also find a detailed application of this … ...
|Rapid-cycling Bipolar Disorder
||When I was diagnosed as having bipolar disorder, I was termed “rapid-cycling.” Now, you must remember, at that time I really had no idea about the illness – depression=YES, bipolar … ...
|Does the Subway Spread Crime?
||Most people probably don’t give much thought to the subway. You ride it every day to get into and back from work, and to move around the city to visit friends, grab a drink, or go shopping. Subways are clean, affordable transportation used by millions … ...
|What Is The Fastest Way To Get Calm And Centered?
||Trying to figure out what is wrong For decades, whenever I would find myself in stressful family situations, I would try to figure out exactly why certain people pushed my … ...
|When a Parent Is Incarcerated
||A two-step process developed by Dr. Glen Palm may help children cope with their parents' incarceration.
|Menstrual cycle does not influence women’s political values: study
||Newly published research casts doubts on the link between women’s menstrual cycle and their political views, suggesting the association is “weaker or less reliable than previously thought.” Widely-reported research published 2013 in Psychological Science found that women’s menstrual cycle influenced their religious and political orientation differently depending on their relationship status. The two-part study by [...]
The post Menstrual cycle does not influence women’s political values: study appeared first on PsyPost.
|Psychopaths are better at appearing genuine when they pretend to be fearful or remorseful
||“The surface of the psychopath… shows up as equal to or better than normal and gives no hint at all of a disorder within. Nothing about him suggests oddness, inadequacy, or moral frailty,” psychiatrist Hervey M. Cleckley wrote in his 1941 seminal work, The Mask of Sanity. Psychopathy is a personality disorder characterized by impulsivity, [...]
The post Psychopaths are better at appearing genuine when they pretend to be fearful or remorseful appeared first on PsyPost.
|WATCH: Reducing prejudice through brain stimulation
||People show less prejudice after receiving low intensity electrical stimulation administered to the frontal part of the brain
The post WATCH: Reducing prejudice through brain stimulation appeared first on PsyPost.
|Study finds foreclosures fueled racial segregation in US
||Some 9 million American families lost their homes to foreclosure during the late 2000s housing bust, driving many to economic ruin and in search of new residences. Hardest hit were black, Latino, and racially integrated neighborhoods, according to a new Cornell University analysis of the crisis. Led by demographer Matthew Hall, researchers estimate racial segregation [...]
The post Study finds foreclosures fueled racial segregation in US appeared first on PsyPost.
|Eating Disorder Recovery: What an Imperfect Health Care System...
||Eight years in I knew I needed help for my eating disorder, but I was still trying to convince myself I’d get better on my own. I’d like to say I chose to go to the hospital because I had faith in recovery and made … ...
|Note to Self, Note to All
||What a privilege it is to be alive, to be a part of this humbling and inspiring agony-ecstasy rhythm of existence!...
|Is it human nature to want high standing in one’s social circle, profession, or society in general?
||Not everyone may care about having an impressive job title or a big, fancy house but all human beings desire a high level of social status, according to a newly published study. For decades, researchers have argued both sides of the question: is it human nature to want high standing in one’s social circle, profession, [...]
The post Is it human nature to want high standing in one’s social circle, profession, or society in general? appeared first on PsyPost.
|Viewing violent news on social media can cause trauma
||Viewing violent news events via social media can cause people to experience symptoms similar to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This is one of the findings by Dr Pam Ramsden from the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Bradford that will be presented today, Thursday 7 May 2015, at the Annual Conference of the British Psychology [...]
The post Viewing violent news on social media can cause trauma appeared first on PsyPost.
|5 Things You Should Never Say When Someone’s Dog...
||Recently, my friend Stewart lost his pet dog named Charlie after a long battle with cancer. My buddy adopted his fur-baby from the humane society around 10-years ago and the … ...