Knowledge of history may change views of racism

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tags: psychology, racism, LiveScience, discoveries

Ignorance about the extent of racism in history might explain why some people perceive less racism today than others, researchers say.

To examine possible reasons why different groups see the reality of racism differently, the researchers recruited college students — 199 of European descent and 74 of African descent — to complete a true or false black history test. Some statements in the test covered well-documented, factual incidents, while other items discussed made-up but plausible events. The student participants also completed assessments their self-esteem regarding their racial identity as well as surveys to measure their view of systemic racism and isolated incidents of racism.

Historical knowledge predicted racism perception for both African Americans and European Americans, the researchers found, and overall, the African-American students were better at identifying historically true events. African-American students who reported greater relevance of racial identity also perceived more racism, while European-American students who placed greater importance on their racial identity saw less racism, especially on a systemic level, the researchers said....

Read entire article at LiveScience

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