Financial hardship can make people more racist

economic-downturn

 

NEW YORK – People perceive race differently during an economic downturn, a recent study suggests, and become subconsciously more prejudiced against dark-skinned people when times are tight.

Researchers at New York University discovered that people with lighter skin were more likely to perceive Afrocentric features as more pronounced or “darker” during an economic downturn.

That kind of perception is likely to increase discrimination against people of color, the researchers found.

“Our research reveals that perceived scarcity influences people’s visual representations of race in a way that may promote discrimination,” the authors note, in an upcoming issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America journal.

 

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