UW 'surprised' to find most students not racist


The University of Wisconsin-Madison conducted a multi-year study to see whether its own students treated others differently based on their identities…

To test students’ habits around inclusivity, Brauer and his team hired actors over the course of several years to represent students from marginalized backgrounds — Black, Asian American, and Muslim, as well as a male who wore a “gay pride” shirt — to participate in behaviors that could elicit discrimination from other students.

The study found that only 20 percent of students engage in “subtle or explicit forms of discrimination.”

All this despite the researchers’ having tried hard to elicit racist behavior:

“We were surprised by these results,” explained Brauer. “We tried out one situation, then another one, and so forth. But study after study came back with the same result: Most students did not treat our white actor more positively than the Black, Asian, or Muslim actors.”

Neither this article nor the abstract linked clarified how many of the 20% who exhibited “‘subtle or explicit forms of discrimination’" exhibited one or the other :angry: (And it would have been interesting to find out how the other students reacted to these forms of discrimination!)

However, the study did not cover ““microaggressions,’ or reactions to ‘norm transgressions.’” (not that I know what the latter of those means…) --So the students may still be engaging in racist behavior on a wide level even tho the researchers could not catch them at it or didn’t look for it. ( :roll_eyes: )

I thought it would be good to post some [possibly :wink: ] good news!

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