One group was shown a series of disgusting images (e.g., people vomiting, dirty toilets) and the other group was shown a series of pleasant images (e.g., scenery, city skylines).
This was done to induce some participants to experience disgust – which was expected to make them more likely to dehumanize people.
So we wondered whether the disgust people experience in response to interracial couples might lead them to dehumanize them.
To test this, we recruited another predominately white sample of college students and divided them into two groups.
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To get around this problem, we conducted a second study in which we measured participants’ brain activity – not their own reports.
Using an electroencephalogram (EEG), which measures electrical activity in the brain, we recorded the brain waves of a predominately white sample of college students while they viewed 100 images of black-white interracial couples and an equal number of same-race couples (black and white).
Or are they indicative of a persistent, underlying bias against interracial couples – something not captured by self-reported polls?
To test this, my colleague Caitlin Hudac and I designed a series of studies to examine how people really feel about interracial relationships.