Emotions just got even more complicated 

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  • Image by HalloweenHJB via Wikimedia Commons

How you think you feel and how you actually feel about race are two very different things according to a study released by the School of Science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI).

In a statement released on Oct. 7 the department said:

The work, by Leslie Ashburn-Nardo, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology in the School of Science at IUPUI, looked at both consciously controllable sentiments and gut feelings about social stigma and found a significant difference in both groups between what people say they feel and their less controllable “gut feelings.” [...]

“This study provides a greater understanding of how stigma affects people in ways in which they are unwilling or unable to report explicitly. For over half a century social psychologists have asked members of stigmatized groups how they feel about themselves and about the group to which they belong. But they have only been learning part of the story — the perceptions individuals realize they have, not the ones they may have internalized over a long period of time. That is, people might suffer more from experiences with prejudice than they are able to report via questionnaires,” said Ashburn-Nardo.

One of the more interesting implications of the study is what it says regarding how we feel about race: Specifically, the study suggests that prejudice may be composed less of ignorance and more of ingrained responses that we may not even be aware we possess. Ashburn-Nardo hopes to eventually use this information to begin helping people overcome these social stigmas.

For more information visit www.science.iupui.edu.

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