Life as an Extreme Sport

Does our racial identity affect who we see?

According to a study published in the May issue of Psychological Science, “a person’s racial identity influences who he or she sees.” They reached this conclusion by seeing how fast black, white, and biracial participants performed in a visual search task, finding black folk in crowds. They asked the biracial participants to write about one of their parents before performing this search function, and concluded that “visual perception is malleable to top-down influences, such as orientation provided by one’s racial group membership.”

Now, I’ve only read the EurekaAlert brief, but it seems to me that another really big conclusion you could draw from this is that people tend to find that which they were thinking about before doing a search function like this, and their lineage had bunk all to do with the results.

Sometimes scientists irritate me.