To Reduce Prejudice, Try Sharing Passions And Cultures

NPR:

People can become less prejudiced, but it’s not entirely clear how we make the journey from hatred to acceptance.

Something as simple as a shared passion for The Catcher in the Rye can help, researchers say. So does getting an inside look at the other person’s culture, even if only for a few minutes.

Researchers at Stanford University set up an experiment where a Caucasian or Asian student met a Latina student. Unbeknownst to the Caucasians and Asians, the Latina student was part of the research team. She had been given detailed information about the other student’s interests gathered weeks before. And the info was quite specific about that person’s passions, like a rare documentary or a particular song, not just general things like, “Oh, I like Harry Potter.”

Simple enough. But what the researchers really wanted to find out is if learning about a person’s culture and actively participating in it would affect ethnic prejudice . “Culture tends to be so rich,” says Tiffany Brannon, a postdoctoral student in psychology at Stanford who led the study. “It’s a source of meaning, self-motivation and pride.”

Read the whole story: NPR

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