We still don’t know definitively what made a Ferguson, Missouri, police officer shoot and kill an unarmed black teen in broad daylight this past weekend. What we do know is that minorities in the United States—particularly black men—are over-represented in their interactions with the criminal justice system: African Americans make up less than 14 percent of the nation’s population, but 40 percent of the prison population.
Yet highlighting these disparities may actually hurt blacks more than help them, according to a study published last week in Psychological Science. The Stanford University researchers, Rebecca Hetey and Jennifer Eberhardt, conducted two experiments that showed how making white people aware of the high numbers of blacks in prison actually made them more likely to pursue harsher punishments. Here is a rundown of their experiments:
Read the whole story: Mother Jones