White face, black face: TV and “ingrained heuristics”

What we see is what we expect to see. This on page 35 of a long and interesting article entitled “Assassinate the Nigger Ape[]” : Obama, Implicit Imagery, and the Dire Consequences of Racist Jokes by Gregory Parks and Danielle Heard. (Downloadable as a pdf)

Franklin Gilliam and Shanto Iyengar investigated how local news crime scripts might create ingrained heuristics for understanding crime and race. They created variations of a local newscast, and among them was one in which there was a crime story with a Black suspect mugshot, and another crime story with a White-suspect mugshot. Both suspects were represented by the same morphed photograph; the only difference was skin hue in order to control for facial expression and features. The suspect appeared for only five seconds in a ten-minute newscast. Nonetheless, having seen the Black suspect, Whites showed six percent more support for punitive remedies than did the control group, which saw no crime story. When they were instead exposed to the White suspect, their support for punitive remedies increased by only one percent, which was not statistically significant.

The citation is to Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr. & Shanto Iyengar, Prime Suspects: The Influence of Local Television News on the Viewing Public, 44 Am. J. POL. SCI. 560, 563–68 (2000)

Other Dwight Towers posts
Of colonised minds, wise words and the IAT
The Primed Directive

About dwighttowers

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