Friday, March 09, 2012

A Pill that could Prevent Racism? reports that British researchers have found that a common heart disease drug lowers more than blood pressure,  it apparently lowers racist attitudes as well! O_O

My question is how was this confirmed? Did they test the pills on a bunch of racists? How do they come up with these odd conclusions? The whole report is below.

Researchers at Oxford University say that volunteers who took small doses of the beta blocker propranolol scored lower on tests used to detect "subconscious" racism than volunteers who took a dummy pill, London's The Telegraph reported.
Propranolol is used to reduce blood pressure, and can also manage panic and anxiety disorders.

In the study, a group of 18 white students were given 20 mg doses of the drug before taking a test to gauge prejudice attitudes, while another group was given a placebo.
In one part of the test, volunteers were asked to sort pictures of black and white faces into categories along with positive and negative words, such as "happy" and "sad."
In another segment, the test-takers were asked to report how "warm" they felt toward certain groups, including black people and Muslims.

Results showed the group that took propranolol showed lower "implicit" racist feelings, meaning they appeared less racist on a subconscious level.
For example, during the sorting section, results showed that the drug-takers were quicker to associate the pictures of black faces with positive words, the results showed.

Scientists said they believed the drug lowered feelings of bias because it works on parts of the brain and nervous system that regulate fear and emotional responses, the Telegraph reported "Such research raises the tantalizing possibility that our unconscious racial attitudes could be modulated using drugs, a possibility that requires careful ethical analysis," the study's co-author Professor Julian Savulescu said.

But Dr. Chris Chambers, of the University of Cardiff's School of Psychology, told the Telegraph the results should be viewed with "extreme caution."
"We don't know whether the drug influenced racial attitudes only or whether it altered implicit brain systems more generally," he said.
"So although interesting, in my view these preliminary results are a long way from suggesting that propranolol specifically influences racial attitudes."

Post your comments below

No comments:

Post a Comment

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the comment writers alone - They do not reflect or represent the views of Versatile Scoop!