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Study: Racial prejudice related to where you live and learn

The city where you live could be making you, your family and your friends more unconsciously racist, or by contrast, it could make you less racist.

Study findings from New Mexico's Santa Fe Institute show how population, diversity and segregation combine to form a person's unconscious racial bias.

Andrew Stier, a psychologist, postdoctoral fellow at the Santa Fe Institute and lead author of the study, examined why it is true in some cities more than others. He said the research showed those who rub elbows with many different kinds of people revealed less prejudice.

"You learn to do that because you interact with people that are different from you, and you learn something that is not a stereotype of about them, and you think of that person as a person," Stier explained.

Stier pointed out diverse interactions force people to adapt to new situations and learning. The study is based on data from the popular online "Implicit Association Test," which asks volunteer participants to categorize their response when given a pairing of white or Black faces with positive or negative words. A faster association of white equals "good" or black equals "bad" can show inherent racial bias.


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