Racial Bias From The Console

1273 WordsSep 7, 20146 Pages
PSYC 114/SUMMER 2014 Racial Bias from the Console Kathy Vo A10694259 Introduction Researchers regularly research the media’s influence on race perception, but rarely examine one specific form: video games. Unlike formats such as television and newspapers, video games provide an interactive platform for users to live in an alternative world and perform acts considered socially wrong in real societies (Burgess et al). This form of virtual simulation can reinforce how one perceives stereotypes at higher rates. Not only do the majority of these games feature white protagonists, but also task them to defeat ethnically-ambiguous enemies. Currently, the most popular genre is shooter games set in the Middle East, where the…show more content…
Racial bias may also influence who we choose to bond with. Another study suggest we show empathy bias to in-group members when viewing clips of people being poked with a big needle, indicated through activation of the anterior cingulate cortex (Xu et al). Previous studies examining the relationship between video games and race perception mainly measured racial bias through Implicit Association Tests (Bosman). Not only can these tests be subjective, but participants may fix their answers in attempts to deny their identity as racist. For my research, I aim to link neuronal activity of implicit racism into manifested behavior. I hypothesize that playing video games with negative racial stereotypes will produce stronger implicit thoughts and explicit behavior of racism than other media formats. Method Participants for this study will be recruited from college students looking for extra credit. We will specifically request for participants with minimal to no video game experience for a more accurate reading on the effects of video games on race perception. The subjects will be informed that the experiment will research attention and memory. For this study, we will focus on racial bias against Middle Easterns, a group often linked to terrorism due to recent military activities. Using fMRI, the first task will measure initial activation of the amygdala (fear) and anterior cingulate cortex (empathy). All
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