Arianne E. Eason, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, UC Berkeley
Title: Perpetuating a cycle of bias in the cultural fabric: The case of racial segregation and intergroup cognition
Abstract: In the U.S. today, racial segregation remains rampant in neighborhoods, schools, and even the workplace. Given the persistent inequity in terms of both race and social class in the U.S., my research utilizes perspectives from developmental, social, and cultural psychology to examine how features of our social and cultural contexts (e.g., racially segregated neighborhoods and classrooms) influence individuals’ thoughts and feelings about intergroup relations, and how these psychological outcomes in turn reify existing inequities. In this talk, I will lay out a framework by which the presence of racial segregation shapes perceptions of others’ racial attitudes throughout development, which ultimately serves as justification for the continued existence and perpetuation of racial segregation. By bringing to light these processes, we can better understand why change is more difficult and slower than expected and speaks to the importance of considering how biased perceptions can emerge from the very structure of society.