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Prejudice Is Hard-wired Into The Human Brain

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posted on May, 26 2005 @ 08:00 AM
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That's according to a recent Arizona State University study. We all have it and it's part of a common sense reaction to perceived threats that has been hard wired into our brains since evolution began.

Excerpt:

"By nature, people are group-living animals -- a strategy that enhances individual survival and leads to what we might call a 'tribal psychology'," says Steven Neuberg, ASU professor of social psychology, who authored the study with doctoral student Catherine Cottrell. "It was adaptive for our ancestors to be attuned to those outside the group who posed threats such as to physical security, health or economic resources, and to respond to these different kinds of threats in ways tailored to have a good chance of reducing them."

Unfortunately, says Neuberg, because evolved psychological tendencies are imperfectly attuned to the existence of dangers, people may react negatively to groups and their members even when they actually pose no realistic threat.

Article in Science Daily magazine

Of course people should try to overcome this natural tendency towards prejudice. At the same time, it helps to understand that everyone has it and why they have it.




posted on May, 26 2005 @ 08:17 AM
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Originally posted by centurion1211
That's according to a recent Arizona State University study. We all have it and it's part of a common sense reaction to perceived threats that has been hard wired into our brains since evolution began.

Excerpt:

"By nature, people are group-living animals -- a strategy that enhances individual survival and leads to what we might call a 'tribal psychology'," says Steven Neuberg, ASU professor of social psychology, who authored the study with doctoral student Catherine Cottrell. "It was adaptive for our ancestors to be attuned to those outside the group who posed threats such as to physical security, health or economic resources, and to respond to these different kinds of threats in ways tailored to have a good chance of reducing them."

Unfortunately, says Neuberg, because evolved psychological tendencies are imperfectly attuned to the existence of dangers, people may react negatively to groups and their members even when they actually pose no realistic threat.

Article in Science Daily magazine

Of course people should try to overcome this natural tendency towards prejudice. At the same time, it helps to understand that everyone has it and why they have it.


That entire study is ripped apart by an even bigger study! Go into any class full of 1-5 year olds, and none of them show any prejudice. Proof it's learned. Learned from enviorment, media, TV, movies, parents, and other adults.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

There's something like 3 Billion humans on the planet.



Neuberg and Cottrell had 235 European American students at ASU think about nine different groups: activist feminists, African Americans, Asian Americans, European Americans, fundamentalist Christians, gay men, Mexican Americans, Native Americans and nonfundamentalist Christians.


Oh yeah, 235 students is representative of 3 billion people.
That study isn't scientific. It's bunk. First they polled students who're already grown up LOL! And why poll Just European-American Students? To be really scientific, they need to poll 235 Nubian-American students, 235 Asian-American students, 235 Mexican-American students, 235 males, 235 females, 235 fat people, 235 blondes, 235 elderly people, 235 people who grew up during the WW2 generation, 235 Alaskian Eskimos, on and on!

The REAL reason for them and the media releasing this "study" is 2 things:
1. See what the public reaction will be. (Then based on this, decide how to further pull the media strings, world events, on and on to further manipulate the public.)

2. To on purpose give already grown up people another excuse, crutch, for whatever prejudices they have.

[edit on 26-5-2005 by OpenSecret2012]



posted on May, 26 2005 @ 08:21 AM
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Originally posted by centurion1211

Of course people should try to overcome this natural tendency towards prejudice.
At the same time, it helps to understand that everyone has it and why they have it.


a 'cousin' of those bias & prejudice & exclusion traits
are those psychopathic tendencies in a large # of people
see: Psychopaths are born bad, say scientists

oh well,
the God Part of the Brain will contend with the Primal/Reptilian Part of the Brain...i guess thats' the eternal struggle stripped down to the basics, eh?



posted on May, 26 2005 @ 08:28 AM
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I believe that prejudice is a learned trait and thus is environmental in nature and not a physiolgical trait.
As the previous poster stated if you take a group of children of various races and sexes and place them into a group together. They will normally get along with each other, work with each other and play with each other.
It is when external forces such as parenal prejudice steps in to the equation does this balance change. Once the external component is introduce, the prejudice becomes a factor in the childrens behaviour.

This also has been aptly demonstrated also with animals. Animals thathave been thought of as beeing natural enemies, (cats and dogs) will behave well with each other .



posted on May, 26 2005 @ 08:28 AM
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That's one of the problems I have with evolutionary psychology. It's a biological explanation for everything, and many things that can be otherwise explains are attributed to adaptive mechanisms, etc. Worse is that many of the hypoptheses posited by evolutionary psychologists are not being empirically tested. I'm aware of other studies saying similar things as this though, and believe that in aiming for a purely biological conclusion, they're missing the target.

I think the excerpt you posted puts it wrongly, though.
I think it'd be more appropriate to say, if anything, we are predisposed to xenophobia and ethnocentrism, both of which have proven to help us in our survivals in our past. However, to say they are hardwired in our brains due to evolution, to say it's innate and part of our natures as humans, is a very strong stance, in my opinion, and I disagree with it.

"We are not slaves to an unyielding genetic leash...." - Waller



posted on May, 26 2005 @ 08:30 AM
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Originally posted by OpenSecret2012
2. To on purpose give already grown up people another excuse, crutch, for whatever prejudices they have.

[edit on 26-5-2005 by OpenSecret2012]


I don't think that's it.

These types of research and theories do nothing to justify existing social prejudices. They're trying to say what is, now how things should be, or providing justification.
Some may take it as doing that, though, but it's not.



posted on May, 26 2005 @ 11:11 AM
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I don't think that prejudice is naturally born into us at all. Predudice is caused by fear of the unknown. Not from long ago fears of other species that may be predators to us. Most of us have outgrown that sort of primative fear.

Only ignorance causes fear, and only fear causes prejudice. If all people would take the time to get to know those who are "different" from them, learn about their culture and beliefs, teach them yours, all of course with an open mind, prejudice would end up falling somewhere within the category of times when people believed that the world was flat, or that if an unexplained event happened that it had to have been a witch who did it, etc.....



posted on May, 26 2005 @ 11:30 AM
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Originally posted by OpenSecret2012
[edit on 26-5-2005 by OpenSecret2012]


OpenSecret, hey, when you calm down from being "hyper! hyper! hyper!", why don't you let us know how you really feel about this article?


You know, something beyond your apparent feeling that anything that doesn't agree with your beliefs is automatically wrong and needs to be crushed at the earliest opportunity. Jeez, did you even stop to breathe when you were typing your post?



[edit on 5/26/2005 by centurion1211]



posted on May, 26 2005 @ 01:20 PM
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I think prejudice is a complicated thought-construct. I think it is a way of dealing with fear.

I DO think humans have an innate fear of strangers. This fear probably helped stem the spread of contagious diseases.

It is interesting to think about classical civilizations in this regard.

The Egyptians and Romans were two cultures that seemed to have regarded race as irrelevant. Some archaeologists have suggested 4 basic classical Egyptian ethnic types, with none being the "original."

The Romans didn't care about race either. At least 4 Emperors were what Americans would call "black," and several others were could probably have passed as "mulatto/mixed race." You can see it on their imperial coins.

The Greeks and Hebrews were two ethnic groups who were extremely exclusionary. They wanted nothing to do with "foriegners," and viewed other 'ethnoi'/'goiim' as their natural enemies. There's that line in Heroditus' Histories, where Alexander says that other nations must be conqwered BECAUSE they are not Greeks.

Greeks and Hebrews saw their kings as ruling over people, rather than real estate: King of the Greeks, King of the Jews, whereas the Egyptians and Romans saw their leaders as controlling land primarily.

Interesting that Christianity was originally spread among to very exclusionist societies, but was embraced quickly among two very inclusive groups.

hmmm.



posted on May, 26 2005 @ 06:58 PM
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I agree.

Prejudice arises out of instinctual fear, one of the strongest and most primitive emotions.

It's not just biology.

Our brains rewire themselves constantly in forming memories and through learning. If they end up wired for prejudice by the "environment" it's because fear was used (or abused) in the learning process.
.


[edit on 5/26/2005 by Gools]



posted on May, 26 2005 @ 10:55 PM
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Of course it is hardwired into our brains. Look at the definitions of prejudice:

An adverse judgment or opinion formed beforehand or without knowledge or examination of the facts.
A preconceived preference or idea.
The act or state of holding unreasonable preconceived judgments or convictions. See Synonyms at predilection.
Irrational suspicion or hatred of a particular group, race, or religion.
Detriment or injury caused to a person by the preconceived, unfavorable conviction of another or others.

Prejudice is not only towards other people, that is just it is commonly used. Prejudice is having a bad opinion of a person, group, race, object, group of objects, etc. without any reason. I believe that without prejudice, humans would not be what we are, we would not be unique from each other. Disliking things for no reason is a core prospect of human nature.

Omniscient.

[edit on 26-5-2005 by Omniscient]



posted on May, 27 2005 @ 02:33 AM
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It makes sense for the human animal, especially in the uncivilized state, to be completely xenophobic. Strangers are dangerous, anyone 'different' is from some other group, and all other groups are competition.

Of course, getting over that xenophobic instinct is what allowed people to start to live in larger
groups, towns, cities, and civilizations.

Good find cent!



posted on May, 27 2005 @ 03:54 AM
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If it wasnt hard wired into our brains then how did we get here in the first place, religion etc could have been the product of this and not the other way around. Also the argument that 5 year olds get along with each other therefore they would when fully grown without outside inflence is nonsense. 5 year olds brains arent developed enough to have a sense of who is beneficial and who is not to survival, they also will not perceive threats etc the same.
These same people once developed would have a very different outlook and prejudice would definately occur for survival reasons, how else would they pick the best breeding partner if everybody was the same.



posted on May, 27 2005 @ 04:07 AM
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Centurion et al,

I have to say that this study is the biggest load of BS I have read in a long time.

Prejudice is a matter of conditioning.

It can only be driven by some experience be that direct or imparted.

Cheers

BHR



posted on May, 27 2005 @ 08:38 AM
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Originally posted by BillHicksRules
Centurion et al,

I have to say that this study is the biggest load of BS I have read in a long time.

Prejudice is a matter of conditioning.

It can only be driven by some experience be that direct or imparted.

Cheers

BHR


Bill, thanks for telling us all you you really feel about this issue.



posted on May, 27 2005 @ 08:56 AM
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Centurion,



Cheers

BHR



posted on May, 27 2005 @ 11:41 AM
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Prejudice Is Hard-wired Into The Human Brain

If this is a true statement, then either i do not have a human brain, or i have faulty wiring. Since i am human and both of these conditions are false, the origional statement is also false.



posted on May, 27 2005 @ 11:50 AM
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my .02 is that the biology of the matter is that our brains cannot compehend 6 billion individuals, so we lump people into categories for easy data storage and that sort of thing


The learned bahavior is what we associate with the categories; gender, age, social status, religious affiliation, ethnicity etc...


no one can ever convince me when they see an ugly fat old white male banker sitting on a park bench next to a pretty young asian female waitress they don't have any pre-conceptions, they just have a blank mind...doesn't work that way.....my .02. Please note, I'm not implying positive or negative association, just that one exists...you can't deny it !



posted on May, 27 2005 @ 12:05 PM
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Originally posted by syrinx high priest

no one can ever convince me when they see an ugly fat old white male banker sitting on a park bench next to a pretty young asian female waitress they don't have any pre-conceptions, they just have a blank mind...doesn't work that way.....my .02. Please note, I'm not implying positive or negative association, just that one exists...you can't deny it !


Exactly, that's why people like Tom Sawyer are simply deluding themselves with their "I'm not prejudiced" drivel. He probaby thinks he's one of those 'indigo children', too.


Yo, Tom Sawyer, pretend all you want if it makes you feel better.



posted on May, 27 2005 @ 12:09 PM
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Only ignorance causes fear, and only fear causes prejudice.


Whether you realize it or not we are all guilty of this. It is natural to prefer one thing over another.

Hypothetical question: let's say one day you meet a white supremacist, and out of ignorance and fear of his beliefs you hate himand are prejudiced. It doesnt neccesarily have to be someone that is physically different(ie skin color) it can be beliefs, basically anything that seperates you from anyone else. Since everyone IS different would it not make sense that to some degree prejudices are hard wired in the human brain?



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