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Old April 9th, 2011 #1
8Man
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8Man
Default The Evolution of Prejudice



excerpts from: The Evolution of Prejudice

Quote:
Scientists see the beginnings of racism in monkeys

..we know far less about why people are prone to prejudice in the first place. New research, using monkeys, suggests that the roots lie deep in our evolutionary past.

..the results support an evolutionary basis for prejudice. Some researchers believe prejudice is unique to humans, since it seems to depend on complex thought processes. For example, past studies have found that people are likely to display prejudice after being reminded of their mortality, or after receiving a blow to their self-esteem. Since only humans are capable of contemplating their deaths or their self-image, these studies reinforce the view that only humans are capable of prejudice. But the behavior of the rhesus monkeys implies that our basic tendency to see the world in terms of “us” and “them” has ancient origins.

Psychologists.., argue that human prejudice evolved as a function of group living. Joining together in groups allowed humans to gain access to resources necessary for survival ... Groups also offered numerous advantages, such as making it easier to find a mate, care for children, and receive protection from others. However, group living also made us more wary of outsiders who could potentially harm the group by spreading disease, killing or hurting individuals, or stealing precious resources. To protect ourselves, we developed ways of identifying who belongs to our group and who doesn’t. Over time, this process of quickly evaluating others might have become so streamlined that it became unconscious.

Psychologists have long known that many of our prejudices operate automatically, without us even being aware of them. Despite this overwhelming evidence that our brains are wired for bias, our society continues to think about prejudice as premeditated behavior. Our current laws against discrimination, as well as the majority of diversity training programs, assume that prejudice is overt and intentional.
.. sorry officer, I'm not racist- I'm genetically programmed that way.
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