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A new study from Ohio State University details implicit bias.
- New research from Ohio State claims we cannot separate how someone looks and sounds.
- Volunteers were asked to look at photos and listen to audio, and were told to ignore their face or voice.
- "They were unable to entirely eliminate the irrelevant information," said associate professor Kathryn Campbell-Kibler.
8 powerful speakers that might make you think differently about racism | Big Think<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="310eb2418d44ed9aed7fb66364904aaa"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ox04P7Gy2eY?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>In some cases, volunteers were told to evaluate how "good-looking" the people in the photos were; in others, they were asked to judge their accents. One cohort was not given guidance; they looked at a photo and listened to a voice. Others were told to ignore the face while listening, and vice-versa. Some were even told that the voice was not from the same person they were looking at. </p><p>It didn't matter. In most cases, volunteers expressed critical judgment of either their face or voice. As Campbell-Kibler <a href="https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200722083758.htm" target="_blank">says</a>, </p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Even though we told them to ignore the voice, they couldn't do it completely. Some of the information from the voice seeped into their evaluation of the face."</p><p>Detaching face from voice is a difficult endeavor. The first time I heard Welsh actor Matthew Rhys' <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bu77rb0mww4" target="_blank">true accent</a> was while watching "The Wine Show," which he filmed shortly after wrapping up work on "The Americans." It took me a few minutes to rationalize what I was seeing. Now I can't get his actual speaking voice out of my head while watching the drunken private investigator transform into the lawyer we knew Perry Mason would become.</p>
Jonathan Gartrelle (L), participating in a protest against police brutality, confronts a demonstrator taking part in a counter demonstration advertised as a Law and Order Rally that was also supporting President Donald Trump on June 14, 2020 in Miami, Florida.
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images<p>Rhys is paid to speak English with an American accent. The stakes are low for me as a viewer. Out in the real world, where racism is as prevalent as ever, the situation is different. Implicit bias affects everyone, which means racism and xenophobia are conditions we have to work at correcting in ourselves. It won't come natural. Campbell-Kibler continues,</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"We found that people could exercise some control over what information to favor, the voice or the face, depending on what we told them to do. But in most cases, they were unable to entirely eliminate the irrelevant information."</p><p>She notes that even though most participants were white, they were careful to not racially stereotype. Volunteers told to ignore faces while listening to accents performed best for this reason, though some admitted they had to make a conscious effort to do so. </p><p>Volunteers took no issue with judging the photos good-looking, believing looks to be subjective. Campbell-Kibler wants to follow up this research using videos instead of photographs to observe the impact of watching others on the screen. </p><p>The takeaway: we are influenced by all of the information available to us at all times. Our biases will make themselves apparent. Course-correcting is not natural, but thankfully, it is possible. </p><p>--</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://derekberes.substack.com/" target="_blank">Substack</a>. His next book is</em> "<em>Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy."</em></p>
This is what happens when the fringe becomes mainstream.
- New research finds that YouTube is the worst disseminator of coronavirus misinformation.
- People that rely on social media for their news are more likely to believe coronavirus conspiracy beliefs.
- With only 50 percent of Americans willing to get a vaccination, conspiracy theories are fueling a public health crisis.
Coronavirus: Conspiracy Theories: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="a5188224279cc959c6a112713437d500"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/0b_eHBZLM6U?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>Allington's team used data collected from partnerships with CitizenMe (Study 1) and Ipsos-MORI (Studies 2 and 3). In the first study, respondents had to identify the truth behind three conspiracy beliefs:</p><ul><li>The virus that causes COVID-19 was probably created in a laboratory</li><li>The symptoms of COVID-19 seem to be connected to 5G mobile network radiation</li><li>The COVID-19 pandemic was planned by certain pharmaceutical corporations and government agencies</li></ul><p>Among their findings, younger people tend to buy into one or more conspiracy belief, while older respondents are more likely to engage in protective behaviors. Women listen to public health guidance more than men, though there is no gender distinction in those that believe in conspiracy theories. </p><p>Study 2 also asked about the possibility of the novel coronavirus being created in a laboratory, while Study 3 looked more deeply into the respondents' usage of social media. In each case, the results were clear: people that rely on social media for news are more likely to peddle in conspiracy theories. </p><p>YouTube appears to be the most problematic source of misinformation. Slickly produced shows, such as London Real, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2y5v6vJCso" target="_blank">feature</a> prominent anti-vaxxers like Del Bigtree. The anti-vaxx propaganda film, "<a href="https://bigthink.com/coronavirus/the-plandemic" target="_self">Plandemic</a>," was viewed over eight million times on YouTube before it was removed; the producer, Mikki Willis, is <a href="https://www.facebook.com/mikki.willis/posts/2875973472513592" target="_blank">using this spotlight</a> to raise funds for Part 2. These are only two examples in a deluge of anti-vaxx videos driving a dangerous narrative. </p><p>The danger is especially prevalent as a coronavirus vaccine becomes a possibility. Oxford University researchers have <a href="https://apnews.com/fdd8be1fafa10b71d4de0dabbcd74bdf?fbclid=IwAR1djL-pXBBxsImTlYIwnlYvJG2lHvtMVAZCfojI1MS_iVZFwNj-IAnypnI" target="_blank">just discovered</a> a strong candidate. Still, a June poll found that <a href="https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/06/just-50-americans-plan-get-covid-19-vaccine-here-s-how-win-over-rest" target="_blank">only 50 percent of Americans</a> plan on getting a coronavirus vaccine. If anti-vaxx organizations continue to influence the public, less than half of this country could receive a vaccination. </p><p>In America, conspiracy beliefs are not only spread on social media. A <a href="https://www.mediamatters.org/coronavirus-covid-19/fox-news-pushed-coronavirus-misinformation-253-times-just-five-days" target="_blank">recent study</a> found Fox News pushing coronavirus misinformation 253 times over a five-day period. The going narrative is that vaccination is a question of "individual liberty," and if you're vaccinated you shouldn't worry about the unvaccinated. As with other misinformation, this is false, exposing the real danger of coronavirus misinformation. </p>
People participate in a Reopen New Jersey protest on May 25, 2020 in Point Pleasant, New Jersey.
Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images<p>In her book, "<a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/1555977200?tag=bigthink00-20&linkCode=ogi&th=1&psc=1" target="_blank">On Immunity</a>," writer Eula Biss asks readers to imagine vaccination "as a kind of banking of immunity." When getting vaccinated, you contribute to a collective bank, ensuring those who cannot or will not get vaccinated are protected. Herd immunity only occurs when a population reaches a certain threshold; that threshold is well over 50 percent.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"The unvaccinated person is protected by the bodies around her, bodies through which disease is not circulating," writes Biss. "But a vaccinated person is surrounded by bodies that host disease is left vulnerable to vaccine failure or fading immunity. We are protected not so much by our own skin, but by what is beyond it. The boundaries between our bodies begin to dissolve here." </p><p>The prevalence of immunosuppressed individuals unable to get vaccinated is left out of this conversation. This is a growing concern in countries like America, where obesity has led to increasing numbers of immunosuppressed citizens. </p><p>While the myth that children are protected against the ravages of the coronavirus persists, the <a href="https://apple.news/AiPKQDP1BTEuNtlRaVJ-6bg" target="_blank">long-term complications</a> of this multi-system disease are still becoming known, making anti-vaxx parents accountable for potential harm that may come. </p><p>Every citizen should be wary of a rushed vaccine. Researchers are attempting to create a vaccine faster than ever. There are inherent dangers in such a pursuit. But costs associated with rejecting any vaccine on the grounds of perceived "sovereignty" is even more dangerous. The price we'll pay for this misinformation is higher than any society can bear. </p><p>--</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://derekberes.substack.com/" target="_blank">Substack</a>. His next book is</em> "<em>Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy."</em></p>
Are we genetically inclined for superstition or just fearful of the truth?
- From secret societies to faked moon landings, one thing that humanity seems to have an endless supply of is conspiracy theories. In this compilation, physicist Michio Kaku, science communicator Bill Nye, psychologist Sarah Rose Cavanagh, skeptic Michael Shermer, and actor and playwright John Cameron Mitchell consider the nature of truth and why some groups believe the things they do.
- "I think there's a gene for superstition, a gene for hearsay, a gene for magic, a gene for magical thinking," argues Kaku. The theoretical physicist says that science goes against "natural thinking," and that the superstition gene persists because, one out of ten times, it actually worked and saved us.
- Other theories shared include the idea of cognitive dissonance, the dangerous power of fear to inhibit critical thinking, and Hollywood's romanticization of conspiracies. Because conspiracy theories are so diverse and multifaceted, combating them has not been an easy task for science.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought out the perception of selfishness among many.
- Selfish behavior has been analyzed by philosophers and psychologists for centuries.
- New research shows people may be wired for altruistic behavior and get more benefits from it.
- Times of crisis tend to increase self-centered acts.