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Brain Scans Measure Racial Bias — Really?

Published by on December 1, 2011

An article in the Yale Daily News reports that researchers have purportedly found a way to measure racial bias by using brain scans.  Unfortunately for those who believe that “racism” can so easily be defined and tested, the underlying methodology has previously been questioned.  More after the break. The lead-in paragraph notes: In a new study […]

An article in the Yale Daily News reports that researchers have purportedly found a way to measure racial bias by using brain scans.  Unfortunately for those who believe that “racism” can so easily be defined and tested, the underlying methodology has previously been questioned.  More after the break.

The lead-in paragraph notes:

In a new study published in the journal Social Neuroscience last week, Yale researchers studied the correlation between compensation in employment discrimination cases and brain activity during tests for racial bias. The study concluded that functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) scans may better predict verdict size than the traditional tests. The results may be significant to the developing field of neurolaw in providing a way to ensure an unbiased jury — a Constitutional requirement — but outside psychologists said the study’s significance is limited by its small sample size.

The entire article can be found here.

Apparently, this is not the first such study.  A 2003 study can be found here.  What the study actually shows is open to question as well.

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