Is Racism a Form of Stupidity

Essay by wcknightCollege, UndergraduateB+, November 2014

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Is Racism a Form of Stupidity

The research reported in Wray Herbert's article "Is Racism a Form of Stupidity?" cannot prove racism is linked to unintelligence due to the failure to give information, directionality problems, and experimenter expectancy effect. Herbert wants the reader to see a correlation between the unintelligent and the racist, he does this by giving examples of studies that have shown this. Finding a correlation between stupidity and racism will be difficult because it is controversial topic. The researcher needs to pick the population carefully and make sure the setting of the participant is accounted for. Depending on where a participant grew up or lives can determine what they may say no matter their level of intelligence. Many other factors have been excluded in these multiple studies and may be causing type II errors.

The independent variable in the studies conducted is the intelligence level of the participant.

The depended variable will be if that person is racist or not. How do the researchers figure out if someone is racist or not? According to the article the reader cannot figure this out because Herbert never states how racism is recorded in any of the studies. Herbert did explain how some researchers proved mental ability by using conservation but never how they proved racism in a person. The reader needs to understand how the researchers recorded the data. Herbert does not give enough information to how the studies were performed so the reader is in the dark on how reliable the feedback from participants. An example being Dhont and Hodson's experiment that most unintelligent people are strong right wing conservatist who are considerably more racist due to their intelligence. Herbert fails to shed any light on the experiment only referring the information as "empirical evidence".

The experimenter expectancy effect may play a big role in the data collected by the experimenters. Many of the participants with higher levels of intelligence may not want to sound like a racist when answering questions. Racism is a very controversial subject so when people such as the intelligent population are asked, many will want to seem political correct.

Much of the data collected can be considered sectional bias due to the setting, financial status, and wellbeing of the participants, not solely on intelligence. Many people of the lower class have much different opinions than people in the middle and upper class. Also most people of the lower class are not as educated as upper class people. This may have been a problem when performing the studies.