Human Brain Responds More Strongly To Negative Stereotypes

Posted: Nov 2 2016, 12:17pm CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News

 

Human Brain Responds More Strongly to Negative Stereotypes
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  • Human Brain is Prone to Learn NEGATIVE Stereotypes
 

It so happens to be the case that the origins of bigotry lie in the human brain’s neurocircuitry. The brain is hardwired to be sensitive to negative archetypes.

The human brain is a marvel of existence. Yet there are many ways in which it is a dumb instrument of exploration. As far as first impressions go, the brain is notorious for making split-second decisions based on negativity and pure old-fashioned prejudice.

When people are fed negative information regarding other ethnicities, they are likely to react with their own negative impulses and project their biased points of view on those who are different from them.   

This offers us an object lesson in how racist and fanatical ideas spread in society and sometimes result in widespread mayhem which shocks humanity by its sheer brutality against a particular segment of society.

Using MRI scans, a group of people were tested on a learning task. A made-up ethnicity and its behavior were presented to the group of people. Some of the presented groups were majorities and others were minorities. They were good or bad without this fact being divulged to the learners. 

The anterior temporal lobes of the learners’ brains were observed for any signs of activity. This particular region of the human brain deals with semantics and people and environments one has encountered in the past.  The region started firing its neurons the moment the learning task commenced.

Although the groups that were presented for learning were fictional in nature, they had an actual effect as far as the brains of the learners were concerned. The moment the learners decided a group was good, the activity in the region of the brain ceased. 

Yet the moment the group was labeled as bad, the activity resumed. As the bad group was shown to engage in riots or schemes, the reactions of the partakers in the study began to skyrocket, according to The Guardian.

With rising negativity against certain mischief-makers, the effect was seen to be cumulative. Instead of regarding these minorities as human beings too, they were thought of as non-entities that deserved all sorts of hatred and ill will.

Such is the human brain which can make a heaven out of a hell and a hell out of a heaven. This study, published in the Journal of Cognitive Science, has implications for the wider society.

While humankind has its altruistic side and is filled with positivity, the negative side is there too and it seems to be hardwired in the very structure of the brain.

Stereotypes, once they have been formed, die hard. They become entrenched in the thinking and mindset of the people and influence their behavior.    

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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