Psychology Behind Discrimination

Blue brown eyes

An American teacher developed the Blue Eyes, Brown Eyes experiment to explain racism to third graders.

Years later, her experiment has been used around the world to expose how systems have been set up to largely create a racist society.

Surprisingly, what the experiment found out was that the children that were discriminated against performed poorly when they were on the receiving end while their performance improved considerably when they were made to discriminate against the other group. This experiment ran for 2 days and those were the changes discovered in a child’s performance. Can you imagine what kind of effect such a life has on a child’s life?

Almost 30 years after she had used her method in her class, she had travelled around the world and this time she was invited to the UK. Unlike other countries where the experiment quickly revealed to the participants how screwed the system is and even some of their own personal beliefs, in the UK only one participant understood where those who have been on the receiving end of racism have been going through. All others thought racism is overrated and for some, it doesn’t exist.

Ms. Elliot says she wishes her experiment wasn’t necessary in the world, but her show in the UK goes to show that there are many people who still haven’t understood or even accepted that racism exists.

If you still want to watch more, you can watch Jane Elliot on the Oprah Show from 1992.

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