Media may make you racist, says study

Published on May 29, 2015 15:44:44 PM

A new study says that watching TV and reading online news may leads to racial bias among social groups.

The news coverage of two cultural contexts in US and Austria were examined by the researchers.

"The results of the studies suggest that in both these countries, regular exposure to stereotypical news coverage creates negative implicit attitudes," said the researcher Temple Northup, assistant professor at the University of Houston (UH).

In the first case of 316 participants in US, they have completed the implicit Association test (IAT), which is a tool used in Psychology to measure the hidden bias people have that they were unable to report.

"Based on the results from the study in the US, long-term exposure to television news, wherein African-Americans are depicted frequently and stereotypically as criminals, predicted increased negative implicit attitudes toward African-Americans," Northup said.

"Viewers who watched more local television news demonstrated more unconscious negative attitudes toward African-Americans," Northup stated.

In the other case of Austria, the study involved 470 individuals who were tested on the newspaper content they are exposed to and the kind of articles they prefer to read.

The researchers have found that reading crime content had an impact on the attitude.

"The findings from the study in the US suggest individuals who consumed more local television news than others in the study may have increased negative racial bias towards African-Americans," Northup said.

"In Austria, individuals who read more crime-related articles in a tabloid-style weekly newspaper tended to have an increased negative racial bias toward 'foreigners'."

The study was published in the International Journal of Communication.