A pill to prevent subconscious racism? If only we’d known that it was this easy … the Telegraph reports:
Volunteers given the beta-blocker, used to treat chest pains and lower heart rates, scored lower on a standard psychological test of “implicit” racist attitudes. They appeared to be less racially prejudiced at a subconscious level than another group treated with a “dummy” placebo pill.
Scientists believe the discovery can be explained by the fact that racism is fundamentally founded on fear. Propranolol acts both on nerve circuits that govern automatic functions such as heart rate, and the part of the brain involved in fear and emotional responses.
Experimental psychologist Dr Sylvia Terbeck, from Oxford University, who led the study, said: “Given the key role that such implicit attitudes appear to play in discrimination against other ethnic groups, and the widespread use of propranolol for medical purposes, our findings are also of considerable ethical interest.”
Read More: Telegraph