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Racial bias influence on moral judgment by fNIRS brain hemodynamic analysis

Grant number: 19/19946-8
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2019
Effective date (End): November 30, 2021
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Psychology - Physiological Psychology
Principal researcher:Paulo Sérgio Boggio
Grantee:Fernanda Naomi Pantaleão
Home Institution: Centro de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde (CCBS). Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie (UPM). Instituto Presbiteriano Mackenzie. São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Human beings commonly organize each other into social categories according to similar characteristics, considering skin color as a particularly relevant aspect to differentiate between in-group and outgroup. Social categorization, however, can cause bias or favoritism which may benefit in-group members; there are situations in which this favoritism might lead to a disadvantage to outgroup members, with an intention to cause them harm. In addition, people naturally judge others and their actions; considering the existence of virtues, supposedly common to most societies, such as justice and honesty, some judgments occur towards attitudes that preserve or undermine those virtues - this is the so-called moral judgment. Similarly, to racial bias, moral judgment is also influenced by emotions; therefore, social categorization may affect the way different groups act and perceive each other. Some studies have already shown that outgroup members are generally seen as less reliable than in-group members, and that exclusion of the former can be accepted and justified by group cohesion. Thus, the need for a study that evaluates the influence of racial bias in moral judgment is stablished, considering the neural processes related to these aspects, since there is a possibility that there are relevant social consequences arising from this relationship. (AU)

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