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AAssociation between the dermal density of melanin and response to \racial\ and \guilty\ implicit association test

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Letícia Batista Pinto
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Master's Dissertation
Press: São Paulo.
Institution: Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Faculdade de Medicina (FM/SBD)
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Eduardo Massad; Paulo Cesar Costa dos Santos
Advisor: Eduardo Massad

From social perception, we categorize each other instinctively, and the shared appearance stereotypes are part of a social agreement. This process leads us to create stigmas, stereotypes and bias about other people. We tend to attribute certain characteristics to people based on their skin color, which may influence attitudes people have towards certain ethnic groups, including attitudes such as attribution of guilt. The Implicit Association Test (IAT) is a test used to measure attitudes and bias towards particular groups. The IAT assesses implicit attitudes by inducing people to rapidly categorize words and images using two keys for response. The present study aims to investigate the existence of correlation between the implicit bias measured through two IATs, racial and guilty, and ethnic characteristics of the test participants, such as melanin density and self - attributed color, age, schooling and earnings, looking for a correlation between them. Initially, the participant\'s melanin density was inferred using a portable spectrophotometer. After providing information such as age, sex, schooling, earnings and self - attributed color, the participants concluded the racial and guilty version of the IAT. The test results were calculated based on the reaction time and the errors made by the participants, generating a D score (IAT effect) which was correlated with the data of melanin density by Pearson Correlation and self - attributed color by Kruskal-Wallis test. To test the other parameters such as age, earnings and schooling, correlation to the D score, it was used a Pearson Correlation. Our sample is composed of 112 participants. The participant\'s ages are between 21 to 66 years old, with an average of 42.3 years old; 69.6% of all were female. Participants attributed themselves, 63.4% Whites; 24.1% Browns (pardos in portuguese); 8% Blacks and 4.5% Yellow. As expected, in ethnic IAT, most participants showed automatic preference for white children, indicating that in general the study population has implicit bias against blacks. The same occurred for the guilty IAT, in which there was a prevalence of association responses between blacks and guilt, indicating the prevalence of this stereotype. We did not find a significant correlation between melanin density and the D score of the participants, nor for the racial IAT (Pearson\'s correlation = 0.47, p = 0.619), nor for the guilt IAT (Pearson\'s correlation = 0.044; p = 0.644). A correlation was found for self-assigned color and the D-score of the racial IAT, but not for the guilt IAT. There was also no significant correlation between the other factors studied and the D scores. We can conclude that our target population has racial bias and implicit guilt against black people, this bias is independent of melanin density, but is correlated with the participants\' self-assigned color (AU)

FAPESP's process: 16/25933-8 - Association among melanin density and response to racial Implicit Association Test
Grantee:Leticia Batista Pinto
Support Opportunities: Scholarships in Brazil - Master