Researchers at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, said recently that they were “surprised” to learn that students enrolled at the university are not racist. As part of a study conducted by a psychology professor, student participants were analyzed as they interacted with students from different minority backgrounds.
According to a report by Campus Reform, a professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, claims that he was “surprised” to learn that most students do not treat their minority peers worse than their non-minority peers.
University of Wisconsin, Madison, psychology professor Mark Brauer conducted a study to determine the frequency by which minority students are on the receiving end of offensive comments. To conduct the study, students at the university were examined as they interacted with minority student actors in scenarios devised by Brauer.
“We were surprised by these results,” Brauer said. “We tried out one situation, then another one, and so forth. But study after study came back with the same result: Most students did not treat our white actor more positively than the Black, Asian, or Muslim actors.”
The researchers concluded that as little as five percent of the observed students treated minority students worse than non-minority students. The study cites the Pareto Principle, the idea that 80 percent of consequences come from 20 percent of causes, to suggest that racial incidents are caused by only a small portion of the population.The results showed that between 5% and 20% of the participants treated the confederates belonging to marginalized groups more negatively than nonmarginalized confederates. Our findings are inconsistent with the dispersed discrimination account but support the concentrated discrimination account. The Pareto principle states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. Our results suggest that the Pareto principle also applies to discrimination, at least at the large, public university where the studies were conducted.