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Rapid reasoning: Racial bias as a result of heuristic cognitive process

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  1. Abstract
  2. Rapid reasoning: Racial bias as a result of heuristic cognitive process
  3. Exploring the issue of stereotypical or intuitive thought-acts
  4. The method of study
  5. Expected outcomes and limitations
  6. Limitation of the analysis
  7. Conclusion
  8. References

Simple and complex judgments or decision-making are often performed in conditions which are not ideally rational, and the cognitive thought-process of the brain in fact follows unstated heuristics besides logic. Current research in cognitive reasoning finds that it takes more energy for the subject to expel prejudicial or biased heuristic thinking, following the original findings of Kahneman and Tversky (1979), and the study will include 60 York University graduate students consisting of a mixed sexual and racial sample pool. They will be issued independent variable (IV) questions associating word recognition with racial stereotypes, followed by sample articles which will oppositely reflect black men in a positive or negative perspective from which a dependent variable (DV) questionnaire will follow asking whether or not they would hire a black male for a prospective job posting. Results will be organized according to the Chi-squared test model. Expectations from the study are to positively analyze the impact of rapid heuristical reasoning, and to comprehend its application to racial prejudice as a potential impediment to multi-ethnic job hiring. Concurrently, Canadians have a popular opinion of the country as a multi-cultural and tolerate multi-ethnic state which does not discriminate amongst its populace. Furthermore, those with higher-education are perceived as more tolerate and progressive than those without. The study seeks to test these hypotheses by counter-acting them against foreign-born participants, and by varying the educational qualifications of the sample population for statistical variance.

[...] Materials A questionnaire containing a list of words [Figure will be provided as the basis for the IV test, and the participants will be asked to divide the signified concept by color. An interviewer will read aloud the list of words, and each participant will be provided with 3 seconds to answer or to each word. Once this has been completed, the interviewer will divide the participants into 2 separate groups and each will be presented with an article as the DV portion of the experiment. [...]


[...] Rather, it is intended to be used as both a ?smoke-screen,? by misleading participants as to the appropriate direction of the study. Moreover, the test has a practical applicability in its strength as a detector of signs of depressive episodes which could be consistent with major depressive disorder. As such, the PHQ-9 can certainly not negatively impact the null hypothesis objectives of the study but will provide the interviewer with the potential to contact the individual participant should they receive a score indicative of depression, and will otherwise help to obscure and to confuse the motivations of the questionnaire from the general interviewing population. [...]


[...] Heuristical reasoning, or the practice of following unstated assumptions and biases in decision-making, has consequentially developed as an underlying cognitive function which does not operate solely based on the rational process but as a result of prevailing biases. It has been proposed that heuristic reasoning follows three prominent pathways: representatives, in which probabilities are evaluated by the degree which an event resembles a casual process availability, where the frequency or the probability of an event is selected by the ease with which instances or occurrences come to mind; and anchoring, which is usually employed in numerical prediction when a relevant value is available [Kahneman, Slovic, and Tversky, 1982]. [...]

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