Participants responded faster to images of same-race couples and selected them more often for inclusion in the study.More significantly, Skinner said, participants showed higher levels of activation in the insula—an area of the brain routinely implicated in the perception and experience of disgust—while viewing images of interracial couples."Acknowledging these biases is the first step to figuring out why people feel that way and determining what can be done so they won't." Explore further: Where we live affects our bias against mixed-race individuals, psychology study finds More information: Allison L. " Affective bias against interracial couples, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology (2017).Actress Daniele Watts and Brian Lucas speak during an interview with KABC-TV in Los Angeles, Sunday, Sept. The Los Angeles Police Department said Sunday that officers detained Watts and her companion last week after a complaint that two people were "involved in indecent exposure" in a silver Mercedes."In 1982, when I turned the song in to the record company, they went, 'Whoa, can't you make him something other than that?
Then the combinations were switched—participants were told to hit one key if the image was an animal silhouette or a same-race couple, and the other key if it was a human silhouette or mixed-race couple.
Participants were quicker to associate interracial couples with non-human animals and same-race couples with humans.
That suggests that interracial couples are more likely to be dehumanized than same-race couples, the researchers write, and previous studies have shown that people tend to exhibit more antisocial behavior and are more likely to use aggression and even violence toward dehumanized targets.
Such sentiments, Skinner said, belie the notion that most Americans are ready to embrace mixed-race romance.
"Some people are still not comfortable with interracial relationships, or at least they're a lot less comfortable than they would appear to be," she said.