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Race Gets Hearts Racing

Discusses issues on racism. Findings on the reaction of white man when a person of the same sex but a different race comes in the room.

The message that racism is unacceptable has been drilled into our heads. Ifonly our bodies would listen, too.

When a person of the same sex but a different race comes in the room, people's heart rates rise, report Purdue University psychologists Scott Vrana, Ph.D., and David Rollock, Ph.D. "We found that for white males, heart rates went up almost 10 beats per minute when a black man entered the room," says Vrana. A smaller rise is seen when a stranger of the same race comes in—with one exception: the presence of an African-American man sets hearts racing in white and black men alike.

The researchers say their findings suggest that stereotypes go more than skin deep.