Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Teo

Scientific Racism

  • Michele A. PaludiEmail author
  • Shelley Haley
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5583-7_394


One of the basic tenets of the sciences, including psychology and other social sciences, is its insistence on objectivity. Scientists maintain they are detached from their topic and through the use of the scientific method only observe, control, measure, and analyze external events as they happen. Furthermore, science is assumed to be value-free; i.e., a scientist’s personal biases are absent from the study and therefore do not interfere with the scientific process.

However, researchers are just as likely to be influenced by their cultural beliefs, values, and expectations as anyone else in society. These values and beliefs contribute to biases, termed “experimenter bias.” Researchers may view a problem in only one way while avoiding other explanations (Dei & Johal, 2005). This has been especially the case with respect to research that seeks to assess racial comparisons, including comparisons of intelligence. For example, Thompson (2007) has noted that scientists who...

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Online Resources

  1. Chronology on the history of slavery and racism: http://innercity.org/holt/slavechron.html
  2. National association for the advancement of colored people: http://www.naacp.org
  3. Racism and race in American law: http://academic.udayton.edu/race/
  4. The anti-racist alliance: http://www.antiracistalliance.com

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of ManagementUnion Graduate CollegeSchenectadyUSA
  2. 2.Classics and Africana Studies DepartmentHamilton CollegeClintonUSA