Black Men Are Seen As Taller And Stronger Than White Men With Identical Size And Strength [VIDEO]
Compared to a white man, a black man of the same size and weight seems bigger and stronger to an average person, research shows.
Psychologists asked 950 people from the U.S. to gauge the height, weight, muscularity and strength of black men and white men based on photos. A group looked at photos of black men and white men's faces to make estimates of their height and weight.
It was discovered that black men were perceived to be taller and heavier. A repeat of the study was done using the photos of young athletes, and it yielded the same results.
In the third experiment for the research published in the American Psychological Association, the participants were asked to match the photos of the faces to pictures of male bodies with various sizes and build. The black men's photos were consistently coupled with the more muscular type of body.
The nonblack participants also rated black men as likely to cause harm, and in an imaginary clash with an unarmed black man, the police might be justified to use force. However, the black participants did not perceive them as such. Black men with darker skin were also more prone to misperception.
The Washington Post reported that there is no significant difference in the height and weight of the average black man and the average white man. The latter is a centimeter taller than his black counterpart.
The study demonstrated how law enforcement personnel and the ordinary American's interaction with young black men could be affected by racial prejudice. It could help explain the incidents of police officers shooting unarmed black men.
In the case of Dontre Hamilton, who was shot unarmed in 2014, the white officer involved appeared to have overestimated the victim's size. In another incident, the 12-year old Tamir Rice was shot while playing with a toy gun in a park. In these cases, the police officers cited in their explanation the physical size of the victims.