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Concept: Affirmative action


Interethnic conflicts often escalate rapidly. Why does the behavior of masses easily change from cooperation to aggression? This paper provides an experimental test of whether ethnic hostility is contagious. Using incentivized tasks, we measured willingness to sacrifice one’s own resources to harm others among adolescents from a region with a history of animosities toward the Roma people, the largest ethnic minority in Europe. To identify the influence of peers, subjects made choices after observing either destructive or peaceful behavior of peers in the same task. We found that susceptibility to follow destructive behavior more than doubled when harm was targeted against Roma rather than against coethnics. When peers were peaceful, subjects did not discriminate. We observed very similar patterns in a norms-elicitation experiment: destructive behavior toward Roma was not generally rated as more socially appropriate than when directed at coethnics, but the ratings were more sensitive to social contexts. The findings may illuminate why ethnic hostilities can spread quickly, even in societies with few visible signs of interethnic hatred.

Concepts: Sociology, Science, United Kingdom, Experiment, Hypothesis, Test method, Anger, Affirmative action


To examine the awareness and attitudes about the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act in individuals who made contact with a Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Syndrome advocacy group. This is a descriptive study of individuals (n = 1,699) who were invited via email and advertisements to complete an online questionnaire available from August 2009 through December 2010. Response distributions of relevant subgroups were compared using cross tabulation and Chi-squared tests were used. The majority of respondents (69.2 %) had undergone genetic testing (n = 1,156) and 30.2 % had not. Of those who did not undergo genetic testing, the most common reason given for declining testing was cost (28.8 %), followed by concerns about insurance discrimination (19.5 %). More than half (60.5 %) were worried about health insurance discrimination when they first considered genetic testing and 28.6 % were worried about employment discrimination. Slightly more individuals were worried about health insurance discrimination if they had no prior knowledge of GINA. While “cost” was cited most frequently as the reason not to test, “fear of insurance discrimination” was the second most common reason. Knowledge of GINA among consumers is still limited and public education may help promote reduction in fear.

Concepts: Genetics, Cancer, Discrimination, Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, Affirmative action, Education in the United States, Genetic discrimination, Redlining


The ability to discriminate between sets of items differing in quantity has shown a growing interest in comparative studies as a diversity of animal species exhibit such quantitative competence. Previous studies with angelfish (Pterophyllum scalare) have demonstrated that this species is capable of spontaneously discriminating between fully visible groups (shoals) of conspecifics of different numerical size. In the present study, we investigated quantity discrimination in angelfish adopting a new procedure that we expected to make the task more difficult for the fish. During a pretest period, angelfish were allowed to fully see shoals of conspecifics of different numerical size, subsequently all fish but 1 in each stimulus shoal were hidden behind opaque barriers. Thus, during testing, experimental fish had to rely on their working memory, which implies a certain level of mental representation of the quantities or numbers discriminated. Angelfish chose the larger shoal with similar accuracy when 1 versus 2, 1 versus 3, 1 versus 4, 2 versus 3, and 2 versus 4 stimulus fish were contrasted, but failed to distinguish shoals when 3 versus 4, 4 versus 5, and 4 versus 6 fish were contrasted. Strong similarities were observed in relation with our previous procedure indicating the robustness of the quantity discrimination abilities of this species. Our results imply that angelfish form internal representations and demonstrate that these fish can make comparisons between small quantities of items while relying on their working memory alone. (PsycINFO Database Record © 2014 APA, all rights reserved).

Concepts: Cichlid, Discrimination, Racial discrimination, Adultism, Affirmative action, Pterophyllum


Transgender and gender non-conforming people frequently experience discrimination, harassment, and marginalization across college and university campuses (Bilodeau, 2007; Finger, 2010; Rankin, et al., 2010; Seelman et al., 2012). The minority stress model (Meyer, 2007) posits that experiences of discrimination often negatively impact the psychological well-being of minority groups. However, few scholars have examined whether college institutional climate factors-such as being denied access to bathrooms or gender-appropriate campus housing-are significantly associated with detrimental psychological outcomes for transgender people. Using the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, this study analyzes whether being denied access to these spaces is associated with lifetime suicide attempts, after controlling for interpersonal victimization by students or teachers. Findings from sequential logistic regression (N = 2,316) indicate that denial of access to either space had a significant relationship to suicidality, even after controlling for interpersonal victimization. This paper discusses implications for higher education professionals and researchers.

Concepts: Education, Gender, Sociology, University, Interpersonal relationship, Higher education, Suicide, Affirmative action


Patient and public involvement (PPI) in research is growing internationally, but little is known about black and minority ethnic (BME) involvement and the factors influencing their involvement in health and social care research.

Concepts: Health care, Sociology, United Kingdom, Race, Ethnic group, Minority group, Affirmative action


To examine the longitudinal association between cumulative exposure to racial discrimination and changes in the mental health of ethnic minority people.

Concepts: United States, United Kingdom, Minority group, Minority, Minorities, Minority language, Affirmative action, Linguistic rights


The majority of the food insecurity-obesity research has indicated a positive association among women, especially minority women. Less research has been conducted on men, and the findings are inconsistent. The aim was to assess whether gender and race/ethnic disparities exists between the food insecurity and overweight/obesity relationship among adults ages 18-59. We used the cross-sectional 2011 and 2012 National Health Interview Survey data (N = 19,990). Three or more affirmative responses on the 10-item USDA Food Security Scale indicated food insecure experiences. Self-reported height and weight were used to calculate body mass index according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Multivariate logistic regression models were stratified by gender and race/ethnicity to estimate the association between food insecurity and overweight/obesity controlling for several demographic characteristics. Adults on average were 36 years of age (51% female; 56% white, 27% Hispanic, and 17% black), 27% were food insecure, and 65% were overweight/obese. Food insecurity was most prevalent among blacks and Hispanics, regardless of gender. A greater percentage of food insecure women were overweight/obese compared to food secure women among all race/ethnicity groups; while similar proportions of white, black, and Hispanic men were overweight/obese irrespective of their food security status. In covariate-adjusted models, food insecurity was associated with a 41% and 29% higher odds of being overweight/obese among white and Hispanic women, respectively. Food insecurity was not related to overweight/obesity among black women nor among white, black, and Hispanic men. The complex relationship between food insecurity and obesity suggests a need to investigate potential behavioral and physiological mechanisms, and moderators of this relationship.

Concepts: Regression analysis, Black people, Food, Body mass index, Food security, Hispanic and Latino Americans, Security, Affirmative action


Abstract Ethnic minority groups across the world face a complex set of adverse social and psychological challenges linked to their minority status, often involving racial discrimination. Racial Discrimination is increasingly recognised as an important contributing factor to health disparities among non-dominant ethnic minorities. A growing body of literature has recognised these health disparities and has investigated the relationship between racial discrimination and poor health outcomes. Chronically elevated cortisol levels and a dysregulated hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis appear to mediate effects of racial discrimination on allostatic load and disease. Racial discrimination seems to converge on the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and may impair the function of the prefrontal cortex (PFC), hence showing substantial similarities to chronic social stress. This review provides a summary of recent literature on hormonal and neural effects of racial discrimination and a synthesis of potential neurobiological pathways by which discrimination affects mental health.

Concepts: United States, Sociology, United Kingdom, Cerebrum, Minority group, Minority, Minorities, Affirmative action


Among most minority groups, males seem to report higher levels of exposure and vulnerability to racial discrimination. Although darker skin tone may increase exposure to racial discrimination, it is yet unknown whether skin tone similarly influences perceived discrimination among male and female Caribbean Black youth.

Concepts: Human, Male, United States, Gender, Race, Human skin color, Racism, Affirmative action


Recent waves of immigration to Western nations have fueled a debate over the consequences of ethnic diversity for social cohesion. One prominent argument in this debate holds that diversity is detrimental to trust and cooperation because individuals in heterogeneous communities face difficulties in enforcing social norms across ethnic lines. We examine this proposition in a field experiment involving real-life interactions among residents of multiethnic German neighborhoods. We find significant ethnic asymmetries in the pattern of norm enforcement: Members of the majority “native” German population are more active in sanctioning norm violations, while ethnic minorities are more likely to find themselves the target of sanctions. We interpret these results in light of prevailing status inequalities between ethnic minorities and the native majority. We further calculate that, as a result of ethnic discrimination, social control is likely to rise in communities with moderate minority population shares.

Concepts: United States, Sociology, United Kingdom, Heteronormativity, Anomie, Affirmative action