Why am I racist? A study on the prediction of race categorization performance on implicit racial biases among Singapore Chinese preschoolers
Koh, Jin Yi
Date of Issue2017
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Singapore is a multicultural and racially diverse society and racial harmony and social cohesiveness are important values inculcated in school curricula. However, day-to-day racial incidents are challenges to this national goal. As the literature suggests that racial biases are more malleable in young children than in adults, this research aimed to expand the current findings on the racial attitudes of young Chinese preschoolers in Singapore, as well as to examine potential predictors of implicit racial biases. Findings revealed that 3 to 6-year old Chinese preschoolers (N = 71) exhibited both implicit and explicit racial biases towards their own race and against the other-race Indian minority. Stronger implicit racial biases were also found to be related to higher accuracy in categorizing own-race Chinese faces rather than other-race Indian faces, which is posited to be due to early childhood experience that consists of predominantly own-race Chinese individuals. Past research suggests that by altering this exposure and providing training during early childhood are effective methods in reducing implicit bias. Hence, the findings serve as both important theoretical and practical implications to motivate recommendations to current pedagogical tools to reduce implicit racial bias starting from an early age, thereby fostering a more inclusive society.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University