There’s something about economic hardship that makes people observe race differently, making them more discriminatory toward people with darker skin, Time magazine reports.
The study, conducted by researchers at New York University, showed that when the economy went south, lighter-skinned individuals were more likely to perceive someone with more African features as darker than they actually were, more often than not increasing the discrimination that darker people face.
“Our research reveals that perceived scarcity influences people’s visual representations of race in a way that may promote discrimination,” the authors said in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America journal, Time reports.
One of the studies went directly to the economic root, asking participants to divide $15 between people in two images. The images of the darker-skinned individuals were seen as “blacker” than they actually were, and they were also given less funds.
According to Time, the researchers pointed out that economic hardship affects how people treat others outside of their own social group.
Read more at Time magazine.