University Diversity

By Joy Suzanne Grazer | July 9, 2009 | 0 comments

The New York Times reports today on new research suggesting that having a roommate of a different race can reduce prejudice among college students.

The article, by Tamar Lewin, highlights several recent studies showing that a dose of ethnic diversity in campus life often stimulates acceptance and goodwill in both minority and majority groups. Living with someone of a different race improves the psychological and academic landscape for many students, and increases their likelihood of having future cross-cultural relationships.

"The intimacy of living together does lead to more interracial relationships," Claudia Buchmann, a professor of sociology at Ohio State University, tells the Times. Russell H. Fazio, a psychology professor at Ohio State who has done much research on the topic, adds that "if the relationship can reach 10 weeks, we could see improvement in racial attitudes."

Of course, increased diversity is not without some problems, as a study by Thomas Trail of Princeton suggests. Trail notes how, over time, poor interracial relationships can take an emotional toll on minority students. "It wasn't that the white students started being mean or negative," he says. "Instead, it was a drop-off in positive behaviors, like smiling, or making eye-contact, that led the minority students to feel worse."

These results may hold true for some, but researcher Colette Van Laar and her colleagues at UCLA add that rooming with someone of a different race, or culture, affects future judgments and attitudes, changing them for the better by reducing stereotypes and prejudices.

Tracker Pixel for Entry
 
 
 

Greater Good wants to know:
Do you think this article will influence your opinions or behavior?

  • Very Likely

  • Likely

  • Unlikely

  • Very Unlikely

  • Not sure

 
  

Like this article?

Here's what you can do:

Donate
 
  
 
blog comments powered by Disqus
 

Most...

  
  

Greater Good Events

Mindful Self-Compassion: Core Skills Training
International House
December 9-10, 2016


Mindful Self-Compassion: Core Skills Training

This workshop is an introduction to Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC), an empirically-supported training program based on the pioneering research of Kristin Neff and the clinical perspective of Chris Germer.


» ALL EVENTS
 
 

Take a Greater Good Quiz!

How compassionate are you? How generous, grateful, or forgiving? Find out!

» TAKE A QUIZ
 

Watch Greater Good Videos

Jon Kabat-Zinn

Talks by inspiring speakers like Jon Kabat-Zinn, Dacher Keltner, and Barbara Fredrickson.

Watch
 

Greater Good Resources

 
 
» MORE STUDIES
 
 
» MORE ORGS
 

Book of the Week

How Pleasure Works By Paul Bloom Bloom explores a broad range of human pleasures from food to sex to religion to music. Bloom argues that human pleasure is not purely an instinctive, superficial, sensory reaction; it has a hidden depth and complexity.

» READ MORE
 
Is she flirting with you? Take the quiz and find out.
"It is a great good and a great gift, this Greater Good. I bow to you for your efforts to bring these uplifting and illuminating expressions of humanity, grounded in good science, to the attention of us all."  
Jon Kabat-Zinn

Best-selling author and founder of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program

thnx advertisement