Each week, we recap featured posts from Character & Context and other blogs around the cyberspace, plus news stories and tweets worth a look. If you have an item you'd like us to consider, use the hashtag #SPSPblog or tweet us directly @spspnews.
“Black people don’t go to therapy, Joan; we go to church.” So says one woman to her struggling friend on the TV sitcom Girlfriends after her friend admits that she wants to find a therapist. This moment captures an important insight: Identities, like race, gender, and socioecomonic status, are linked to health behaviors. The behaviors that people choose to engage in to promote their health are shaped by what identities come to mind and the strategies for improving health that are linked to those identities.
People are remarkable at processing human faces. In a split second, one can recognize a person’s gender, race, or emotions. However, this expertise only works when the faces belong to one’s own racial group. Known as the own-race advantage (ORA), this psycholgical limitation affects people of all colors. People are notoriously bad at distinguishing between members of unfamiliar racial groups. Scientists have reliably demonstrated the ORA effect across different ethnic groups and with various experimental paradigms.