Can Behavior Analysis Help Us Understand and Reduce Racism?
Despite ongoing efforts to eradicate racism, it persists globally, negatively affecting education, mental health, community relations, and economic development. Every behavior analyst can, and should, contribute to the reduction of racism in some way. Unfortunately, little behavior-analytic research exists to guide us. This article proposes ways that members of our scientific community can learn about racism from a behavioral perspective, extend experimental analyses of prejudice, and intervene to reduce racism in varied settings. It describes both traditional behavior-analytic and functional contextualist accounts of racism and summarizes the small amount of related empirical and applied research. The review suggests that combining traditional behavior-analytic methods with acceptance and commitment training techniques may attenuate racism more effectively. The article ends with a call to collaborate around this globally important issue—and to do more to reduce racism.
Matsuda, K., Garcia, Y., Catagnus, R., & Brandt, J. A. (2020). Can Behavior Analysis Help Us Understand and Reduce Racism? A review of the Current Literature. Behavior analysis in practice, 13(2), 336–347. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40617-020-00411-4