In the simulation, images of White and Black college-age males appeared on the computer screen. A picture of a gun or a neutral object, e.g. wallet or cell phone, was superimposed onto each of their faces. The computer randomly selected a picture to display on the screen until the participants chose to shoot, chose not to shoot, or time ran out. An error message appeared on the screen for a full second if the suspect was unarmed and the officer shot. The authors stated, "These findings have important implications for both the elimination of racial biases in general and the training of police officers more specifically."
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E. Ashby Plant is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at Florida State University. She has been published in numerous publications.
Dr. Plant is available for questions and interviews.