Clark Doll Quiz: Black kids are racist
Jul 15, 2021
The Clark Doll Test reveals the detrimental effects of racial stereotypes and ethnic segregation in the United States.
The Clark Doll Test
The study shows us the damage caused by segregation and structural racism in the self-perception of children between six and nine years of age.
The Clark Wrist Test was performed by the Dr. Kenneth Clark. The research wanted to bring to light the stereotypes and self-perception of children linked to their ethnic origin. Findings from Clark's experience were used to confirm that racial segregation in schools could alter young people's thinking about African-Americans, causing them to internalize certain stereotypes that would give foundation to xenophobic beliefs, both in white youth and, surprisingly, in black youth, causing the latter to also reproduce certain ideas against blacks.
The test is famous for its relevance and the Social impact which he assumed, although it has been criticized that the test lacks experimental guarantees. Clark noted the contrasts between children who attend slum schools in Washington, D.C., and those from integrated colleges in New York City.
Clark's test had a decisive influence on Brown v. American Board of Education, in 1954. The investigation served to persuade the US Supreme Court that “separate but equal” colleges for blacks and whites had unequal foundations, and therefore were contrary to the law, which defended the integration and equality of children in the school.
During the experiment, Clark showed African-American children ages six to nine two rag dolls, one of them White skin (which corresponded to the image of a Caucasian person) and the other of black complexion (corresponding to a black person.
The questions were presented in this order:
- Point out the doll that you like the most or that you would like to play with.
- Point out the doll that is the "good one".
- Point out the doll that looks like the “bad” one.
- Give me the doll that looks like a white girl.
- Give me the doll that looks like a colored girl.
- Give me the doll that looks like a black man.
- Give me the doll that looks like you.
The experimenters revealed that black children chose to play with white dolls more often. When the children were asked to draw a human figure with the same skin color, they usually chose a skin tone that was lighter than their own. The children attributed more positive adjectives to the color "white", such as pretty and good. Conversely, the color "black" was associated with the attributes of bad Y ugly.
The last question the scholars asked was one of the most controversial. Up to that point, most black children had identified the black doll as "the bad one." Among the participants, 44% indicated that the white doll was the one that most resembled themselves.
The researchers interpreted the results as evidence that black children internalized certain prejudices and prejudices at a young age. racist stereotypes, caused by discrimination and stigmatization generated by racial segregation.
Criticism of the investigation
The Clark Doll Test has been criticized for having transcended thanks to the mediatization of its influence in the case of the US Court, the study being pointed out as lacking prior theoretical deepening and control of the variables.
Critics contend that the study authors (Clark and his wife) committed certain biases of bias as they were a marriage of African-American ethnic origin, may have distorted the results to victimize people of color.