Neuronauka kulturowa a kategoria rasy: na przykładzie efektu innej rasy

Joanna Malinowska


Joanna K. Malinowska

The Cultural Neuroscience and the Race-category as Illustrated by the Other-race Effect


The concept of race sparks a great controversy in science. During last years, a heated debated on it has been taking place in the field of the relatively young branch of neuroscience: the cultural neuroscience. It is a branch developed in the research program scheme called the biocultural constructivism or biocultural co-constructivism. For, the scientists working in the cultural neuroscience focus on conditions of how various perceptual, cognitive and emotional human activities unfold, which are analyzed by comparing the representatives of various social groups, including those ethnic ones. In my article, I present arguments for the category of race being often used in the researches without discretion as well as its being a hindrance to analyzing some phenomena (such as the other-race effect) in the context needed for their understanding. In this article, I present arguments for the thesis that the other-race effect is an exemplification of the effect of the uniformity of the unknown, which is the effect of the mechanism of the narrowed perception and social factors such as the individual’s knowledge and motivation. I argue that considering this effect on the level of inter-racial relations only leads to a mistaken interpretation thereof as of an independent self-existent phenomenon, whereas a broader research horizon allows to grasp its character better.

Keywords: the effect of the uniformity of the unknown, cultural neuroscience, race, science, motivation.

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