ERIC Number: ED179672
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1979-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
Racial Preferences in Psychological Differentiation: An Alternative Explanation for Group Differences.
Shade, Barbara J.
Behavioral differences have often been noted between blacks and whites. These differences seem to be associated with the perception and interpretation of the environment and the subsequent selection of the appropriate adapting strategies. This is a socialized difference which is best explained by the concept of psychological differentiation or cognitive style. The concept refers to the way an individual analyzes and structures his environment based upon his visual perceptions, that is, whether he is field-dependent or field-independent. Although there is disagreement as to whether or not psychological differentiation has any relationship to intelligence, field-independent individuals appear to function better in school situations. Various studies have shown racial differences in psychological differentiation with blacks tending towards field-dependence. However, when social class and sex are entered as variables this assumption becomes questionable. Other areas where perceptual differences have been noted between the races include the emphasis on the oral and aural modes among blacks, social distance or proxemics, and learning and thinking style. Whether these differences exist between classes or not, there is one factor which affects all levels and classes of blacks which may be a significant variable--racism. (RLV)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Wisconsin Univ., Madison. Research and Development Center for Individualized Schooling.