TRC 327: Racial Disparity + Perception Quiz + The Cheerleader Effect

spartan-cheerleadersThis week’s show is #1!  Dina stirs the melting pot and gives us a taste of racial disparity as it relates to education, employment, and the penal system, Darren tests our knowledge of key social issues in our own backyard, and Cristina kicks in with a segment about The Cheerleader Effect. Goooooooo TRC!

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Racial Disparity

Race Is Not Neutral: A National Investigation of African American and Latino Disproportionality in School Discipline

Achievement gap

The African-American Labor Force in the Recovery

Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the US Criminal Justice System

Racial Disparities in the United States Criminal Justice System

Facebook Commentary

Perception Quiz


The Cheerleader Effect

Scientific American: The Cheerleader Effect

Psycological Science: Hierarchical Encoding Makes Individuals in a Group Seem More Attractive

Psychological Science: People Seem More Attractive in a Group Than They Do Apart

Time Magazine: Singles Bar Science: Your Posse Makes You Better Looking

Business Insider: Barney Stinson’s ‘Cheerleader Effect’ Is Real – People Look More Attractive In Groups

Journal of Vision

Ebbinghaus Illusion

NBA Standings



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4 Responses to TRC 327: Racial Disparity + Perception Quiz + The Cheerleader Effect

  1. M. Hunt says:

    Long time listener. Just a quick note to let you peeps know how much I enjoy and look forward to hearing from you every week. It truly is a public service. Keep it up!

  2. Paul Buhler says:

    Unfortunately, Canada has a poor record in its treatment of Aboriginal peoples. For one example,as the Canadian Encyclopedia notes, “Suicide rates for Aboriginal peoples in Canada have for some time been much higher than those of the general population. A 2000 study found that suicide and self-inflicted injuries were the leading causes of death for First Nations people below 45 years of age. Suicide rates among First Nations youth are around five to six times the national average, while Inuit youth rates are approximately ten times the national average.” And of course other factors (crime, life expectancy, income, etc are worse for Native Canadians than the non-Native population). So the United States is not alone in the way it treats its minorities. I applaud Dina’s segment helping raise awareness of the plight of disadvantaged minorities.

    • Dina Tsirlin says:

      Absolutely, the Aboriginal people’s situation in Canada is quite terrible. There’s definitely plenty of material for a segment in the new year to address these issues!

  3. Pierre Dragicevic says:

    Thank you for this great episode. Concerning the Cheerleader effect, the face averaging hypothesis seems in contradiction with the contrast effect, a close to universal effect in perception, and of which the Ebbinghaus illusion you mention in the episode belongs. Since subjects are asked to judge a single face and not a set of faces, it is hard to see how perceptual averaging mechanisms or “ensemble perception” could be involved.

    It is also surprising that the investigators were able to measure such a small effect size with only 37 subjects. All of this makes me very skeptical about this article, although I must admit I haven’t read it.

    On the other hand, it could be very interesting to study the Cheerleader effect from the perspective of evolutionary mating strategies. For someone who is single it seems more optimal to invest time with a group of 10 friends of the opposite sex than with 10 separate individuals (or with groups of mixed-sex people). By making groups of opposite-sex people appear uncommonly attractive, the Cheerleader effect may reinforce more effective mating behaviors.

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