Resources The Doll Test – the effects of racism on children

The Doll Test – the effects of racism on children

14th September 2022|Video

A video discussing the ‘doll test’, a psychological experiment designed in the 1940s in the USA to test the degree of marginalization felt by African American children caused by prejudice, discrimination and racial segregation.

The below video, filmed in 2016 with children with differing racial and ethnic characteristics, think about the dolls when asked questions such as “which is the good doll?”. The children’s’ reactions generally assign “good” characteristics to the white doll, and “bad” characteristics to the black doll.

We have selected this resource as a learning and reflection tool, highlighting how society is structured in a way which confers inherent “good” and “bad” labels to people and characteristics of different race and ethnicities. It is an arresting depiction, illustrating that internalized racism and segregation is still keenly experienced and apparent in people as young as those in the video.

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