TORONTO, Aug. 13 (UPI) — People who felt discriminated against — based on gender, age, race or religion — ate more, were more hostile and had less focus, a Canadian researcher says.
Study leader Michael Inzlicht of the University of Toronto Scarborough and colleagues had a group of women complete a math test and told them the test would determine whether or not they were capable and smart in math — subtly insinuating stereotypes about women and math skills.
A similar group of women were also given a test but were given support and coping strategies to deal with the stress they’d face when writing the test.
After the math test, the two groups of women performed another series of tasks designed to gauge their aggression, ability to focus and self control.
“In these follow-up tests, the women who felt discriminated against ate more than their peers in the control group,” Inzlicht says in a statement. “They showed more hostility than the control group. And they performed more poorly on tests that measured their cognitive skills.”
The pattern remained the same, regardless of the test groups — men, old, young, race or religion — all experienced significant impacts even after they were removed from the situation, Inzlicht says.
The findings are published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.