Tests carried out by scientists at the University of Oxford, England, reveal that a drug used to treat heart disease may have a second purpose: the cure for racism!
In the test, two groups of 18 people were formed. One of them took Propranolol, the medicine for heart disease, and the other, placebos. After taking the medication, each participant took a test in which negative and positive words and images of white and black people appeared on a computer screen, according to the English newspaper The Telegraph. Based on the time it took each one to complete the task, the researchers arrived at the answers.
Those who took Propranolol had lower rates of “implicit” racism than those who only took the placebo. This is because, in addition to fighting heart disease, the drug also affects the part of the brain involved with emotions and fear. Racism is fundamentally based on fear, according to the researchers.
More than 30% of the volunteers had a negative test result, that is, they had no subconscious racist tendencies, characteristics that were not found in any of those who took the placebo.
Julian Savulescu, a professor at the University and co-author of the study, says that “the research raises the possibility that our unconscious and racial attitudes can be modulated by the use of drugs, a possibility that requires careful and ethical analysis”.
He also explains that “biological research aimed at improving people’s morale has a dark past”. Julian says that Propranolol is not a pill against racism, but, “given the number of people who have used the drug and have ‘moral’ effects, we need to at least better understand what happens.”
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