Can a Heart Disease Pill Cure Racism? [POLL]

In Life by Kim Muraro , on Thursday, March 08, 2012, 4:49 AM (PST)
racism curing pill


A New Study Suggests Propranolol Lowers Its Users' Racist Attitudes

Now here's a drug side effect we can all embrace: a new study has shown that the heart disease medication Propranolol was found to lower racist attitudes in those who took the pills.

Read: Was That Racist? 7 Questionable Things People Find Racist

The Daily Telegraph, via Jezebel, reports that Oxford University researchers conducted a study in which volunteers who took small doses of the beta blocker pill scored lower on tests that measure "subconscious" racism than people who took placebos.

Translation: the pill seemed to lower whether or not people had negative or positive associations when shown photos of people of different races, suggesting fear caused the negative reactions and meaning the drug could help eliminate that feeling towards people of different races.

Read: Donald Trump, David Letterman Trade Barbs Over Racist Claim

The researchers believe that's exactly how the drug, which is also used to treat anxiety and panic attacks, works: it acts in the part of the brain that regulates fear.

Makes sense, even to us non-scientists, though another scientist told the Telegraph the effects may have been "due to the drug incidentally reducing heart rate."

Tell us:

Take Our Poll

Do you believe it's possible that something like racist attitudes could be cured by a pill?

  1. Sure. We know drugs can affect many other brain functions, so why not racist attitudes?
  2. No. I think racist attitudes are a product of environment, how someone was raised, and drugs can't change that.


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