Explanations on why ‘WEIRD’ Brains are Hard to Study: Exploring the Barriers in Collecting and Reporting Racial Demographics in the Field of Cognitive Neuroscience

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2023
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Haverford College. Department of Psychology
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Thesis
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Award
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eng
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Tri-College users only
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Abstract
Current practices indicate that collecting and reporting racial demographics is not the norm within the field of cognitive neuroscience (Goldfarb & Brown, 2022). The current study used linear regression and multiple linear regression analyses to determine attitude, demographic, and policy-based predictors for valuing racially diverse samples. The findings were based on survey answers from a convenience sample of neuroscientists from cognitive neuroscience listservs and individuals from the top 20 neuroscience programs in the United States (n = 88). Racially diverse samples were rated significantly higher than racially homogenous samples. Additionally, the number of years since graduation from the researcher’s highest earned degree was negatively correlated with valuing racially diverse samples. The present findings suggest the field should have increased support and incentives for researchers to pursue utilizing more representative samples and radically reexamine how best to influence progressive change, particularly among those in the highest positions of power.
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