Updated: Jan 14, 2021
Racism is a mental illness. The definition of racism is to believe that a person’s race makes them inferior or superior to another. It is a mental cognition or awareness. Therefore, racism equates to mental illness. Funder (2019) mention that bad people do not always have personality disorders; some may have a pathological bias about a particular group of individuals. Pathological means something involving, caused by, or of the nature of the physical or mental disease. A racist believes and behaves based on the nature of their mental sickness.
Furthermore, the biological approach reveals the issue of racism and its connection to the amygdala. According to Adolphs (2001), This brain structure is found in all humans, and it links perceptions and thoughts about the world with its emotional meaning. When a person suffering from racism sees an individual of another race, the amygdala receives negative stimuli and causes a negative emotion to process. Personality traits are related to behavioral genetics, including physical appearance. Funder (2019) tells us that heritability determines how your genes affect your personality and provide insight about the effects of the environment.
Remember, pathological bias may be a personality disorder. There is a potential consideration that racism is influenced by genetic factors, such as behavioral genetics and heritable traits, and biological factors, such as a faulty amygdala. The amygdala is faulty because it was trained to receive positive stimuli from certain races and negative stimuli from others. Like the positive feelings of social attractions and sexual responsiveness produced by the amygdala, it also produces negative feelings of fear and anger in response to certain perceptions (Barrett, 2006; Funder, 2019). This is what the biological and genetic factors reveal about the real-world social issue of racism.
Adolphs, R. (2001). The neurobiology of social cognition. Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 11(2), 231–239. https://doi-org.ezproxy.snhu.edu/10.1016/S0959-4388(00)00202-6
Barrett, L. F. (2006). Are Emotions Natural Kinds? Perspectives on Psychological Science : A Journal of the
Association for Psychological Science, 1(1), 28–58. https://doi-org.ezproxy.snhu.edu/10.1111/j.1745-6916.2006.00003.x
Funder, D.C. (2019) The Personality Puzzle (8th). New York, NY: W.W. Norton &Company