How to have an honest conversation on race: Lose control!

As reported in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, those who were mentally depleted – that is, those lacking discipline and self-control – found talking about race with a black interviewer much more enjoyable than did those with their self-control intact. That’s presumably because they weren’t working so hard at monitoring and curbing what they said. What’s more, independent black observers found that the powerless volunteers were much more direct and authentic in conversation. And perhaps most striking, blacks saw the less inhibited whites as less prejudiced against blacks. In other words, relinquishing power over oneself appears to thwart over-thinking and “liberate” people for more authentic relationships.

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