ORA Journal article: "Propranolol reduces implicit negative racial bias" - uuid:825bac0e-4034-44f7-bba9-0eb03399087d



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Reference: Terbeck, S, Kahane, G, McTavish, S et al., (2012). Propranolol reduces implicit negative racial bias. Psychopharmacology, 222 (3), 419-424.

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Title: Propranolol reduces implicit negative racial bias

Abstract: Background Implicit negative attitudes towards other races are important in certain kinds of prejudicial social behaviour. Emotional mechanisms are thought to be involved in mediating implicit “outgroup” bias but there is little evidence concerning the underlying neurobiology. The aim of the present study was to examine the role of noradrenergic mechanisms in the generation of implicit racial attitudes. Methods Healthy volunteers (n = 36) of white ethnic origin, received a single oral dose of the β-adrenoceptor antagonist, propranolol (40 mg), in a randomised, double-blind, parallel group, placebo-controlled, design. Participants completed an explicit measure of prejudice and the racial implicit association test (IAT), 1–2 h after propranolol administration. Results Relative to placebo, propranolol significantly lowered heart rate and abolished implicit racial bias, without affecting the measure of explicit racial prejudice. Propranolol did not affect subjective mood. Conclusions Our results indicate that β-adrenoceptors play a role in the expression of implicit racial attitudes suggesting that noradrenaline-related emotional mechanisms may mediate negative racial bias. Our findings may also have practical importance given that propranolol is a widely used drug. However, further studies will be needed to examine whether a similar effect can be demonstrated in the course of clinical treatment.

Peer Review status:Peer reviewed
Publication status:Published
Version:Accepted Manuscript
Funder: Wellcome Trust
Notes:Copyright © Springer-Verlag 2012. The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00213-012-2657-5
About The Authors
institutionUniversity of Oxford
Oxford, HUM, Philosophy, Philosophy NonPostholders
institutionUniversity of Oxford
Oxford, HUM, Philosophy, Philosophy Postholders
institutionUniversity of Oxford
Oxford, MSD, Psychiatry
institutionUniversity of Oxford
Oxford, MSD, Experimental Psychology
Bibliographic Details
Publisher: Springer-Verlag
Publisher Website: http://www.springer.com/
Journal: Psychopharmacology see more from them
Volume: 222
Issue: 3
Extent: 419-424
Issue Date: 2012-8
Urn: uuid:825bac0e-4034-44f7-bba9-0eb03399087d
Source identifier: 251157
Eissn: 1432-2072
Issn: 0033-3158
Item Description
Type: Journal article;
Language: aa
Version: Accepted Manuscript
Member of collection : ora:journalarticle
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Copyright Holder: Springer-Verlag
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