Doll Test

In the “doll test,” psychologists Kenneth and Mamie Clark used four plastic, diaper-clad dolls, identical except for color. They showed the dolls to black children between the ages of three and seven. When asked which they preferred, the majority selected the white doll and attributed positive characteristics to it. The Clarks concluded that “prejudice, discrimination, and segregation” caused black children to develop a sense of inferiority and self-hatred. The Supreme Court cited this work in the Brown v. Board of Education case.

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