Series Note

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Publication Date


Document Type



Abstract: This session will focus on the neurobiology of ethnic and racial discrimination. It will discuss why and how the brain develops bias, prejudice, and discrimination. The session will explain the impact of discrimination on self-perception, mental health, cardiovascular health, academic achievement, behavior, and mortality. It will also provide evidence-based strategies for fostering diversity and uprooting discrimination. These strategies will involve cognitive restructuring and rationalization, raising awareness, empowering victims, effective management the classroom environment and academic content. Activities for engaging participants will be built into the session.

Session Objectives: (1) Explain the neurobiological underpinnings of ethnic/racial discrimination. (2) Describe the impact of discrimination on health, academic performance, and mortality. (3) Explain practical, evidence-based ways for preventing discrimination from taking root and for meaningfully promoting diversity.

Original Citation

Abdelal, A. (2015, May 29). Why the Brain Discriminates: Neurobiological Underpinnings of Racial/Ethnic Discrimination. Paper presented at the Lilly International Conference: Evidence-Based Teaching and Learning, Bethesda, MD.