Jane Elliott on Racial Discrimination | 30 Things Psychology Students Say – OurWarwick

Jane Elliott on Racial Discrimination | 30 Things Psychology Students Say

Aimee Cheung | Psychology with Education Studies Contact Aimee

I can’t start this post without acknowledging the incredibly unsettling events that we are all aware of.

Please have a read of Faatimah’s (Activism at University) and Audrey’s (Your Student Voice) posts, as well as the plethora of resources that you can share and ways you can help on this website: https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co/#.

I also want to direct you to the work of Jane Elliot.

What if we all discriminated one another based on whether we had brown or blue eyes? (The full experiment can be found on YouTube by searching ‘A Class Divide’).

You may recall an exercise/ experiment which Jane Elliott (an anti-racism activist and educator) introduced into her third grade (UK equivalent of Year 4) classroom to raise awareness of the unjust treatment that Black Americans face. All it took was this very nuanced division and a couple of labels (i.e.: brown/ blue eyed people are smarter and troublemakers) to spread prejudice and discrimination among these children. They become so engrossed in the ‘fact’ that their eye colour defined their identity and status. This is despite these children very clearly speaking against racial inequality at this very start of their class. If you think that adults would act differently, think again:

Appalling isn’t it?

Anti-black discrimination and similar brutal (as well as detrimental, non-explicit) acts of racism that is found in all countries is not just a part of history books. It’s a part of reality. Think about this: What much has changed? Why hasn’t it changed?

I would highly urge you to take a look at these experiments designed by Elliott and share them with anyone you know. We need to (and should be) challenging the way that our family, friends, colleagues, and peers speak about others. We all have a job to speak against it at the very least.


Second-Year Psychology students have 3 exams within the next week (perks of central timetabling) so this is going to be a real quick post. I was going to insert a blooper reveal of me filming (what was supposed to be a quick) 60 second clip as a sort of mini introduction to Psychology for the virtual open day that’s coming up, but me and technology aren’t very good friends, so maybe another day…

But I still have a light-hearted post for you!

Psychology students often find themselves saying some very strange things. We also tend to think things that we wouldn’t say out loud. Here are 30 things that I have found myself and fellow psychology students say/ think. I’m sure that non-psych students will be able to relate to some of these to some extent to. Prospective Psych students: when you eventually find yourselves saying/ thinking some of these things, don’t worry. It’s normal!

  1. I’m sick of talking about ice cream…” (Research projects. Sometimes they seem totally random but it’s one of those ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ moments, because I can assure you that the study isn’t actually about ice cream at all).
  1. Can you really blame them?” (Reasoning behaviours of people who have committed some awful crimes instead of immediately dismissing someone as a bad person. Yes, we get concerned when we find ourselves doing this as well).
  1. Oh, my goodness… I’m such a bad person!” (Social Psych is all I need to say here).
  1. Thank goodness for SPSS.”
  1. I’m going to have a breakdown.” (Also, over SPSS).
  1. I swear, if one more person asks me to read their mind…” (Don’t say it…)
  1. I study Psychobiology/ Neuroscience and stats by the way.” (In defence of the ‘is psychology a science?’ debate).
  1. WHYYYY!?” (Finally finding a paper which sounds like it perfectly backs up a point you really want to include in your assignment, but you can’t read it because it’s on APA PsychNet. The struggle).
  1. My amygdala is on fire!” (When something triggers the flight or fight response).
  1. sighs* and *rolls eyes* (Getting excited when another lecturer mentions looking into the psychological role of something then talk about Freud and Psychoanalysis. Biggest disappointment).
  1. Period of ‘Storm and Stress?’ Been in that for the last 5 years.” (Will there ever be an end?)
  1. Woww…I’m so smart!” (Being able to properly follow what’s happening in documentaries because you understand all the concepts and scientific jargon that you never did before).
  1. I’m so dumb….” (When a lecturer reads out a concrete operational task for you to solve and you struggle to figure out the answer).
  1. I could train you…” (whilst looking at an ant).
  1. [Insert trying to memorise and learn how to spell unfamiliar surnames for an exam].” (We do take notice of the names. It’s just that our inner voice just goes “mjfndsj” when reading them).
  1. You can’t say that!” (Being super conscious of the way others address or talk about other people).
  1. Nooo! Stop! Stop! Stop!” (In a psychobiology lecture because if there’s one thing you don’t understand, the rest of the lecture won’t make any sense).
  1. Should I delete my search history?” (Whilst looking over your shoulder every 5 seconds).
  1. That tree looks like a neuron… “ (In reference to synaptogenesis).
  1. Have people been fabricating their data?” (Not getting a significant result in a replication of a study when every single literature you have read has found a significant result).
  1. Are you being serious? No. Wait. Let me do that again, I don’t believe it.” (Being in complete denial when you actually get a significant result, followed by redoing the analyses and check over data 10 times just to be sure).
  1. Ahwwwwwww!!” (Every single developmental psych lecture).
  1. Ohhh, that’s how you say it!” (In first year when lecturers actually say the names of brain structures like the ‘amygdala’ out loud, so you finally learn how to pronounce them).
  1. That’s not evidence.” (Being critical when people back up their claim without empirical or logical evidence).
  1. Please, stop.” (When someone tries to use CBT on you, and you know exactly what they are doing and what they’re going to say next. It just doesn’t work the same once you know).
  1. I’m really feeling the cognitive dissonance.” (Having conflicting thoughts, feelings, and behaviours feels different once you’re aware of it).
  1. What am I studying?” (Stats, Biology, Sociology, Philosophy, Linguistics; Zoology? We have random bits of information about all sorts).
  1. I still don’t know what I want to do.” (Despite the above).
  1. Don’t talk to me.” (When someone tells you that your degree is ‘easy’ or ‘common sense’).

Last but not least…


Maybe this post will help you to understand us more. Or maybe I’ve just ruined our reputations… Hopefully not too much!

Panda: via GIPHY

Angry child: Alexander Dummer | Pexels

Babies in bunny costume: Pixabay

Aimee Cheung | Psychology with Education Studies Contact Aimee

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