Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Doll Test Without Dolls

In Anderson Cooper's recreated "Doll Test," conducted for his CNN news show, Anderson Cooper 360°, he used cartoon characters with various skin tones (instead of dolls) to represent people with a variety of complexions, from white to black.  The first segment of AC's test aired on May 14, 2010, in an attempt to recreate/update Dr. Kenneth Clark's original "Doll Test," which began in 1939 and extended into the 1940s.

In Anderson's test, using images, kindergartners to middle school-age children were subjects.  They were asked a series of  "questions related to [their] perceptions of their own skin color, the skin color they would most like and least like to have and questions assessing their perceptions of the skin colors that are most valued by “referent others”, such as peers, teachers and other adults."*

There are five videos at the CNN website documenting Cooper's "Doll Test."  The first three document the children's responses.  The last two are of a psychologist who offers input.

The link to the videos is below.  Depending on your Internet connection, it may take a while for everything to load; be patient:

More Links:
Documented results of Cooper's Doll Test
Documented results of Dr. Clark's original Doll Test


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