Researchers Claim Heart Drug May Curb Subconscious Racism

My Fox Philly, March 7, 2012

Researchers at Oxford University say a drug commonly used to treat heart disease may also make patients less racist.

In their study, published in the journal Psychopharmacology this month, volunteers given a dose of the beta-blocker propranolol scored lower on a test to measure subconscious racial biases.

The researchers believe their thought-provoking findings could prove that biases are based on automatic, non-conscious emotional responses in the brain—which propranolol blocks—though they cautioned that the drug is not exactly a pill to cure racism.

Three dozen white, mostly British volunteers participated in the experiment. Half were given propranolol and the others were given a placebo before taking an Implicit Association Test (IAT), a common tool in social psychology to gauge subconscious attitudes with snap word and picture associations.

The volunteers who took propranolol scored much lower on the racial IAT and a third of them achieved a negative score, meaning a majority of their subconscious associations were non-racist. No one in the placebo group had such results.

Propranolol had no effect on the participants’ “explicit,” or conscious, prejudices, which were measured when the volunteers were asked to rate how they felt about different groups, including white people, black people, homosexuals, Muslims, Christians and drug addicts.



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  • Alexandra1973

    “Racist?  Here, take this pill and cure it!”

    Why not, they advertise drugs for everything else….

  • StivD

    This drips with an irony that I’m sure isn’t lost on them: a heart drug that can ‘cure’ the heartless emotions that stem from our distant past, when we were all unthinking savages. Science can cure everything! Natural emotions not allowed. 

    Better living thru chemistry.

  • Crack, pot and booze all do the same as blacks use them to get white girls into bed

  • Christopher_Nelson

    Is there any cure for  liberalism?

  • Oxford is a sick joke.  That’s the same “college” that came out with the “medical ethics” paper that said killing an infant after birth was no different than an abortion.   These people are deranged Lysenkoists, who are about as much about science as Stalin was about improving the human condition. 

  • Sonya610

    Propranolol is also used to treat anxiety. Sheesh shoot the test subjects up with Valium and their subconscious “stress” response to other races, or watching car crashes, or zombie films will be lower too! The drug only affects unconscious fears, well based opinions remain unchanged.

  • JohnEngelman

    What we need is a drug that curbs an inability to acknowledge that many racial differences are intractable. 
    Until that drug is developed I recommend reading “The Inequality Taboo,” by Charles Murray.

  • Blacks suffer from more heart trouble than whites.  Does this explain the racism of black people that is caused by the heart medicine they take?

  • jwtb

    Is there a drug for CONSCIOUS racism? Is there a drug for Whites who see the damage and danger of Blacks to make us forget these things?
    Is there a drug to make us believe that vapors in the air cause yellow fever and malaria?
    Is there a drug to make us believe that phlogiston, not oxygen, causes combustion?
    Is there a drug to make us believe that storks bring babies?

    If such a drug exists, please tell me what company makes it, so I can shift my investments. 

  • anonymous_amren

    What this proves is that implicit racist associations are just a normal automatic fear response to a dangerous stimulus, since that is what this drug is known to block. And since black people are far more dangerous than white people, that response is a rational (but automatic and subconscious) one.

    “a third of them achieved a negative score, meaning a majority of their subconscious associations were non-racist.”

    That proves that when you take away their fear response, a third of white people have an anti-white bias. A negative score isn’t “non-racist”, it’s racist against white people, which is due to indoctrination rather than any rational fear.

  • anonymous_amren

    That wasn’t God that gave us that. The people who lacked the instinct to be wary of dangerous people died before they could pass on that trait to descendants, while the people who had that trait survived and passed their genes on. That leads to a slow improvement from one generation to the next in subconscious aversion to danger. It’s called evolution, and it’s important for race realists to understand. Evolution is a simple concept to understand if you try, and it explains everything about race.

  • Hirschibold

     Thanks but no thanks. When faced with a choice between my god-given instincts and a form of mind-control, I’ll go with the former. Knowing the way of the prevailing wind, though, I wonder if they will stop putting fluoride into water and replace it with this drug.

  • Djinn42

    So now we need pills to cure us of racism?
    Man, I don’t think even Orwell could’ve made this stuff up.

  • Southern__Hoosier

    I wonder if it works on Blacks or just Whites? Now boys in school will get propranolol along with their Ritalin. Got to start them early. Who knows maybe they can come up with a new drug that will make people more liberal.

    Forget Orwell, it’s Brave New World.

    • Pandemonium

      There is a kind of drug to “make them more liberal”. You restrict oxygen to the brain for a short while, then stop. Lack of oxygen to the brain subtracts IQ point, hence, another liberal!!

  • Alexandra1973

    You hear about the FDA wanting to call walnuts drugs?  Or something along that line?  Their reasoning:  “If it’s taken to prevent/cure disease, it’s a drug.”

    Oh, and they swear up and down raw milk is dangerous.

    White is black and black is white.  Down is up and up is down!

  • What a load of cr**. I’ve been using propranolol/Inderal long time ago- my physician had prescribed it for high blood pressure treatment (I don’t use it any more because it’s actually old beta-blocker, not very efficient). Never noticed any effect on mental state or opinions.