New British Prime Minister Theresa May announced six members of her Cabinet Wednesday.

Amid a sweeping crackdown on dissent in Egypt, security forces have forcibly disappeared hundreds of people since the beginning of 2015, according to a new report from Amnesty International.

It's an "unprecedented spike," the group says, with an average of three or four people disappeared every day.

The Republican Party, as it prepares for its convention next week has checked off item No. 1 on its housekeeping list — drafting a party platform. The document reflects the conservative views of its authors, many of whom are party activists. So don't look for any concessions to changing views among the broader public on key social issues.

Many public figures who took to Twitter and Facebook following the murder of five police officers in Dallas have faced public blowback and, in some cases, found their employers less than forgiving about inflammatory and sometimes hateful online comments.

As Venezuela unravels — with shortages of food and medicine, as well as runaway inflation — President Nicolas Maduro is increasingly unpopular. But he's still holding onto power.

"The truth in Venezuela is there is real hunger. We are hungry," says a man who has invited me into his house in the northwestern city of Maracaibo, but doesn't want his name used for fear of reprisals by the government.

The wiry man paces angrily as he speaks. It wasn't always this way, he says, showing how loose his pants are now.

Ask a typical teenage girl about the latest slang and girl crushes and you might get answers like "spilling the tea" and Taylor Swift. But at the Girl Up Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C., the answers were "intersectional feminism" — the idea that there's no one-size-fits-all definition of feminism — and U.N. climate chief Christiana Figueres.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Pages

To Reduce Prejudice, Try Sharing Passions And Cultures

Aug 23, 2013
Originally published on August 26, 2013 10:17 am

People can become less prejudiced, but it's not entirely clear how we make the journey from hatred to acceptance.

Something as simple as a shared passion for The Catcher in the Rye can help, researchers say. So does getting an inside look at the other person's culture, even if only for a few minutes.

Researchers at Stanford University set up an experiment where a Caucasian or Asian student met a Latina student. Unbeknownst to the Caucasians and Asians, the Latina student was part of the research team. She had been given detailed information about the other student's interests gathered weeks before. And the info was quite specific about that person's passions, like a rare documentary or a particular song, not just general things like, "Oh, I like Harry Potter."

Other studies have found that even sharing a birth date is enough to make people feel positive about someone, and that was the case here, too. The students who shared a passion felt more socially connected than those who didn't have a shared interest.

Simple enough. But what the researchers really wanted to find out is if learning about a person's culture and actively participating in it would affect ethnic prejudice. "Culture tends to be so rich," says Tiffany Brannon, a postdoctoral student in psychology at Stanford who led the study. "It's a source of meaning, self-motivation and pride."

To find out, the researchers asked 58 of the students to work with their new Latina friend to design a new music video for a pop song. The students were given a choice between a Canadian rock band and a Mexican band, Camila. They all chose Camila.

Some students were told the group was popular in Portugal and given information about Portuguese culture, like dance moves, while others learned about aspects of Mexican culture, like the fact that the band's music was used in a telenovela. The students who were socially connected to the Latina student and learned about Mexican culture reported less anti-Latino prejudice after the experiment, even though the video project only took 15 minutes.

But wait, there's more! The researchers then repeated this experiment with another 58 students, the only difference being they were told that they had to use the band Camila. That didn't go over so well. The students who were given the chance to choose the band were less prejudiced after the experiment. They were also more enthusiastic about Mexican culture.

"Sometimes when people come up with multicultural activities in the classroom or in the workplace, it does feel forced," Brannon told Shots. "I'm doing this because I have to, rather than it's something that I'm interested in."

The researchers tested participants' attitudes six months later, as part of a survey on a variety of issues. The students who had been socially connected with the Latina student and were involved in Mexican culture continued to express enthusiasm for learning more. The results were reported in the journal Psychological Science.

"We'd like to get some evidence on how this would work in a real-world setting," Brannon says. "Does becoming involved in another group's culture reduce prejudice in the real world?" She's also looking into whether the experience is positive for the person who's the ethnic minority, too.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.