December 17, 2005

Is 'extreme bias' a mental illness?

Shankar Vedantam has penned an article for the Washington Post exploring the link between psychological disorders and extreme biases such as racial prejudice. In the article, Vedantam notes how mental health practitioners regularly confront extreme forms of racism, homophobia and other prejudice in the course of therapy, and that some patients are disabled by these beliefs. "As doctors increasingly weigh the effects of race and culture on mental illness," writes Vedantam, "some are asking whether pathological bias ought to be an official psychiatric diagnosis."

Convenient how Vedantam and the psychologists he interviewed failed to mention the effects of religious memes on the brain. For more on that topic, check out my column, "Ending Biblical Brainwash."

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