In a study, students were shown different pictures with one colored student and one white student. In the first picture the white student is walking in the halls and a black student in front of him is falling. In the second picture their races were swapped. Students were not given any context to photographs as to keep the study ambiguous. Both white and African American students were tested, and similar images were shown to 6 year olds. When testing 6 year olds an overwhelming majority of white kids were negative about interracial friendships, while the majority of black kids were positive about the experience. But by age 13 the optimism from young black children fades. At age 6, 59% believed in the positive interracial friendship, however by age 13, 63% did not think the students in the image were friends. The expert explains that the decline happens because students have been given a “sobering reality check on race.” Optimism declines after many years of negative peer interactions where black students are constantly told that they are not the same and do not belong.
Continually students were asked about interracial dating and many kids mentioned the views of their parents. Both white and black students claimed that their parents would be disappointed and unaccepting of interracial dating. Besides parents, racial prejudice also happens within schools. Studies showed that students in majority white schools were most pessimistic about race. However, in racial diverse schools most students were optimistic. According to the psychologist, the experience of diversity within the schools allows for friendships to grow which is the most powerful thing that can reduce prejudice.