A Psychological Experiment(Participation. Deadline: 10/30, 5:00 PM)

Watch a film on a psychological experiment devised by Jane Eliott. Know about her from her website: http://www.janeelliott.com/

Now watch the movie and respond to the following question:

What comments do this experiment make on
(a) discrimination
(b) criminal justice system
(c) race relations, etc. (you are free to include other aspects)?


25 thoughts on “A Psychological Experiment(Participation. Deadline: 10/30, 5:00 PM)

    a. In the experiment, retired American teacher, Jane Eliott, segregates people by eye color. Blue-Eyes are bullied and underprivileged (metaphorical African-Americans in society), and Brown-Eyes are the privileged group and receive favoritism from Jane Elliot (metaphorical Caucasians with “white privilege”). She wants white people to realize that racism is unfair, illogical and very real. As the trials and tribulations of the Blue-Eyes ensue, some crazy events occur…
    b. The Brown-Eyes are favored by their leader, Jane Elliot. Thus, they were more encouraged to follow her beliefs about the Blue-Eyes. As she told the Brown-Eyes why the Blue-Eyes were inferior, the Brown-Eyes were more adept to believe her and follow her examples in discriminating against the Blue-Eyes.
    c. This proved that people who are favored by power were more willing to discriminate against the un-favored in order to maintain their privilege, whether they knew, or agreed, with it or not. This represents white people following the social powers that are naturally set against African-Americans in society. This tells people not to help, fix or believe people who suffer from the system because they themselves have never experienced the humiliation of the discriminatory system.

    a. Thus, because of the “race relation” below, the Blue-Eyes are criminalized for trying to rise up against the system led by the “power/privileged” segmentation. The Brown –Eyes are conditioned to feel more “justified” for not being “belligerent” with the leader because they are privileged.

    a. This experiment proves that discrimination can happen with any physical attribute for any petty reason, not JUST skin color. It can happen with any physical aspect that is considered different from the “leadership/power/privileged” segmentations of society, thus leaving the un-lead segmentations to be being stereotyped as dangerous, insignificant, ignorant, aggressive, etc.
    b. Throughout the experiment, the Blue-Eyes are confusing prejudice with discrimination…

    • How do minorities feel about this experiment? Do they feel it is effective in conveying their struggles to white people?


    1. “I think people that are learning a lot here, are actually the brown group, ‘cos they’re learning about how impenetrable for white people for majority people to understand it. They don’t want to accept that there’s discrimination, or they don’t see it, or they don’t understand what they’re seeing when they do see it”
      from the psychologist before monitors


  2. A) Discrimination: I found it interesting in this video that a little old woman could have such a big impact on people and divide such a wide variety of people just based upon eye color I think that discrimination goes way farther than just the color of a persons skin and I think that this test was a very good way to show people that racism/ discrimination could be shown in many other ways besides the color of someone’s skin.

    B) Criminal Justice: I think that it was very different for the old lady to point out all of the Blue Eyed people and make them do more things and treat them way more different than they Brown Eyed people you can tell that she is being discriminatory toward a person with Blue eyes and favors Brown eyes above the other ones.

    C) Race Relations: I think that discrimination and racism goes a lot farther than just the color of someone’s skin because she took it to a whole another level and chose to try to see how racism and how far she could really push the race card with different aspects about certain kinds of people.


    1. I find all your points to be true and I also liked how someone who seemed so innocent and harmless can make a bunch of strangers feel this way in order to express a point. She is not afraid to speak her mind which i respect. Discrimination definitely goes further than skin color, it is to the core of the person it is printed into them since they are young and the only way to stop this is to teach them at a young age what is happening and how to prevent and stop it.


  3. A) Discrimination: In the beginning of the video a part stood out to me. In summary Janet wanted to show the children in her class how discriminating someone by their eye color is crazy, just how it’s crazy to judge someone by their skin color. During her experiment a white lady tried to compare herself to the black lady about conforming. The white lady did not get the point that based on her color, they live different lives. This experiment showed that the people with blue eyes were put in the position of “people of color” did not realize that discrimination still exists.
    B) Criminal Justice: The Blue eyed people struggle to make their points across to Janet, who purposely avoided them. The Brown eyed people were the privileged and were less integrated.
    C)Race relations: It was obvious that the minorities struggle to make their point across to the blue eyes that they are being discriminated. Whites say they are being discriminated as well but do not realize that there are different.


  4. a) Discrimination: discriminating of the eye color of people which to me was a little redundant just like discriminating against skin color. It was interesting when blue eyes were placed in the shoes of colored people and the outcome of it. this proved that discrimination still existed in the real world.

    b) Criminal Justice: the brown eyed were more privilege than those with blue eyes. The blue eyed on the other hand, had difficulties putting their points across. Therefore the favor was in the hands of the brown eyed people.

    c) Race Relations: the way the lady tried to make it a point that racism was still real, she had to go beyond the limits to get her message across. this made me think that discrimination and racism goes beyond the color of ones skin.


    1. I agree with you Rose that discrimination and racism does beyond skin color. This experiment was also about the criminal justice system and race relations. It is much deeper than what most people think.


    2. I agree with Rose: why would you discriminate based on eye color? That’s so pointless. It proves that discrimination can come in many different forms.


      1. I think that the fact that discriminating by eye color is pointless is the whole point. People shouldn’t be judged by the color of their eyes just as they shouldn’t be judged by the color of their skin. I think the fact that she chose to use eye color to separate the two groups was brilliant because eye color is another one of those things that we can’t change about ourselves, but it is also something that no one ever thinks about. Right from the start of the video when she was having them sign in by eye color was an eyebrow raising moment for me, mostly because i didn’t know what was going to happen, but also because separating people by eye color never would have occurred to me.


  5. I think the discrimination played out in the experiment highlights a lot of the issues we’ve discussed in class. Many white people are blinded by denial and don’t see that there is a difference of scale and degree to the types of discrimination a person of color and a white person face. Other comments that were made show how easy it is to put people in an underdog role over something they cannot control. This is especially true when the person in power is maybe operating in a way that puts these underdog people at a disadvantage. This is probably why the race relations expressed by the discriminated white people with blue eyes felt like they were being attacked and why people of color in the brown eyed group saw it as how colored people suffer because of the system on a day to day basis. The systemic challenges colored people also face includes the criminal justice system when the topic of being stopped and frisked came up and how a black teenager for 8x more likely to be stopped than a white teenager. This experiment really did show how racist people can be with or without knowing it.


  6. I think this video has to do with bullying more then anything. One of the ladies said that she lived in an area where she was one of the only whites and she experienced a form of racism just like what blacks experience. another thing is that you do not have to experience something o know its going on. I don’t have to experience war to know that people die everyday. I do agree that to find out how people really feel you have to got to the extreme but in my point of view her experiment had to do with bullying not racism. she tested her experiment out on children in elementary school and she said that it was amazing how fast they turned on each other. To me this has more to do with bullying then anything.


  7. What comments do this experiment make on
    (a) Discrimination:
    Stereotypes are brought on to people to make them think certain things about a group, which is where discrimination stems from. This video showed that, when Janet singled out the white woman who couldn’t/didn’t want to sit on the ground, she accused her of being a liar then preceded to make a statement about how all blue-eyed people are liars. This mirrors how stereotypes and discrimination work in society. Discrimination is a terrible thing because it attacks people for things that they can’t control, traits they were born with, which is what this experiment aimed to prove. It was shown how discrimination forces people to conform and heavily impacts how a person is able to live their lives, like the half black man who is unable to pick up his daughter from her all white school, in fear of her peers treating her differently by seeing that her father is black.

    (b) Criminal justice system:
    Janet’s role in this experiment was to act as the controlling power force like the one that exists in society. Her role revealed how the system was against the blue-eyed individuals, and how it was operated so that they were put at a disadvantage just how the power structures do in reality. By privileging a certain group of people many minority groups are put at a disadvantage and oftentimes chose to do nothing because they feel powerless.

    (c) Race relations, etc. (you are free to include other aspects):
    This experiment portrayed how races may act towards each other; this was represented through groups being assigned by eye color. The way the groups interacted exposed real-life opinions on race, many of the blue-eyed people fought and refused to let Janet belittle them. Meanwhile the brown-eyed group sat quietly for a majority of the time and watched as Janet repeatedly tried to make them feel bad about themselves. The behavior of the brown-eyed people is very similar to that of privileged people when minorities are being discriminated against. Another point that was introduced during the experience was how people, often white, aren’t effected by racism therefore they are lead to believe it does not exist. A response that came from the blue-eyed women showed how she was so much in denial that she blamed the brown-eyed people and told them to figure it out. The host of the show and the doctor and psychologist, elaborated on how people are oftentimes so much in denial that they blame the victim. A point that I thought was important, was that Janet said “white people are conditioned to the myth of white superiority,” and that is why all whites are racist. I think her point highlighted how power structures condition people and create this relationship between races.

    A question that remains for me, is whether the results of this experiment varies greatly between different countries?


  8. this is my response to Rebecca’s question:

    I think this situation is good for both sides, and it is helpful in representing what it is like to be part of a minority. I do think it’s an effective experiment but the effect varies between each individual and whether or not their point of view has been influenced and/or changed.


  9. A) Discrimination
    The idea of separating people based on color of their eyes was a good idea, because you had colored and white people on the brown eyed side of the experiment. I believe it is very true that white people are colorblind to racism and how much it really does exist, not just in america but all over the world. By segregating the real superiority and making them feel unimportant is a real life scenario of how colored folks feel everyday, but white refuse to acknowledge these statistics.
    B) Criminal Justice System
    In this video Janet plays the role of the Criminal Justice System. She made the rules and she decided who was superior. Much like our system today, they make these rules and decide who has the power and there’s no arguing with them because their plan, their system of rules, is set in stone.
    C) Race Relations, ect.
    The accusations of race were very clear. What I noticed throughout the video between the brown eyed group and the blue eyed group was that the brown eyed group has stayed together even though they were mad dup of different colors, besides the few who rebelled in ignorance to what Janet was trying to accomplish. This goes to show that colored folks really don’t seclude themselves from white just because they aren’t of the same race, whereas white people seclude themselves..


  10. Discrimination: Discrimination was determined by eye color in this video. I thought it was very interesting for the lady to do that! The black woman mentioned that she was brought into the world the way she is and can’t change that. The white boy was acting disrespectful and was not understanding the logic of the experiment so he was kicked out. Quite a few of the white people in the video don’t see how racism effects black people so the tables are turned.
    Criminal Justice System: Jane Eliot created the rules and told the brown-eyed people how to act toward the blue-eyed people.
    Race Relations: I learned that discrimination can happen anywhere against anything. The blue people in the video were being discriminated again and were not happy. They want things their way, feel like everything should be about them, are unaware, and try to change the situation. I noticed that the brown-eyed people kept their words to themselves and tried to stay out of it.


  11. Discrimination: People here were judged by the color of their eye. The blue eyed people were targeted in this scenario. There was a point where a white male with brown eyes didn’t agree with this situation because the blue eyed people being discriminated. However as the black women mentioned, she didn’t choose to be born black.
    Criminal Justice: The elderly women played the role of the superiority. The brown eyed people held an advantage over the white people.
    Race Relations: I believe that the elderly women made discrimination very clear between brown eyed and blue eyed people.


  12. Discrimination: People were picked out by their eye color in this scenario that was set up in order to make the point, about how stupid and irrelevant differences in appearances are. White people seem to be so color blind that do not know what to do. I liked how Janet would find one thing, then exploit it to everyone else of that color, doing this to such little things puts in perspective how ridiculous stereotyping and discriminating an entire race because
    of one thing you noticed that is of no utter importance.

    Criminal Justice: In the video Janet decided who was superior and who was inferior, and you had to abide by the rules no matter how ridiculous it is. I feel as though this point is not quite as effective of getting the point about how stupid racism is.

    Race Relations: This experiment or scenario showed race relations and how blind people are and how people can create a way to make differences no matter what. The blue eyed people were very unhappy about the discrimination and were willing to to fight to stop it, no matter the cost (from the appearance)


  13. A) Discrimination: It’s crazy because we were talking about this study in my communications class. Jane Elliot has been doing this since she was a elementary school teacher and wanted to show kids that discrimination can be more than skin color. Blue eyed people were oppressed and brown eyed people were empowered. The results of this experiment was unbelievable because even something as different as eye color can depict racism and breakdown people who are different.

    B) Criminal Justice system: This to me showed how segregated it is in solitary and how discrimination is portrayed. A lot of crimes are committed by white people but exposure of Latinos and Blacks are far higher on the news compared to other ethnic groups. Because of this the justice system is focused more on minorities and in return are subject to more oppressive gestures.

    C) Race Relations: It’s remarkable how one woman can change a whole outlook on racism and how it only took Jane 45 minutes to tear down an entire group of people who were in denial of racism. It proves that discrimination is deeper than color. I am also amused of the reactions of the people who are trying to blame minorities for their train of thought. “Playing the game” is certainly a good metaphor becomes people of color have to conform to society and the idea that you must fall in line in order to not be accepted into society. If minorities do voice their opinions or stand up against the cause then there is a high chance they will become an outcast.


  14. a)Discrimination
    We don’t have our own opinion. What we have, are added by our social environment, either by people in charge, or the social ideology (folkways, norms, taboos; what are they and what should we do our not and under what circumstances), in a way, power system. The origin of this series of experiment proved how discrimination generated and how powerful it is. It can make elementary school boy “hate him (a blue eye classmate of his) in the gust”. It’s both heartbreaking to hear something so blunt and malicious from a child. I think it’s an alarm for all of us on the matter of the importance of education. If we want to stop discrimination in the future, we must teach it. Let children aware of every conduct they made and the impact on others (also on themselves).

    b) Criminal Justice system
    I think the simplest example in the clip would be the “different test papers”. Also at the beginning of the test, how brown eyes and blues eyes were distributed into different rooms, how brown eyes got the conclusion “blues eyes are liars”, induced by Jane Elliot. In a word, the power makes things easier for one group and harder for the other, and it’s an easy thing to follow the mainstream instead of making himself/ herself a deviance.

    c) Race relations
    The two groups were turned against each other by the tricks from people in charge.


  15. Discrimination in this video was all about eye color. I didn’t know eye color could be an example of discrimination and it makes no sense as to why it would be. People can’t help what the color of their skin is and they have no choice in their eye color either. Skin color and eye color are things nobody can really change about themselves.
    White people and black/Latino people commit similar crimes but it is mostly the minorities that are in the news because of the crime. I think this video did a good job on showing the realities of the criminal justice system today.
    The race relations part of the video proved that discrimination is deeper than just color and it made today’s discrimination very clear.


  16. this whole video was about eye color and discriminating people because of it. This to me really makes zero sense, and I didn’t even know you could discriminate because eye color. I guess this is related to racism because ultimately racism is very stupid and everyone is equal, so I guess they were just trying to use an example to prove to we the people of America of how discriminating accomplishes nothing and is really just down right unfair and pointless.


  17. racism really goes farther than just skin color. This experiment was truly amazing to see how whites were finally able to visualize how colored people are by stepping into their shoes and being discriminated against.


  18. a) Discrimination
    Those who were blue-eyed were discriminated against while those who were brown-eyed were empowered. I loved this experiment due to the fact that it really showed the participants how ridiculous discrimination is especially by just the color of your skin, or the color of your eyes.

    b)Criminal Justice System
    This was actually what my history debate was on. Majority of crimes are done by Whites, yet blacks and latinos are put on blast when they make one mistake. Out of the past 62 mass shootings, 44 were done by a white perpetrator. Similarly how it was portrayed in the test example in the video, placing a stereotype on a color is just ridiculous. It is crazy how corrupt the Criminal Justice System truly is.

    c) Race Relations
    Jane tore down a race in a matter of a single video. Discrimination creates differences and problems amongst races.


  19. a) Discrimination
    The main thing I got from the responses of the white people in this video is that they are completely oblivious to the discrimination that colored people face everyday. They kept trying to make examples of where they face discrimination too, but they completely missed the mark with what they were trying to say and couldn’t comprehend the truth. I think some of them were starting to feel what having no power felt like as the experiment went on with having their opinions ignored and being spoken over (and just getting sandwiches at lunch), but there were some very hard headed people who would not budge from their views to see that people of color are discriminated against every day.

    b) Criminal Justice System
    Honestly, I did not catch how this video in specific talked about criminal justice systems, but from other readings that we have done, it is obvious that the criminal justice system is racist and will profile suspects based on race. From this video, when Jane would push aside the blue eyes’ opinions and not listen to anything they tried to say, i could see how this would correlate with the criminal justice system because from videos we’ve watched it is obvious that what ever people try to say, the police will tell them to shut up and won’t give them a chance to say anything.

    c) Race Relations
    I found it quite interesting how while the blue eyes we’re trying to justify themselves as white people, there were also brown eyes that were doing the same. So even though they were being treated better and were given more power over the blue eyes, the white brown eyes correlated themselves more still with people of the same race and tried to justify their actions against people of color just as the blue eyed whites were doing.
    I feel as though the white people who were talking the most in the video Jane never got her point across to. I feel as though Jane’s experiment didn’t go quite as planed especially when the one girl ruined the experiment with the test by telling everyone that the brown eyes had been given the answers. I was kind of disappointed because I would have been very interested in how the results turned out and if maybe Jane would have gotten through to more people had the experiment worked.


  20. People can be discriminated against for any attribute. It does not only need to be the color of the their skin. I found it interesting how the women categorized the people based on eye color, and then discriminated those with blue eyes. I think it really made the white people understand how colored people feel on a regular basis. Oftentimes I think white people do not realize the tribulations that colored people endure. This video draws into the criminal justice system because as we have discussed in class black citizens are stopped on the street by the police than white people for no apparent reason. I think this video showed the unfairness involving discrimination, and how your physical attributes do not play into what kind of person you are.


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