Effects of Perception: Black and White Doll Experiment by Dr. Kenneth Clark


A survey conducted by Dr. Kenneth Clark used african american/ black children to pick between white and brown/black doll, and asked them which one they preferred to as the prettier doll. 63% of them chose the white doll. That was back in 1939 where results have changed since. At the end of the video the final question was ” Which doll looks more like you?” in which 63% of the black children would have to pick the doll they called ”bad or ugly” which caused them to become upset knowing they looked more like the brown/black doll that they said wasn’t good or the best doll.

I believe the core reason that these children want to be white or believe the white doll is better is because of majorities or powerful position. At the point of time this experiment was done there weren’t many African American/Black people in power or being advertised positively. Or perhaps the children went to school where the majority of the children and teachers were white. In 2009, after Obama was elected 53% of the black children said the black doll was the pretty one.

See a modern version of this video here and share your thoughts on why or how these children have come to believe that white people are better than them (the ending is extremely sad):

Katie Raspberry – Business Blog

Sponsored by:
SDA Law Firm – Montreal Lawyers

9 thoughts on “Effects of Perception: Black and White Doll Experiment by Dr. Kenneth Clark”

  1. Very interesting post Katie. I never knew… I’m glad to see that you are still writing and sharing. I may be able to gain some insight from you on marketing assistance for my book. I appreciate your feedback and insight either way. Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Christopher,
      I’m glad you found it just as interesting as I did. It definitely demonstrate the impact of perception and how early it can effect an individual!

      Also, I’m glad you continue to read – I’m running a marketing business now which is why it’s been a while since I’ve written a post, however, slowly more time is pouring in which means more time to blog!

      Talk soon!

  2. Pretty sad in this day and age and worse, these kinds of identifying self feelings plague these children as they grow into adulthood.

    I saw another experiment once where white males, women, and African Americans were given a test. The first time they took it, the white males scored higher. When they gave a different group the same test and made it fun and did not mention anything about a test of intelligence; the women and African Americans had scores on par with the white males.

    So just the self doubt that comes with believing that the group they belonged to were not intelligent enough put enough pressure on them to cause them to make mistakes.

    Anyway, from reading the post above, I am happy that your business venture is doing well enough to take up a lot of your time. But I do hope to see more of your writing soon!

  3. Only 53% chose the black doll…in 2009?!? Holy smokes.
    It reminds me of the studies about women preferring magazines with (underweight, unrealistic, and) photoshopped notions of female beauty on the cover.

  4. perception yes, like all other human charicteristics. Its also about prejudice and instincts. If u were to pick between making out with a hot or an ugly boy who would you choose, and why?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s