Researchers at Oxford University have recently that a common drug used to treat heart disease may also lower racist attitudes.
During their study, volunteers who took small doses of a beta blocker called propranolol were found to have scored lower on tests which detect "subconscious racism" compared to volunteers who took a placebo.
Propranolol is used treat panic and anxiety
disorders and to reduce blood pressure. Researchers believe that this pill may also help lower feelings of bias because it
acts on the part of the brain that regulates fear and emotional
response. In theory, this pill could help to reduce subconscious reactions to people who are stigmatized based on fear as a result of culture and of ignorance.
However, the pill only seems to influenced 'implicit racism,' which is either a subconscious negative or positive association with pictures of people of different races. During a test to measure 'explicit racism,' wherein participants were asked to rate how "warm" they felt toward different racial groups, the pill showed no real effect.