September 18, 2015

Political (non) diversity in social psychology

Behavioral and Brain Sciences / Volume 38 / January 2015, e130 (13 pages)

Political diversity will improve social psychological science

José L. Duartea1, Jarret T. Crawforda2, Charlotta Sterna3, Jonathan Haidta4, Lee Jussima5 and Philip E. Tetlocka6

Psychologists have demonstrated the value of diversity – particularly diversity of viewpoints – for enhancing creativity, discovery, and problem solving. But one key type of viewpoint diversity is lacking in academic psychology in general and social psychology in particular: political diversity. This article reviews the available evidence and finds support for four claims: (1) Academic psychology once had considerable political diversity, but has lost nearly all of it in the last 50 years. (2) This lack of political diversity can undermine the validity of social psychological science via mechanisms such as the embedding of liberal values into research questions and methods, steering researchers away from important but politically unpalatable research topics, and producing conclusions that mischaracterize liberals and conservatives alike. (3) Increased political diversity would improve social psychological science by reducing the impact of bias mechanisms such as confirmation bias, and by empowering dissenting minorities to improve the quality of the majority's thinking. (4) The underrepresentation of non-liberals in social psychology is most likely due to a combination of self-selection, hostile climate, and discrimination. We close with recommendations for increasing political diversity in social psychology.



Fiend of 9 worlds said...

Ideally I'd like would-be scientists to be apolitical as possible but it's pretty clear any area that touches on politics at all has become an echo chamber. In most of the west the groups that should be the most represented, have no representation at all as the university systems have become clogged with a foreign 'elite' that works hard to keep anyone else from challenging their power.

dtvmcdonald said...

The main journal source is offline, but I found a pre-refereed copy.
It is unfortunate that the authors, except the corresponding one, show
only institutions, not departments. The corresponding one looks like an
"outsider" in departmental terms.

Neanderthal Hybrid said...

Every academic department of every western university of significance has been politically cleansed over the past 50 years. My father was a professor "back in the day" and I am now 60, so I have watched the whole process unfold. Even in the 1970s when I was being (mis)educated in the US, the process was in full flower. None of the young academics openly opposed to the Vietnam war were offered tenure track positions at my institution. My (mandatory) humanities courses were all taught by members of a 2% religious minority group, with great emphasis on the sufferings of their group over time. Opposing point of view were not allowed. And things are much worse now. The west has become the Soviet Union 2.0.

Diomedes said...

This is a problem in several areas. Even things like global warming, now climate change, become politically based. And the fools that think someone would disagree with man caused climate change just because they "don't believe in science" are the most brain washed of all. Even the current mantra "99% of scientists agree climate change is happening" is such a cheap tactic. All scientists agree climate change is happening, and always has been happening, what they can't agree on is what's causing it, what will happen, if it has stopped(the climate hasn't actually changed the temperature of the earth the past ten years) and if anything could even be done about it.
I know it sounds like a conspiracy theory, but this is apart of a sophisticated "social engineering" strategy using the infiltration of these areas and changing what they mean in the people's minds. Go to Wikipedia now, it's become completely useless. Look up "racism" and other dividing subjects. It's become an epidemic. Even things like slavery, liberals have the audacity to claim it was liberal values that freed the slaves, and Christianity that was the primary cause of justifying slavery. It's become rediculous. I have no suggestions for improvement, but I have a cure for this problem. People need to be aware it's happening, and expose the people causing this corruption for what they really are. Then, the radical fringes will not control left leaning thought. Right now, people who considered themselves liberal three years ago are now finding themselves hating what these idiots have done with the world.