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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Old News, Newer Numbers

K. McCaffrey --- Reason Magazine had excellent coverage discussing the lack of diversity in Social Psychology. Out of one thousand polled informally at a recent conference, only three 'fessed up to being right-wing and a few dozen more to being "centrist" or "libertarian." UVA psychologist Jonathan Haidt presented the information:
“This is a statistically impossible lack of diversity,” Dr. Haidt concluded, noting polls showing that 40 percent of Americans are conservative and 20 percent are liberal. In his speech and in an interview, Dr. Haidt argued that social psychologists are a “tribal-moral community” united by “sacred values” that hinder research and damage their credibility — and blind them to the hostile climate they’ve created for non-liberals."
“Anywhere in the world that social psychologists see women or minorities underrepresented by a factor of two or three, our minds jump to discrimination as the explanation,” said Dr. Haidt, who called himself a longtime liberal turned centrist. “But when we find out that conservatives are underrepresented among us by a factor of more than 100, suddenly everyone finds it quite easy to generate alternate explanations.”
It's true. Social psychology is one of the few research areas where I can practically write the abstract of a paper from the title description. (After all, I've read Marx...)

In need of a laugh? Check out the Malcolm Gladwell Book Generator.

Also, I (Kathleen) will be at on CPAC Friday and Saturday. Are any readers attending?

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  1. Not the only one. I recall one of the standing jokes about introductory sociology in the 1980s was that you got an easy A by affirming how much you hated Ronald Reagan. In the 2000s, you got an easy A by affirming how much you hated George Bush.

  2. I'm jealous (of your CPAC attendance). Maybe next year. Go find some conservative women to rave about and I'll enjoy reading the dispatches. :)