Friday, October 31, 2014

No Surprise: Liberal Bias in Academia Leads to LIberal Bias in Research Results

The specific context here is social psychology, though no doubt it invades all the social science disciplines.  I noticed this during my doctoral training at Florida State, and 15 years out it has only gotten worse.  Here's an excerpt from a really well-done article at The New Yorker:
Social psychology, Haidt went on, had an obvious problem: a lack of political diversity that was every bit as dangerous as a lack of, say, racial or religious or gender diversity. It discouraged conservative students from joining the field, and it discouraged conservative members from pursuing certain lines of argument. It also introduced bias into research questions, methodology, and, ultimately, publications. The topics that social psychologists chose to study and how they chose to study them, he argued, suffered from homogeneity. The effect was limited, Haidt was quick to point out, to areas that concerned political ideology and politicized notions, like race, gender, stereotyping, and power and inequality. “It’s not like the whole field is undercut, but when it comes to research on controversial topics, the effect is most pronounced,” he later told me. (Haidt has now put his remarks in more formal terms, complete with data, in a paper forthcoming this winter in Behavioral and Brain Sciences.)