Academic Bias: An Inside View

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

Those of us who have chronicled academic bias from outside campus walls know just how receptive insiders are to the information….not. Offering observations on it from the faculty lounge itself provokes even more indignation.

Social psychologist Jonathan Haidt is discovering just how indignant his peers can be.  “Haidt works in a field so left-wing that, when he once polled roughly 1,000 colleagues at a social-psychology conference, 80 to 90 percent classified themselves as liberal,” Marc Parry reported in The Chronicle Review on February 3, 2012. “Only three people identified as conservative.”

Haidt, now a visiting professor at New York University, is on the faculty at the University of Virginia. He calls his field “a tribal moral community that actively discourages conservatives from entering.”

Wait until you hear what his prescription for change is. “He called for affirmative action to make the field 10 percent more conservative by 2020,” Parry reported.

Not too surpisingly, Haidt’s colleague’s dismissed his claims. “Any research program that is driven more by ideological ax-grinding than valid insight is doomed to obscurity,” NYU psychologist John T. Jost asserts, “because it will not stand up to empirical replication and its flaws will be obvious to scientific peers—all of whom have been exposed to conservative perspectives even if they do not hold them.”

Malcolm A. Kline is the Executive Director of Accuracy in Academia.

If you would like to comment on this article, e-mail mal.kline@academia.org

 

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