Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Social psychologists create "tribal" hostile climate for non-liberals

"... 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."

Jonathan Haidt, a University of Virginia psychologist - one of their own - called out his professional colleagues for their narrow thinking, an accusation that they use on everyone else, but couldn't imagine being applied to themselves. But he first showed them by a demonstration within his audience that day.

He polled his audience for political leaning. At least 80% identified themselves as liberal, a few dozen as center or libertarian, and 3 bold individuals publicly admitted to being conservative. That is a huge departure from the US population as a whole - about 20 per center liberal and 40 per center conservative.

Whenever the social psychologists see that kind of difference they look for bias and the cause of the bias. Touché!

What will they do? Shun him like Daniel Patrick Moynihan was in the 1960s for telling the truth about black families? Get him fired like Larry Summers who was President of Harvard University when he asked the off-limits question "Are fewer women math professors because men have a higher percentage at the high end (also at the low end) of mathematics ability? Question not allowed.

(The sex-difference assumption was again contradicted in a study released this week by two Cornell U psychologits.)

To overcome taboos, he advised them to subscribe to National Review and to read Thomas Sowell’s “A Conflict of Visions.”

They were nice to him - acted nice - and gave him a very small token. They changed two letters on their organization "diversity initiative" page.

John Tierney at NY Times

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