Liberal profs admit they’d discriminate against conservatives in hiring, advancement

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Liberal profs admit they’d discriminate against conservatives in hiring, advancement

Post by Bad Dragonite » Sat Feb 13, 2016 3:53 am

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/201 ... /?page=all
‘Impossible lack of diversity’ reflects ideological intimidation on campus

By Emily Esfahani Smith - Special to The Washington Times - - Wednesday, August 1, 2012


It’s not every day that left-leaning academics admit that they would discriminate against a minority.

But that was what they did in a peer-reviewed study of political diversity in the field of social psychology, which will be published in the September edition of the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science.

Psychologists Yoel Inbar and Joris Lammers, based at Tilburg University in the Netherlands, surveyed a roughly representative sample of academics and scholars in social psychology and found that “In decisions ranging from paper reviews to hiring, many social and personality psychologists admit that they would discriminate against openly conservative colleagues.”


This finding surprised the researchers. The survey questions “were so blatant that I thought we’d get a much lower rate of agreement,” Mr. Inbar said. “Usually you have to be pretty tricky to get people to say they’d discriminate against minorities.”


One question, according to the researchers, “asked whether, in choosing between two equally qualified job candidates for one job opening, they would be inclined to vote for the more liberal candidate (i.e., over the conservative).”


More than a third of the respondents said they would discriminate against the conservative candidate. One respondent wrote in that if department members “could figure out who was a conservative, they would be sure not to hire them.”

Mr. Inbar, who volunteered for the Obama campaign in 2008, cautions that the finding reflects only what respondents said they would do — not necessarily what they actually would do in real life

Generally speaking, the more liberal the respondent, the more willingness to discriminate and, paradoxically, the higher the assumption that conservatives do not face a hostile climate in the academy.


To Massimo Pigliucci, chairman of the philosophy department at the City University of New York-Lehman College, the problem is not that conservatives face discrimination; it’s that any hint of political bias, whether conservative or liberal, necessarily flouts the standards of objectivity to which scholarship must adhere.


“It is to be expected that people would reject papers and grant proposals that smacked of clear ideological bias,” he says. Mr. Inbar and Mr. Lammers, he says, should have examined the extent of bias against liberal-leaning papers and grant proposals. If the degree of bias against liberals and conservatives is similar, maybe the data on discrimination against conservatives would not be so alarming after all.

But Harvey Mansfield, a conservative professor of government at Harvard University, argues that the anti-conservative bias is real and pronounced. He says conservatism is “just not a respectable position to hold” in the academy, where Republicans are caricatured as Fox News enthusiasts who listen to Rush Limbaugh

Beyond that, conservatives represent a distinct minority on college and university campuses. A 2007 report by sociologists Neil Gross and Solon Simmons found that 80 percent of psychology professors at elite and non-elite universities are Democrats. Other studies reveal that 5 percent to 7 percent of faculty openly identify as Republicans. By contrast, about 20 percent of the general population are liberal and 40 percent are conservative.

Mr. Inbar and Mr. Lammers found that conservatives fear that revealing their political identity will have negative consequences. This is why New York University-based psychologist Jonathan Haidt, a self-described centrist, has compared the experience of being a conservative graduate student to being a closeted gay student in the 1980s.


In 2011, Mr. Haidt addressed this very issue at a meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology — the same group that Mr. Inbar and Mr. Lammer surveyed. Mr. Haidt’s talk, “The Bright Future of Post-Partisan Social Psychology,” caused a stir. The professor, whose new book “The Righteous Mind” examines the moral roots of our political positions, asked the nearly 1,000 academics and students in the room to raise their hands if they were liberals. Nearly 80 percent of the hands went up. When he asked whether there were any conservatives in the house, just three hands — 0.3 percent — went up.

This is “a statistically impossible lack of diversity,” Mr. Haidt said.


Mr. Inbar and Mr. Lammers, who were at the conference, couldn’t believe that there were really so few conservatives in their field. A month or two after Mr. Haidt’s talk, the two researchers were having a few beers and decided to design a survey examining their colleagues’ political beliefs.


Beyond their findings on discrimination, the pair determined that while conservatives are minorities in their field, they are not statistically negligible: About 40 percent of respondents identified themselves as moderate or conservative on economic issues, while 30 percent did so on foreign policy issues. The widest divide occurs on social issues, the contested terrain in the culture wars shaking the academy. On these contentious issues, 90 percent identified as liberal and only 4 percent as conservative.


“As offensive as it may seem to many social psychologists,” Mr. Inbar and Mr. Lammers write, “believing that abortion is murder does not mean that one cannot do excellent research.” To think otherwise, they argue, damages the scientific credibility of psychology — a field that has been criticized in the press for being a pseudo-science.


The statistical representation of self-reported conservatives in the study may be largely moot as long as they are intimidated by a hostile, discriminatory majority. After all, a silent minority can hardly function as the kind of check on the prevailing assumptions of their liberal colleagues essential for robust academic debate.

“Because of the way the confirmation bias works,” Mr. Haidt says, referring to the pervasive psychological tendency to seek only supporting evidence for one’s beliefs, “you need people around who don’t start with the same bias. You need some non-liberals, and ideally some conservatives.”
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Post by е и ժ е я » Sat Feb 13, 2016 4:28 am

Okay, first of all 'conservativism' is not even a religious ideology, it's a social ideology. It is not an involuntary minority group. Discussing it as such is absolutely out of the question. Discriminating between the social ideologies of applicants is a legitimate practice when workplace culture and methodology are affected by it, and the field of psychology has long been derided by social conservatives.
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Post by е и ժ е я » Sat Feb 13, 2016 6:48 am

Okay, that was short and probably terse. I know you mean well, Guild, so this isn't a warning or anything but I'd much prefer discussion/threads in here that are less libs/cons red/blue us/them binary logic. These sort of groupings really skew the way we deal with the thoughts of others. I don't personally place one person as conservative and another there, and there are a lot of people who think what's good for them isn't necessarily a rule for others. There are some opposing schools of thought, but they can all be broken down into 'correct' and 'incorrect' with practical evidence.

I think we'd all do well to avoid trying to turn one person's behavior into a representation of his or her label, and I do agree with the sentiment that it's important to let qualified persons do what they do well and recognise it objectively without something like petty political differences.

That said, some political differences are not petty, some people are maligned because they support goals which infringe on the fair rights of involuntary groups. I've seen a lot of fear of the lynch mob from all over the spectrum, and it's not necessarily irrational concern, but socially-effective political decisions don't exist in a vacuum. Campaigning to disable the private lives of others and exclude them from the public discourse is the mark of the modern conservative. It is the same reason why many of us disapprove of Hillary's previous ties to Lieberman and the game censorship movement. Nobody should care whether or not the news labels those ideas as red or blue, as the views themselves are traditionally conservative, but we all know which party they affiliate with.

I should mention that the National Liberal Party here in Australia is of course the most traditionally-conservative major party in the country. This language and behavior of lumping together core beliefs into categories is made especially obvious and becomes obtuse when attempting to translate from the US to Australia.

So in short; If you don't mind, let's keep the bipartisan themes and labels to an absolute minimum where possible. If you're talking about a party member or a party policy, or a campaign, go ahead.
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Post by I am nobody » Sat Feb 13, 2016 7:13 am

The headline of this should be that "30% of of professors who are members of one society in one field of academics admit they'd discriminate against conservatives." Just "liberal professors", while technically true, is no more helpful to discussion than leading with "whites" when you've only talked to people in Kentucky.

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Post by Bad Dragonite » Sat Feb 13, 2016 8:40 am

Okay, that was short and probably terse. I know you mean well, Guild, so this isn't a warning or anything but I'd much prefer discussion/threads in here that are less libs/cons red/blue us/them binary logic. These sort of groupings really skew the way we deal with the thoughts of others. I don't personally place one person as conservative and another there, and there are a lot of people who think what's good for them isn't necessarily a rule for others. There are some opposing schools of thought, but they can all be broken down into 'correct' and 'incorrect' with practical evidence.
I'm inclined to agree with you there, but when certain people say that they are willing to discriminate against people when they find that they identify as or associate with a certain group they sort of turn it into group politics automatically.
I think most of us understand that this isn't all liberal professors. Heck a majority of professors I've read or met identify as liberal, but mainly just to point out an underlying issue in schools, it just happens to majorly be done by liberal professors. I get the feeling that if there were a majority conservative identifying professors we might hear more about them following party lines. I think it would be just as wrong then as well. It shouldn't be a versus discussion so much as a party politics is the issue let's fix it discussion. In my opinion. That probably should've been made more clear. I apologize if it came off as liberal bashing. It's not meant to be. And I'll try to keep that in mind.
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Post by Marilink » Sat Feb 13, 2016 10:47 am

[QUOTE="I am nobody, post: 1586266, member: 34539"]The headline of this should be that "30% of of professors who are members of one society in one field of academics admit they'd discriminate against conservatives." Just "liberal professors", while technically true, is no more helpful to discussion than leading with "whites" when you've only talked to people in Kentucky.[/QUOTE]
Yeah, it reeks of The Blaze articles who put "atheists" in the headlines. Makes me want to punch a hole in a wall every time.
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Post by Kil'jaeden » Sat Feb 13, 2016 5:26 pm

Social sciences in general along with humanities are completely dominated by leftists, and have been for 50-60 years at least. So the lack of diversity is not a surprise, in fact, it is enforced. You can see this for yourself if you want to try and challenge it. Orthodoxy is strictly enforced.

I bet if they asked economists, mathematicians, and physics professors, they would find more diversity. This is because these areas are more separate from politics and social issues than the social sciences. These fields cannot have as strict of ideological barriers as those others I mentioned.

What is a conservative to these people? I am probably a conservative to most people my age, and yet a few decades ago I probably would not have been considered as such. It is just that political discourse tends ever leftward because conservatives are politically stupid. Today's conservatives are mostly middling liberals from the 70's. Others use "conservative" to refer to neoconservatives. If you look up where the neocon movement came from, you will find that many of its major ideologues came out of the far left of a few decades ago, even as far as from being outright communists.
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Post by CaptHayfever » Sat Feb 13, 2016 9:01 pm

Inbar [...] cautions that the finding reflects only what respondents said they would do — not necessarily what they actually would do in real life
This is an interesting point; there's a very real chance that the respondents were just bluffing to make themselves look passionate or zealous or something. It's also refreshing to see a mainstream news article actually include a researcher's caveat about the risk of such response bias.
Kil'jaeden, post: 1586295, member: 26719 wrote:What is a conservative to these people?
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Post by Sim Kid » Sat Feb 13, 2016 10:58 pm

[QUOTE="I am nobody, post: 1586266, member: 34539"]The headline of this should be that "30% of of professors who are members of one society in one field of academics admit they'd discriminate against conservatives." Just "liberal professors", while technically true, is no more helpful to discussion than leading with "whites" when you've only talked to people in Kentucky.[/QUOTE]

Remember that our news is for-profit, and it has all sorts of competition in the forms of entertainment these days. Ergo they have to create attention-grabbing headlines or else nobody would read them. That would cause people to tune out because specific statements don't sell papers - generalised statements that allow people to have their beliefs reinforced without even having to read the whole article do.

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Post by Deku Tree » Sat Feb 13, 2016 11:44 pm

No reason we can't be more responsible with our VGF topic titles, though.

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Post by I am nobody » Sun Feb 14, 2016 12:00 am

Or that we can't criticize media practices for being garbage.

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Post by Random User » Sun Feb 14, 2016 12:02 am

Media will just pay for your criticism to not spread. Everything is hopeless.

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Post by Bad Dragonite » Sun Feb 14, 2016 12:08 am

[QUOTE="Deku Tree, post: 1586331, member: 18320"]No reason we can't be more responsible with our VGF topic titles, though.[/QUOTE]
well it's technically the title/headline of the actual article soo..
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Post by Deku Tree » Sun Feb 14, 2016 12:37 am

Soo...what? Sim Kid mentioned their motivation for junk headlines. And I said there's no reason we can't frame it more accurately when we share it on VGF. Where have I lost you?

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Post by Bad Dragonite » Sun Feb 14, 2016 1:34 am

You haven't lost me at all I'm just saying that the reason I posted with that title is because I more or less wanted to protect the integrity and intention of the article in question, so copying it directly more or less does that. Nothing wrong with a different title in some cases, but I figured may as well copy the article click-baitiness and all.
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Post by I REALLY HATE POKEMON! » Sun Feb 14, 2016 1:49 am

Defenders, assemble!

I knew this was the case without hearing about this, really.

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Post by CaptHayfever » Sun Feb 14, 2016 2:35 am

^Not sure why you're trying to assemble the Defenders, but you'll have to wait about 2 more years. Daredevil & Jessica Jones are already going, but Luke Cage's show doesn't start until this summer, Iron Fist will be at least 6+ months after that, & then the crossover miniseries should come out in late 2017 or early 2018.

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Post by Bomby » Mon Feb 15, 2016 1:03 am

The Washington Times was founded by (and for much of its existence, also owned by) the Unification Chuch, and has had a consistently very conservative viewpoint, much in line with the views of its leader Sun Myung Moon. One could, however, say that it serves to balance out the relatively liberal stances of the Washington Post, and it's important to see opinions from multiple viewpoints of political issues. It's pretty much impossible to find an unbiased news outlet these days, though even if one truly existed, liberals would probably see it as conservative and conservatives would probably see it as liberal.

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Post by Bad Dragonite » Mon Feb 15, 2016 1:52 am

maybe, I haven't really that much bias from them though that could just be because we see things like CNN and Fox news constantly. That said the study itself doesn't seem to have any particular bias at all
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Post by I am nobody » Mon Feb 15, 2016 8:04 am

I'm not convinced CNN is biased so much as they're wildly incompetent and eager for attention.

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