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Interesting article. Read more at link at bottom.
Excerpt:

Some of the world’s pre-eminent experts on bias discovered an unexpected form of it at their annual meeting.


Discrimination is always high on the agenda at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology’s conference, where psychologists discuss their research on racial prejudice, homophobia, sexism, stereotype threat and unconscious bias against minorities. But the most talked-about speech at this year’s meeting, which ended Jan. 30, involved a new “outgroup.”

It was identified by Jonathan Haidt, a social psychologist at the University of Virginia who studies the intuitive foundations of morality and ideology. He polled his audience at the San Antonio Convention Center, starting by asking how many considered themselves politically liberal. A sea of hands appeared, and Dr. Haidt estimated that liberals made up 80 percent of the 1,000 psychologists in the ballroom. When he asked for centrists and libertarians, he spotted fewer than three dozen hands. And then, when he asked for conservatives, he counted a grand total of three.
“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.”
Dr. Haidt (pronounced height) told the audience that he had been corresponding with a couple of non-liberal graduate students in social psychology whose experiences reminded him of closeted gay students in the 1980s. He quoted — anonymously — from their e-mails describing how they hid their feelings when colleagues made political small talk and jokes predicated on the assumption that everyone was a liberal.
“I consider myself very middle-of-the-road politically: a social liberal but fiscal conservative. Nonetheless, I avoid the topic of politics around work,” one student wrote. “Given what I’ve read of the literature, I am certain any research I conducted in political psychology would provide contrary findings and, therefore, go unpublished. Although I think I could make a substantial contribution to the knowledge base, and would be excited to do so, I will not.”

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/08/science/08tier.html?_r=2&ref=science
 

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Conservatives can thrive in academia

I was reading this a few weeks ago, in dismay.



Universities are full of liberals, but that doesn't mean they're hostile to conservatives, reports professor MATTHEW WOESSNER

There are few American institutions that conservatives loathe more than the ivory towers of academia.

Established in centuries past as conservative repositories of classical wisdom, contemporary universities today serve a more complex function, obliged to educate students, conduct research and promote the arts, literature and humanities. Recognizing an ideological imbalance among college faculty, many conservatives have grown openly hostile to academia, believing that colleges and universities are more committed to politics than genuine scholarship or education.

There is no better example of conservatives' contempt for academia than in the frequent denunciations of American higher education by conservatives like David Horowitz and radio talk show host Dennis Prager, who on a regular basis assail the university for dispensing ideological propaganda, indoctrinating students and harboring radical left-wing professors.

Yet, despite claims by their critics, their crusade against the academy is not rooted in anti-intellectualism. Both Mr. Prager and Mr. Horowitz are prolific authors who did graduate work at Columbia University. Rather, like many fellow conservatives, their suspicions are based on common misconceptions of the American university; misconceptions exacerbated by a relatively small band of radical professors who abuse their positions as scholars and educators, opting instead to use the university as a forum to espouse their personal political views.

Mr. Horowitz and Mr. Prager's critique of higher education centers largely on the political imbalance among academics, and the impact they believe this disparity has on impressionable students, a handful of non-liberal faculty and society at large. While both men portray the American university as an institution steeped in political conflict, those within academia tell a very different story. American higher education faces a number of serious challenges, but partisan politics may be the least of the typical academic's concerns.

In our new book, "The Still Divided Academy: How Competing Visions of Power Politics and Diversity Complicate the Mission of Higher Education," my coauthors and I tackle many of the important controversies that plague higher education. Looking at surveys of students, faculty and administrators, we find very little evidence that the university's liberal tendencies meaningfully affect campus conservatives.

Our findings do not contradict the claim that universities lean to the left. If anything, the leftist predispositions of professors are often understated, as Democratic faculty (51 percent of professors) hold views well to the left of average Democrats, while typical Republican faculty (11 percent of professors) reflect the views of the moderate/liberal wing of the GOP.

Yet, even with their dominance on American colleges and universities, the left doesn't appear to be winning many converts. Students, who tend to hold more diverse political views than the faculty do, show a slight tendency to gravitate toward some of their professors' beliefs, but the movement isn't entirely leftward.

On social issues, fourth-year students express greater tolerance for homosexuality than their first-year counterparts. However, on economic issues, fourth-year students are more conservative, showing a modest drop in the belief that government should guarantee everyone a job and work to reduce inequality between the rich and poor.

Among survey respondents as a whole, the left's dominance on campus does not appear to create widespread discontent among Republicans or conservatives on campus. Among the 4,000 individuals in our study, very few students, faculty or administrators report mistreatment or harassment of any type, and virtually no one identified mistreatment on the basis of their political views.

Although they represent only a fraction of the overall population of the professoriate, Republicans and social conservatives are, by and large, satisfied with their careers in academia. When asked, "If you were to begin your career again, would you still want to be a college professor?," 93 percent of Republicans and 90 percent of socially conservative professors answered in the affirmative. This is strikingly similar to the views of Democratic and socially liberal faculty, 91 percent of whom would remain in their chosen profession.

While the ideological imbalance within academia doesn't appear to demonstrably shape the political views of students or demoralize the last vestiges of conservatism lingering within academia, the left's dominance does create potential problems both for academics and society as a whole.

To the extent that universities are supposed to conduct cutting edge research, it's quite probable that, at least in the social sciences, leftist faculty are quick to accept marginal research that supports their ideological world views, while at the same time criticizing studies that tend to bolster conservative policy arguments. In an academic setting where securing tenure depends on publishing, political minorities almost certainly face special challenges in getting their research into prestigious refereed journals.

Still, these challenges are not insurmountable. By overstating the political conflict that exists within American universities and portraying college campuses as environments entirely hostile to dissent, conservatives like David Horowitz and Dennis Prager are exacerbating academia's political imbalance.

For while conservatives may face special challenges on college campuses, if they steer clear of careers in academia, they deprive society of the intellectual diversity that is vital to the mission of American higher education.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11002/1114681-109.stm#ixzz1DNk1GIW7
 

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:laughing: That's like saying: "WOW! We discovered a huge planet like object that is only visible during the night when the sun is just right!"
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
:laughing: That's like saying: "WOW! We discovered a huge planet like object that is only visible during the night when the sun is just right!"
The fact that academia is left weighted seemed to be known to everyone except the academics. At least one of them has figured it out. But like he said, if it doesn't fit their belief system, they will find ways to discount it.:crazy:
 
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