Disrupting the Moral Forcefield in Social Psychology: Affirmative Action for Conservative Researchers?

|

Enough said -- Just read it!

University of Virginia psychologist Jonathan Haidt is still provoking his confreres in social psychology. The Chronicle of Higher Education, in advance of the publication of his brilliant (I have had the pleasure of reading the galleys) new book, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion, muses at his provocative notion of affirmative action for conservative scholars in academic psychology. The Chronicle cites the furor that Haidt's famous talk at last year's annual convention of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology created: 

…Haidt argued that the field discourages conservatives from entering—and leaves those who do feeling like closeted homosexuals. He called for affirmative action to make the field 10 percent conservative by 2020.

In support of his ideas, Haidt pointed to "taboos and danger zones," subjects that turn on the moral "force field" and prevent researchers from exploring "the full range of alternative hypotheses." He offered as one example the controversy that engulfed Lawrence H. Summers, a former president of Harvard, after he speculated that innate differences might partially explain why men are overrepresented in mathematics and science departments at leading universities.

"We psychologists should have been outraged by the outrage," Haidt said. "We should have defended his right to think freely."

Haidt also pointed to the extreme underrepresentation of conservatives in social psychology. When he surveyed the 1,000 colleagues who attended his talk, 80 to 90 percent identified themselves as liberals. Only three [emphasis added] people said they were conservatives.

Of course, when accused of possible discrimination, open-minded social psychologists immediately ask themselves if it might be true. Well, actually not so much. As The Chronicle reports:

One criticism is that Haidt lacked the evidence to back some of his conclusions. Another is that his argument might arm those who are "eager to dismiss our findings," as John T. Jost, a psychologist at New York University, expresses it. "We've seen this with climate-change issues," he tellsThe Chronicle. "If you can just accuse the scientist of ideological bias, then you can ignore the research findings."

Jost adds that the personal beliefs of social scientists are "scientifically irrelevant" because of safeguards against bias that are built into the research system. "Any research program that is driven more by ideological ax-grinding than valid insight is doomed to obscurity," he wrote in response to Haidt's talk, "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."

Personal beliefs are scientifically irrelevant? Hmmm. Not even a chance that personal ideological commitments could influence the questions that a researcher in social psychology might be motivated to ask? Perhaps not.

In any case, Haidt has put together a web page that addresses the fallout from his talk and cites a lot of relevant research on academic intellectual diversity. With regard to Haidt's call for affirmative action for conservatives as way to boost intellectual diversity, he makes the following points: 

I am not concerned about the underrepresentation of conservatives in social psychology, just as I am not concerned about the underrepresentation of women or minorities in any occupation. As I said in my talk, "there are many reasons why conservatives would be underrepresented in social psychology, and most of them have nothing to do with discrimination or hostile climate." I am concerned about two things: First: Discrimination. If conservatives, women, or minority group members are being discriminated against, it is wrong and it should stop. And that includes the creation of hostile climates, which discourage students from entering fields in the first place. Second, I'm concerned about the absence of valuable perspectives from occupations that need multiple perspectives. When a group with a unique perspective drops below some threshhold, members of the majority group begin to assume that everyone around them shares their pespective. They begin to espouse their moral values more openly (i.e., "locker room talk"), and the small number of minority-group members shrinks even further or retreats to the closet. This is what (I claim) has happened in social psychology (and in many academic fields). Most groups and institutions don't need moral diversity. Diversity disrupts group cohesion and effectiveness. But in science, our goal is not cohesion, it is finding the truth, and if moral diversity will help us to disrupt the forcefield and shut down groupthink, then it will help us to do better science. This is why I called for affirmative action for conservatives in social psychology. (I mentioned the figure of 10% in my talk not as a quota but as a target. If the day ever comes when 10% of social psychologists are conservative, or perhaps just non-liberal, then we can probably relax our efforts to diversify the field.)

Go here to read The Chronicle's whole article. Read Haidt's "The Moral Foundations of Occupy Wall Street" at reason.com here

NEXT: Reason Writers Around Town: Shikha Dalmia on the Future of Right to Work After Indiana

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Sigh. Being a conservative is a matter of choice of beliefs. Being a woman isn’t. If psychology consensus is “hostile” to conservative beliefs, why change it?

    1. If Haidt is poking holes in the social psychologist’s pretense that they are morally distanced from their findings, then more power to him.

      Haidt is arguing that the moral climate in social psychology departments may be hindering accurate and fair research, and that it is in the interest of social psychologists in general to argue from a wider range of viewpoints. I do not see where he is asking for a governmental solution, which would be uncalled for.

      1. *Sigh*… Haidt’s analysis is correct, but his proposed solution to the problem (affirmative action) is so… so… leftist!

        This is a perfect example of a case in which what we need is not more of something, but less. If social psychologists are too biased (and they are), the solution is not to bring in people with a contrary bias (or even just a different bias), but to cut off all government funding to them. If any given social institution is unable to exist without government funding, then it doesn’t deserve to exist anyway.

        Of course, if you cut the funding, the parasites in the statist media will complain that you’re “anti-education” and run weepy interviews of all your “victims” all the time. Still, I wish Republicans in office would man up and slash these guys anyway. What have they got to lose? Every time they cave in to some ridiculous demand for more funds, I feel like shaking them by the shoulders and shouting “These guys didn’t vote for you! They’re never going to vote for you! There’s no way you can possibly get them to like you, because they are your sworn enemies! Why are you always trying to keep your worst enemies from starving to death as they so richly deserve!?”

    2. “Being a woman isn’t.”

      According to some liberals, isn’t gender a role imposed upon you by society? (But sexual orientation is inborn!!!)

      1. To people who say such things, gender roles != biological sex. Not even the radfems pretend that biological sex is something imposed by society; in fact, they’re the first to admit that it isn’t.

        1. in fact, they’re the first to admit that it isn’t.

          How did they beat me to it?

        2. Actually, for that piece of criticism, I think that “Bam!” would acknowledge that gender roles =/= biological sex. However, if gender roles (how one acts with respect to different genders) is a socially-imposed construct, why not sexual “orientation”, which is how one acts sexually with respect to different genders?

          1. if gender roles (how one acts with respect to different genders) is a socially-imposed construct, why not sexual “orientation”, which is how one acts sexually with respect to different genders?

            (1) Why the scare quotes? (2) Who cares?

      2. According to some liberals, isn’t gender a role imposed upon you by society? (But sexual orientation is inborn!!!)

        Wow, thank you for this. I had not considered this angle to the subject.

    3. If psychology consensus is “hostile” to conservative beliefs, why change it?
      —————————-
      well, let’s see: science is not supposed to be about consensus; it is about testing hypotheses and advancing what is known about various topics. While being a woman is not a belief, it does carry some innate characteristics, much like being a man does. Duh. Do you really need this explained to you?

      Academia is hostile to non-liberal views because it never considers them on their merits. There is hardly a more insular world view than that of the typical faculty lounge. When you never step outside the echo chamber, you never see that views other than your own are practiced.

  2. I never even thought about it like that before. WOw.

    http://www.anonyweb.tk

    1. anon-bots and bi-curious spammers are over-represented, thanks.

      1. Racist!

  3. “I’m concerned about the absence of valuable perspectives from occupations that need multiple perspectives. When a group with a unique perspective drops below some threshhold, members of the majority group begin to assume that everyone around them shares their pespective. They begin to espouse their moral values more openly (i.e., “locker room talk”), and the small number of minority-group members shrinks even further or retreats to the closet.”

    Sounds just like…let me think….You’re told to fuck off and die in a fire…where?

    1. I must be wrong; I have never heard it said Libertarians are guilty of groupthink or locker room talk

      1. I’ve never heard that rectal is guilty of any sort of thinking.

        1. I like how some chatters in “libertarian” chat rooms form posses to choke off dissenting ideas, just like in the successful, mainstream chat rooms. This is what individualism is all about, Charlie Brown.

          1. I believe the kids are calling that “microaggressing” nowadays.

          2. I like how some chatters in “libertarian” chat rooms form posses to choke off dissenting ideas

            Yes because all ideas are equally valid and sound in argumentation.

            1. You’re just a big dummy HM.

              *insert a few pages of Troll Copypasta here*

              1. Please tell me you said that in a Fred Sanford voice.

                1. Please tell me you said that in a Fred Sanford voice.

                  not intenti….I mean, yes. That’s the ticket.

            2. all ideas are equally valid and sound

              We of the collective must squelch ideas that do not conform to the will of the collective. This is what is called “free minds.”

              1. Yeah, every single new troll, and every one of Tony’s new alts, is greeted initially with reasonable responses, questions and patient explanations inviting followup questions or further discussion. Logical fallacies, even among the self-identified libertarian regulars, are pointed out as such and patiently explained to the person posing them. However, once it becomes clear that the new troll, like Tony, White Indian and O3, is in fact a troll, he or she is then treated as such. We generally welcome honest, good-faith debate, because libertarian positions are generally principled and well thought out, but we tend to find trolls tiresome, repetitive and, for the most part, unoriginal. White-knighting for one of our regular trolls (Even if Rather is one of the more charming and occasionally insightful of them), while somewhat novel, is not a great first impression, and following up with an ad hominem does not help your credibility either. So either follow along with the articles and comment threads and learn something, ask some questions, pose a serious, logically sound argument, or kindly fuck off.

                1. *golf clap*

                  1. Crossing Brandon off my fuckable list

              2. We of the collective must squelch ideas that do not conform to the will of the collective. This is what is called “free minds.”

                Just because your argument is being squelched doesn’t make it any more valid.

    2. Sounds just like…let me think….You’re told to fuck off and die in a fire…where?

      You are mistaken, my White Tigress, this is the “locker room” where like-minded folks congregrate to speak with others who share their perspective. It is not the idelological commons, which can be found in many other places.

      1. So if this is the locker room, then it’s okay for me to whip my dick out?

        1. Best not to arouse Tony.

          1. Fuck Tony; I’d cry

            1. Stop othering Tony, rather.

              1. Did you use the ‘s’ word on me?

                1. Did you use the ‘s’ word on me?

                  Othering imperatives will not be tolerated.

                2. Did you use the ‘s’ word on me?

                  As a Jade Dragon, I am willing to give my Yang energy to any White Tigress who requests it.

      2. Whoever the guy was that got her to buy into that “white tigress” stuff, my hat is off to him. Truly, the greatest achievement in the history of hypnotism.

        1. Whoever the guy was that got her to buy into that “white tigress” stuff, my hat is off to him. Truly, the greatest achievement in the history of hypnotism.

          I’m guessing its due more to having a childhood with a cold and emotionally distant father.

  4. A social psychologist said “the personal beliefs of social scientists are “scientifically irrelevant” because of safeguards against bias that are built into the research system.”

    So, unless I’ve got this wrong, he’s saying that social psychology doesn’t apply to social psychology. And if it doesn’t apply there, why would it apply anywhere?

    1. SHUT UP U FUCKING IGNORANT RACIST CONSERVADICK!

    2. PEER REVIEW!!!!!

    3. If social scientists were actually scientists, he might have a point.

  5. HAIDT CRIME

    1. Winner.

  6. Diversity is sacred. Except diversity in thought.

    1. My family was part of an inclusive network of (50-60) homeschooling families of which the hub was about 20 hard left progressive families. The “membership” ranged from these leftist familes to a few libertarian families, several religious fundamentalists (but not exclusionists), pagans, agnostics – an extremely wide range of people. For a couple of years it was a phenomenal experience for our whole family, due in large part to the energy provided by these leftist families.
      After a couple more years, a few of the leftists couldn’t resist agenda pushing, and the wonderful, diverse network has been reduced to 20 leftist families that is as insular as any of the protestant exclusionist groups we didn’t want anything to do with in the first place.

      1. Cool story, bro!

  7. pray teh gay away isnt much of a psychological remedy.

    1. Maybe you just aren’t praying hard enough. Or maybe you should embrace your true self.

      1. just cuz i like barely legal boys doesn’t make me teh gay.

  8. But in science, our goal is not cohesion, it is finding the truth, and if moral diversity will help us to disrupt the forcefield and shut down groupthink, then it will help us to do better science.

    Except when the “science” becomes politicized and used to guide government policy.

    Then the goal is not to find the truth, but to support an agenda.

    Since it is the liberal politicians who want to control everything, it is only natural that the “scientists” are overwhelmingly liberal as well.

  9. Personal beliefs are scientifically irrelevant? Hmmm. Not even a chance that personal ideological commitments could influence the questions that a researcher in social psychology might be motivated to ask? Perhaps not.

    There are lots of sources of potential bias for a researcher. What’s going to get funded is probably the strongest, but few would say that science is compromised by that.

    Beyond that, of course, membership in other “protected classes” is either impossible or very difficult to convincingly feign. It would be easy for a psychologist to feign conservatism to get a job.

    1. It would be easy for a psychologist to feign conservatism to get a job.

      Until they were offended and had an uncontrollable emotional reaction to something one of their conservative peers said.

      A *gasp*, a look of surprise, an unthinking retort.

      They couldn’t hide their mental disorder liberalism for long.

  10. Nobody is asked about his political beliefs before he is given a job in the sciences or academia. If conservatives are underrepresented, perhaps it’s because conservatives are stupid.

    I think the Summers thing was overblown–the question is perfectly scientifically legitimate. The thing is, neuroscience has studied the difference between male and female brains extensively, there just haven’t been definite conclusions about how innate difference result in different outputs. I think the question provoked outrage because any biological differences are eclipsed by discriminatory causes of gender disparity in the fields, and such talk always tends to be interpreted as promoting preconceived social biases.

    The point is, you aren’t supposed to come to scientific questions with an agenda, and worrying about whether certain questions go unasked because conservatives are underrepresented is to worry that a certain agenda isn’t being adequately promoted.

    1. Fuck conservatives! It’s only good when science is distorted to promote my agenda!

    2. It’s not a matter of coming at scientific questions with an agenda; there’s a meta-issue of which questions get asked and addressed to begin with.

      1. What questions are being unaddressed by science?

        1. the queation, why is Tony a mindless Team Blue moron?

          1. “mindless Team Blue moron”

            Triple redundancy!

            1. “mindless Team Blue moron”

              Triple redundancy!

              Sometimes it’s just that important to get the point across.

        2. 1. We’re not discussing the hard sciences here, we’re discussing the social sciences, which are arguably entirely subjective fields, so framing the question as “what questions are being unaddressed by science?” is disingenuous.

          2. I’m guessing that you’d have no problem with the idea that if women, or particular racial and ethnic groups, or homosexuals, were absent from the field of social psychology, it would narrow the scope of research to at least a small extent. If so, why wouldn’t it also apply to the absence of certain moral or religious orientations?

          3. I don’t think it’s entirely possible to know what isn’t being asked; I think that many times the “aha!” moment comes when someone asks a new question.

          1. The relevant question for me is why I feel uncomfortable when my dangly bits get tanned a light brown when I go to the nudist beach.

            I can’t imagine a more important question. It’s not because of my sex, race and politics, it’s just objective scientific priorities!

          2. I wouldn’t say the field is entirely subjective. Some researchers are more positivist in their approach than others.

            Your point is not without merit, but here’s my problem: underrepresentation of minority groups is a problem by itself suggesting some sort of unfair barriers. Underrepresentation of political ideologies is trickier. We don’t want to be admitting underqualified people just because they have the right politics (just as we don’t want to admit underqualified minorities). What if it turns out (as some research has shown) that conservatives are simply less prone than liberals to entering academia? The sciences (even soft sciences) are about uncovering new truths, not confirming prejudices, and conservatism is mostly about defending the status quo. It’s not hard to see why academia attracts more liberals, or even why being in academia makes one more liberal. Affirmative action for political beliefs is a dangerous road. Academics have always been liberals and less religious than average. It just comes with the territory. I know it doesn’t sit well with conservatives who think there’s an institutional bias against them, but it’s probably just the case that conservatives are more stupid. Sorry.

            1. Many academics are not so very intelligent, Tony. I work with them every day, and I suspect that either you’ve never met one or you are one.

              1. It’s not hard to see why academia attracts more liberals, or even why being in academia makes one more liberal.

                The more I think about it, the more hilarious it is to me that you’ve basically described how conformism works and yet you’re so eager to trumpet the superiority of the liberal that the only conclusion you can arrive at is, “Conservz R dumiez!” You really are a bumptious little fuck, Tony. Way to prove Haidt’s point.

            2. By your argument maybe the reason women and minorities are underrepresented in math and engineering is because they’re not smart enough.

            3. It’s not hard to see why academia attracts more liberals
              ———————
              no, it’s not, though not for the reasons you think. Academia attracts liberals because liberalism is basically group-think. While conservatives will disagree among themselves on various issues – just look at the 4 contenders for the nomination – liberals tend to march in lockstep. Dissent is simply not tolerated, which bastardizes the whole notion of being “liberal” but, hey, what’s in a name.

              Conservatives are, as you say, “less prone” to entering academia because after four years or more of classroom indoctrination, the last thing they want is a career of it. That and many of them think that guaranteed lifetime employment at public expense is a nicer way of saying welfare.

              1. The claim that conservatives are more open to diversity of thought than liberals is laughable on its face. Just because the current crop of presidential candidates can’t come up with a convincing excuse for why they supported the individual mandate in the past but not today doesn’t make them intellectually tolerant.

                You don’t know what you’re talking about, and I suspect it’s because you’ve never set foot in a university.

            4. “What if it turns out (as some research has shown) that *blacks and hispanics* are simply less prone than liberals to entering academia?”

              “I know it doesn’t sit well with *blacks and hispanics* who think there’s an institutional bias against them, but it’s probably just the case that *blacks and hispanics* are more stupid. Sorry.”

              Tony a racist… who knew?

              1. Naw. Tony always perfectly adheres to the liberal dogma and so made a point of saying that minorities being underrepresented automatically suggests that there is something unfairly keeping them out. Conservatives are just mentally inferior to liberals, though, but everyone already knew that.

                I’m also sure the fact that most social psychology boiling down to putting disfavored groups under a microscope and concluding that they’re all a bunch of sexually repressed racists (a liberal’s favorite pastime) has absolutely nothing to do with liberals being overrepresented vs. every other ideological group.

                1. *boils, not boiling

            5. The sciences (even soft sciences) are about uncovering new truths, not confirming prejudices

              Don’t spend much time in the soft sciences do you?

    3. Nobody is asked about his political beliefs before he is given a job in the sciences or academia.

      Speaking as an academic, that’s because your political beliefs are assumed by your colleagues.

      1. I don’t have to ask someone what their political views are to get a pretty good idea.

        1. Actions do speak louder than words.

        2. I don’t have to ask someone what their political views are to get a pretty good idea.

          This statement explains much about you very succinctly.

      2. There’s a convincing argument that conservatism isn’t a specific worldview, but is always reactionary. It exists as a counter to liberalism–it is what defends the social hierarchy against attempts to upend it.

        Anyway, these are interesting debates but they’re not relevant to most academic fields. The only plausible explanation for why most academics are liberals is because liberalism is what appeals to intelligent people.

        1. Tony|2.2.12 @ 10:32AM|#
          “There’s a convincing argument that conservatism isn’t a specific worldview, but is always reactionary.”

          Yeah, shithead, like wishing for ‘the future’ as exemplified by 1917.
          Like demanding the climate and eco-systems remain exactly as they are.
          Like whining that the world was wonderful before the advent of the IC engine.
          Regressives such as you are, well, liars to boot.

          1. I said social hierarchy, not the status quo of the natural world. Conservatives are defending the dominance of fossil fuels, i.e., the current social hierarchy. That’s why conservatism isn’t just a healthy counterweight to change, it is often a destructive force on its own.

            1. fossil fuels are defended because 1) they work, 2) they remain in abundant supply, 3) we know how to harvest them and turn them into salable products, 4) there is public demand for them. That liberals fail to understand any of those points does not speak well to your cherished view of liberal superintelligence.

              1. If we were inventing a car today, would we really go with a machine that burns a limited energy resource we have to spend a huge portion of GDP on to import and fight wars to preserve access to, and which destroys the environment? Continuing to use fossil fuels is not rational, it is simply profitable for certain influential entities.

                Conservatives defend their dominance at the expense of everyone else.

                1. No, if “We” were inventing the car today, in a top-down centrally-planned fashion whose primary goal was to reward certain interest groups instead of providing people with what they desire, “We” would probably end up with something like the Chevy Volt, which nobody wants to buy. And it spontaneously combusts. On the other hand, libertarians would allow any individual who had an idea to develop it, market it and see what people are actually willing to spend their own money on. I’m betting it would be something with long range, comfort, power, safety and efficiency, and if someone could actually come up with an electric that met all those criteria, it would absolutely dominate the market, because people don’t want to spend $4 a gallon on gas when there is a cheaper comparably performing alternative. That would be much better than trying to force people to buy an inferior, more expensive product because it fits your narrow worldview.

                  1. complete pwnage.

                2. If we were inventing a car today, would we really go with a machine that burns a limited energy resource we have to spend a huge portion of GDP on to import and fight wars to preserve access to, and which destroys the environment?

                  And let’s not forget that electricity comes from magic and good intentions, which is the most pure of all energy sources.

                3. If we were inventing a car today, …BLAH, BLAH… influential entities.

                  Tony. When you steal a comment from Brad Pitt on last night’s Jon Stewart show, give him credit.

                  Also, you are a fuckwad. STFU.

        2. So sorry to break it to you, but “academics” is not a synonym for “intelligent people.”

        3. I agree with Tony’s assessment of conservatism. Conservatism only means anything in relation to a certain context. And it does mean, in some senses, wanting to keep the status quo.
          That is why I don’t identify as conservative but as libertarian liberal.

    4. Wow, right into painting yourself as a douchebag. You never disappoint.

    5. “Nobody is asked about his political beliefs before he is given a job in the sciences or academia. ”

      I was asshole.

    6. “If conservatives are underrepresented, perhaps it’s because conservatives are stupid.”

      Perfect record….keep going Tony, we are all rooting for you.

    7. Nobody is asked about his political beliefs before he is given a job in the sciences or academia. If conservatives are underrepresented, perhaps it’s because conservatives are stupid.

      For someone in the academic class, the lack of self-awareness in this statement is pretty surprising.

  11. Jost adds that the personal beliefs of social scientists are “scientifically irrelevant” because of safeguards against bias that are built into the research system.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    1. That was my reaction as well.

  12. There are a lot of filters a “conservative” would have to get through to be a social scientist that rigs the game–at 97% efficiency it seems–against them. They would have to listen to hard-leftists prattle on about the wonders of socialism for 4 years, then get it cranked up to 11 in graduate school, and manage to craft an acceptable thesis, and then it gets cranked to 13 in a doctoral program, with the queen bees of the academic-left. You would have to hide your opinions enough to score a faculty adviser and assemble a committee, and make it through more coursework, and answer quals in an acceptable way and not blow your cover during orals. And then propose and write a dissertation that would be acceptable.

    A “conservative” would have to swallow years of shit, and for what? A job that doesn’t pay much at first and the advancement hinges on swallowing more leftist twaddle for another 14 years, minimum.

    Who would want to put themselves through that?

    1. Or perhaps conservatives are just too stupid?

      1. no tony, conservatives are smart enough for hard sciences…as seen in the kentucky dinosaur museum where the earth is only 5,000 yrs old

        http://creationmuseum.org/

        1. Scientifical proof that conservatives are dummies!

    2. It’s really kind of Lysenko-Lite. Maybe “Extra-Lite” since we’re talking social sciences.

      1. I saw a mini version of in library grad school. They aren’t shy about telling you what opinions are acceptable, and the quals were horribly slanted questions.

        The only two people to fail quals the year I took them? Both were men who everyone knew were Republicans.

        1. See? Conservatives = dumb!

        2. What are quals, Sug? Sounds like a talk-about-your-feelings scam to me.

          1. Qualifying exams. For me it was pick 3 questions out of 5 and write as much as you can in three hours.

            1. My qualifiers mostly involved signal processing and shit like that. Any degree where you have to talk about politics isn’t worth getting.

        3. library grad school

          wait, what?

          1. Did you not know this of your precious SugarFree? He is one of them.

            1. When was the last time you went down to the secret archives to use the dimensional portal?

              1. Last week. I have cleared Universes 1-400 of Sparkykind. Universe 259 was the toughest. You were some sort of bloodgod and had wings.

            2. my confusion is about the existence of such a thing.

              1. The vast majority of university librarians have graduate degrees in librarianship. Credential creep has hit us as well…

                1. Credential creep has hit us as well…

                  yeah, I would have thought literacy would be the only necessary credential.

                  1. Why would that be necessary? Basic knowledge of the alphabet should suffice.

                2. Wasn’t there something on here a while ago (maybe just on the internet in general, not necessarily Reason) about how Librarians are able to bring damaged books back from the dead? Because I have a friend’s copy of Stranger in a Strange Land that I spilled some gatorade on, and it could use a little TLC. SF, can you fix it?

                  1. depends on if the gatorade contained sugar or not?

    3. One of the reasons I chose a degree in a hard science was so I wouldn’t have to be subjected liberal pap other than a few core classes.

      1. that the hard sciences are actually useful in the real world is just a secondary benefit.

        1. In the restaurant biz I’ve seen many people with useless degrees make a career out of the job that was supposed to simply get them through college.

          In an effort to be a wise person, and learn from the mistakes of others, I chose to study something more useful.

    4. I managed to do it all the way through a master’s program, and could have done the PhD route if I didn’t mind getting 3-4 hours of sleep a night during the semester.

      It’s shockingly easy on an intellectual level to make the long march through the institutions, when you tell the institutional masters what they want to hear.

  13. Another is that his argument might arm those who are “eager to dismiss our findings,” as John T. Jost, a psychologist at New York University, expresses it. “We’ve seen this with climate-change issues,” he tellsThe Chronicle. “If you can just accuse the scientist of ideological bias, then you can ignore the research findings.

    Wouldn’t making an explicit attempt to include opposing view points do the opposite?

    1. If 97% of experts believe one thing and 3% believe another, the two positions are not equally valid.

      1. Which is why the world is flat.

        1. You see, the world was flat.

          Only when the experts came to a consensus that it was round did it become round.

          1. Been reading your Kuhn I see.

        2. It’s possible the 3% are right and the 97% are wrong. But you as a layperson don’t have a good reason to choose the minority over the majority. I realize that most people here are outright science deniers on climate change, but that’s not because there are super smart people here. It’s because there’s an agenda behind the belief.

          1. It’s because there’s an agenda behind the belief.

            When “science” is obviously motivated by a political agenda, then an intellectually honest person has a duty to question the “science”.

            Just an an intellectually dishonest person has a duty to defend it.

            1. What agenda? Al Gore’s evil scheme to sell DVDs?

              There is SO OBVIOUSLY more of an agenda on the denier side (like, the profit motive of the fossil fuel industries), and if you don’t acknowledge it then you are not following your own (disingenuous) platitudes about intellectual honesty.

              1. Like I said.

                An intellectually dishonest person has a duty to defend it.

                So defend away Mr Intellectually Dishonest Tony.

                I would be disappointed if you didn’t.

              2. What agenda? Al Gore’s evil scheme to sell DVDs?

                Really? You’re not even trying now.

                1. Really? You’re not even trying now.

                  It takes real effort to ignore the obvious.

              3. There is SO OBVIOUSLY more of an agenda on the climate change side (like, the profit motive of the “green” energy industries and administrators of carbon tax schemes and politicians seeking new leverage for kickbacks), and if you don’t acknowledge it then you are not following your own (disingenuous) platitudes about intellectual honesty.

                1. Even if that’s true, do you acknowledge there are interests on the denier side? Or are the oil companies just out to do what’s best for humanity?

                  The fact that there is overwhelming scientific evidence on one side but not the other, apparently, is irrelevant to you.

                  1. Or are the oil companies just out to do what’s best for humanity?

                    Cheap energy is what’s best for humanity (unless you’re a Luddite), and oil companies provide it.

                    So yes, they are. Not necessarily on purpose, but they are.

                    The fact that there is overwhelming scientific evidence on one side

                    Bullshit.
                    Science is about repeatable experimentation and openness with data.

                    With climate “science” you have neither.

                    but not the other

                    You don’t prove negatives.

                    1. So show me the repeatable experiments that have shown that warming is attributable to something other than human activity. It’s not like you aren’t making a claim here.

                      Do you also not believe in the big bang because we haven’t had repeatable experiments to test whether it can happen?

                    2. Circular reasoning is circular.

                    3. Circular reasoning is circular.

                      Winner.

                    4. Hey R. I’ve got an interview next week at a job that will actually give me shit to do. If I get it will you take on my Morning Link duties?

                    5. Do you also not believe in the big bang because we haven’t had repeatable experiments to test whether it can happen?

                      Correct. It’s a nifty idea with models that decently fit experiments…but BELIEVE IN IT? No.

                    6. You can’t assign a likelihood?

                    7. There aren’t even repeatable experiments to show that warming HAS FUCKING HAPPENED you fucking retard.

          2. I’m so glad we have super-smart Choney here to show us the way!

            Thank you, Overlord Choney!

            1. FUCKING PEASANTS111!!oneoneone

          3. But you as a layperson don’t have a good reason to choose the minority over the majority.

            HOW DARE YOU QUESTION YOUR BETTERS!!!!

            Tony, you are one sick and twisted fuck and I almost feel sorry for you.

            1. Are you a credentialed researcher in this field? No? Then why should anyone listen to you? Because you parrot what right-wing propagandists say so well?

              All of this is bullshit to distract from the central fact you guys have a problem with: almost all of the evidence is on one side of this, and the number of dissenters who aren’t paid shills for the oil industry is vanishingly small. But they’re right… because?

              1. So because I’m not credentialed I’m not good enough to read through all the available information and come to my own conclusions that may or may not agree with the almighty consensus? I am not allowed to form my own opinion because someone “better” than me has already told me how I must think now. No thanks Tony, I’ll do my own thinking.

                1. But, but, but… they’re experts!

                  If you come up with your own conclusion, and it is different from the one that the experts voted to agree upon, then you’re doopid because they’re smart!

                  If you give it no thought at all, and simply agree with them because they’re the experts, then you’re smarter than the person who thinks for themselves!

                  See!

                  Because Tony doesn’t bother with things like critical thinking, he’s smarter than people who do!

                  Not thinking makes you smart!

                  1. Fuck, now I understand why I’ve been so depressed sometimes, I’ve been thinking about how much some things in the world suck. I knew I should have just been relying on the spoonfeeding from my betters.

                    1. “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
                      Courage to change the things I can,
                      And wisdom to know the difference.”

                      Not that I believe in God, but it’s a good attitude to have.
                      Keeps me (relatively) sane anyway.

                2. So because I’m not credentialed I’m not good enough to read through all the available information and come to my own conclusions that may or may not agree with the almighty consensus?

                  Tony worships at the altar of credentialism, Top. Men. his icons.

              2. —“Are you a credentialed researcher in this field?”—

                Hey fuckwad, are you?

                If not, then you are doing the EXACT same thing that you are accusing others of doing.

                Also, STFU.

                1. If not, then you are doing the EXACT same thing that you are accusing others of doing.

                  No he’s not. He’s agreeing with the majority because they’re the majority. That makes him smart.

                  What we are doing is evaluating what we see and using our bullshit detectors. That makes us doopid.

                  Agreeing with experts because they’re experts = smart.

                  Using your own head and calling bullshit when you see bullshit = doopid.

          4. The problem I (and a lot of libertarians, I woudl imagine) have with climate scientists is that they don’t just do science. They try to claim that science tells us what should be done. Which is not something that science can do. Even supposing that everything that mainstream climate science says is true, that doesn’t tell us anything about what we should do about it.

      2. Indeed. In the 19th Century, 97% of the experts in Physics believed in Ether theory; whereas about 3% believed in Electromagnetic theory.

        1. The only plausible explanation for this is that Ether theory is what appeals to intelligent people.

          1. I sometimes have a great deal of trouble telling Tony from Tony-spoofs

            Tony truly is a caricature of himself.

            1. Poe’s Law isn’t just about religion anymore.

        2. Today, however, we have Dark Energy. Much cooler.

      3. “No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.”
        -Albert Einstein

        1. actually NASA did confirm einstein’s hypothesis that gravity distorts time w 2 atomic clocks, one in orbit.

          1. 2 clocks, 1 orbit? Dude, I could only watch like 20 seconds of that.

            1. You should “Two Watches, One Fist”.

              Ten seconds, MAX.

          2. The point was that 99.9% of experts can come to a consensus on something, and it takes only one single solitary experiment to prove them wrong.

            1. How do you know that just happens to be the case with climate science? Isn’t it more likely–until evidence is produced–that the 99.9% are right all along?

              1. If you believe science is determined by political tools such as consensus, then obviously yes.

                If, however, you’re some crazy nut-job who believe science is determined by the scientific method, then no.

                1. If, however, you’re some crazy nut-job who believe science is determined by the scientific method, then no.

                  People like that should be imprisoned to safeguard The Consensus Process.

              2. Hey Mr. Consensus, there’s this giant ball of gas that we orbit around. It gives off crazy amounts of heat. But I guess that would have no bearing whatsoever on the climate patterns of the planet.

                1. Apparently the squirrels liked my joke handle from another thread.

          3. It did not confirm it, it merely added a lot of weight behind it. You could repeat that experiment for centuries, but it would take just one time for it to fail, and the theory would be proven wrong (or at least incomplete).

          4. See: neutrinos faster than speed of light, which if confirmed beyond probable error, would render Einstein’s theory as incomplete as the Newtonian theories he extended.

            1. Depending on their method of bypassing the speed of light.

            2. string theory would splain that away w/o exceeding light speed

          5. “actually NASA did confirm einstein’s hypothesis ”

            Actually, they didn’t.

          6. There have been a lot of confirmations of Einstein’s predictions, but none of them are individually or even collectively proofs. For example, the clock in orbit experiment didn’t eliminate possible other theories, different from Einstein’s, that might also predict difference in time flow under varying conditions (for example, maybe time flow varies with average barometric pressure or with cosmic ray incidence or varies randomly in freefall or when a clck is spinning about an axis). The fact that the difference between the 2 clocks was exactly what Einstein predicted it was makes that experiment a very very strong confirmation (but not proof) of general relativity. On the other hand, no repeatable experiment has confirmed AGW theory with anything like precision, or some would argue at all, since technically no large scale climate experiment done anywhere but in a computer has been controlled or repeatable.

            1. no repeatable experiment has confirmed AGW theory with anything like precision, or some would argue at all

              IOW no scientific method means it ain’t science.

          7. Confirmation is not proof.

      4. Clowns to the left of me:

        “If 97% of experts believe one thing and 3% believe another,…”

        Fools to the religious right:

        “You can’t prove me wrong!”

        1. Here I am, stuck in the middle with you.

          1. Here I am, stuck in the middle with you a crazy, radical, ultra right wing, extremist.

            FIFY

      5. This is the most ridiculous thing I ever read. Did this dude(?) ever hear of Copernicus, Galileo or Einstein?

    2. Wouldn’t making an explicit attempt to include opposing view points do the opposite?

      Do you think astronomers need to address the beliefs of the Flat Earth Society?

      1. ive seen the stage where the moon landings were faked

        1. It’s in my backyard lol fuck iman ijit

      2. I read a biography of Tycho Brahe, and the most fascinating aspect of it wasn’t how dumb the people espousing the “perfectly round celestial sphere” theory were vs. the “face it, orbits be elliptical” guys.

        It was how smart the roundies were. Every time more data showed that orbits were elliptical, the roundies would come up with more sophisticated models and explanations of why they were round. These explanations perfectly fit the available data. Eventually, stargazing and mathematical techniques made so much data available, the roundies had to concede, but the techniques probably wouldn’t have been developed except for the need to prove roundies wrong.

        1. Heliocentric astronomers were able to predict the orbits of the other planets. They argued that this proved their theory.

        2. The Mechanical Universe guy at Caltech seemed pretty sympathetic to Brahe – said that the important thing was that he called the raw data as he saw it. Unfortunately he was pretty stingy about sharing it. Didn’t Kepler have to wait until Brahe kicked to see his records?

          1. Yep.

            Newton was similarly whacked. He would make discoveries that he didn’t publish and then a decade later when Liebnitz would independently make the same discovery, Newton would throw a tantrum about his ideas being stolen.

        3. Tycho Brahe, awesome name, or AWESOMEST NAME?

          1. Hmm, sounds a bit like a surfer nickname.

          2. Sorry. No. The correct awesomest name is Dick Trickle. That’s Dick Trickle everyone.

            1. That doesn’t even rank #2.

            2. Come on guys…Dick Armey.

      3. Other than the obvious issue, I’m unfamiliar with the beliefs of the Flat Earth Society. But I believe that their primary issue has been addressed by astronomers, and I’d be surprised if any of their secondary issues have been ignored.

        Just because you don’t like the conclusion doesn’t mean that the issue hasn’t been addressed. I think that the argument being made in the article is that the right questions aren’t even being considered and that in such ‘soft’ sciences as psychology and sociology, personal bias could have a strong and hidden effect on interpretation of data.

      4. If astronomers could not accurately predict the orbit of planets, or the Earth’s position on a day-to-day basis, then yes, they would need to consider alternate viewpoints.

  14. Wait, are people talking about social psychology like it matters? Why?

    1. Good point.

    2. I am ashamed to say that it was several years after I received my BA in econ before I came to understand that the social sciences aren’t sciences.

      1. What is sad is that they could be sciences. I started college as a psych major, and for my first two it was fairly scientific. Then the science stopped and it became squishy bullshit. I had to quit the major. And psychology is at the hard end of the social sciences. Many social sciences are nothing more than thin veneers over leftist political ideology.

        1. I’m not sure they can be. Hard science relies on being able to repeat the same experiment, altering variables predictably. I don’t think economics or psychology can guarantee that for most of the interesting questions. I don’t fault them for it, I only admit the limitations of their ability to know things to a statistical probability rather than a statistical certainty.

        2. “What is sad is that they could be sciences”

          Don’t think I agree with you here B – I think that you must reject the notion that humans have free will, to believe that their actions can be comprehended scientifically.

          I do beleive, however, that the social “sciences” are worth studying as close to scientifically as possible – with major reservations about one’s conclusions.

          1. Uh, and what Brett said.

        3. The exact same thing happened to me.Psych major, First semester, second year, I am sitting in a psychology class and it hit me like a ton of bricks….this is all pure horseshit!
          I changed my major to chemistry.

    3. You cut to the heart of the matter.

    4. Are you saying that the accomplishments of the people on this list are unimportant?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L…..chologists

      1. She said “like it matters”, not “are unimportant”.

        But I’ll say it – yeah, basically meaningless in real life. kthxbai

        1. Ooo, you win this round! That was awesome how you just proved that confirmation bias doesn’t exist.

          1. And you just confirmed his outcome. Science for the win!

      2. Well, Mark Snyder is a decent defensive coordinator, and I think he’ll do a good job at A&M, but I wouldn’t call his contributions to social psychology life-altering.

    5. Because the experts say it matters you idiot conservative. It’s no wonder people don’t take you seriously.

      /Tony

      1. Dagny just hates the poor and people of color.

        1. What good libertarian doesn’t really?

    6. Why?

      Because this is a chat room and that is what we do. The topic is irrelevant.

    7. “Why?”

      Yeah, why, it’s not like billions of dollars spent, tons of laws written, and lots of government policies are the result of it or anything…

      1. Yes, and this problem will be addressed and resolved in a chat room.

      2. Circular logic is circular.

    8. Wait, are people talking about social psychology like it matters? Why?

      See my response to Tony below.

  15. And when the Good Doctor, my advisor, said, “Almanian, you should go to grad school – you’re a good theoretician…” I didn’t and went into the workforce in Mfg instead.

    Cause of the whole academic thing. Reinforced by observing my dad’s and sister’s life as teachers/administrators at various colleges and universities through the years. Unions and asshole co-workers in Mfg suck. Unions and asshole co-workers in academia are insufferable.

    “There’s no bias in Social Psych, because we have teh SAFEGUARDS METHUDOLLUJEE!” HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Oh, my…..

  16. Oh duh, I forgot – TEH SOCIAL SCIENCE IS SETTLED!!1!!

  17. Get rid of government funding for psychology “research”. The bias problem will go away.

    1. Get rid of government funding for psychology “research”. The bias problem will go away.

      ftfy

  18. So, unless I’ve got this wrong, he’s saying that social psychology doesn’t apply to social psychology.

    Right.

    And it’s ninety-nine of that vs. one guy explaining the paucity of Hindus in the Roman Curia without acknowledging that the Curia is the managerial wing of the Church, so he’s got this theory that Hindus don’t take communion (which isn’t religious!) because their Von Ebner’s glands are malformed.

    So the debate is very enlightening.

  19. “Just as reasoning, to an irrational person, becomes rationalizing, and moral judgment becomes moralizing, so psychological theories become psychologizing. The common denominator is the corruption of a cognitive process to serve an ulterior motive.

    Psychologizing consists in condemning or excusing specific individuals on the grounds of their psychological problems, real or invented, in the absence of or contrary to factual evidence.”

    Ayn Rand, “The Psychology of ‘Psychologizing’,”
    The Objectivist, March 1971, 2

  20. I’m curious as to whether there any politically conservative social psychologists who support Haidt’s argument, considering the inherent contradiction. (Can’t they create their own access to the marketplace of ideas through an institution apart from these supposedly discriminatory liberal bastions?)

    1. What is the inherent contradiction? I fail to see how your outlook on the deficit, PPACA, or the Afghanistan War in some way is relevant to how you do science.

      1. Which adds to the observation that some things that are called “science” are not science.

      2. Rev.,
        Shouldn’t the conservative believe that if her work is sound then it will find a home in the marketplace of ideas without top down engineering?

        1. I don’t think you know what “top down engineering” means.

          Attempting to elicit a cultural shift in the mindset of a group that is overwhelmingly oriented one-way is not “top down engineering”. “Affirmative action”, in this context is “a deliberate step to widen political and moral perspectives in order to ward off stagnation, shrinking perspectives, and a lack of rigor.”

          1. He’s not proposing a shift in mindset exactly. To be precise he’s proposing to shift the composition of the group through an artificial quota to be imposed on the members of the group. How is that not a top-down approach to change? How can one profess trust in the free market, particularly the marketplace of ideas, and then claim it is good for thee but not for me?

            1. The market analogy is horribly inapt.

              If I were in charge of say, a private law firm, and I realized that a certain interpretive mindset (let’s say it’s legal realism) had so thoroughly pervaded my firm that we may be actually missing out on arguments (or clients, or perspectives, or whatever), I might employ “affirmative action” to hire more natural law theorists so we could better represent the law for our clients. This isn’t “free market v. government control” this is “ordering of a firm/subset/discipline to ensure groupthink isn’t consuming differing perspectives.” It would be like Heritage hiring a house liberal as a sharpening stone and to get different angles.

              Of course, your presumption that a particular conservative must believe in the free-market: well, it is to laugh as they say.

              1. Your law firm is but one player in the market, like an academic institution. A conservative university could choose to make a point of hiring conservative social psychologists and if their work is up to it it will impact the field.

                As to your final point, I suppose it matters who defines “conservative.”

                1. conservative university

                  Isn’t that an oxymoron?

            2. I don’t think most university settings qualify as a “free market of ideas”, which is part of the problem. I don’t think a top-down approach is appropriate – true intellectuals should welcome opposing ideas as it calls into question their own beliefs and results in either a correction/adjustment or the establishment of a new idea or paradigm. Since this does not appear to be the case, however, the top-down approach always looks easiest/quickest – defiantely a statist mentality.

  21. I’m curious as to whether there any politically conservative social psychologists

    Apparently not.

    1. You can find a few in Hillsdale and maybe a few other places. Of course, thanks to the systemic bias, you’ll have trouble getting hired in any “mainstream” (i.e. far-left-biased government-run) institution if your degree in these social fields comes from any of these conservative places.

  22. …Haidt argued that the field discourages conservatives from entering?and leaves those who do feeling like closeted homosexuals.

    Oooh, he just fucked up. If you’re part of a marginal minority group, you never compare your plight to a major, established and protected minority group. Ever.

  23. Economics is a social science, and does have overrepresentation of a political ideology?yours. But that’s because of a history of corporate subsidy. See cause, effect. Now find the reason liberals are overrepresented elsewhere. Otherwise my contention that conservatives are just stupid seems to be the most plausible explanation.

      1. The only plausible explanation is that nonsense appeals to intelligent people.

        1. The only plausible explanation is that nonsense appeals to intelligent people

          I see now why you believe in anthropogenic global warming.

      2. The Sokal Affair is the “0.01%” to throw in every credentialist’s face when they argue about how superior academics are in intelligence. Every time it’s mentioned, Solons in academia are instantly reduced to gibberish.

        1. There’s also The Chomskybot, which allows you to generate leftist gibberish automatically whenever you happen to need some to impress those idiot academics for some reason.

        2. However, this assumption is not correct, since most of the methodological work in modern linguistics is to be regarded as a corpus of utterance tokens upon which conformity has been defined by the paired utterance test. On the other hand, the systematic use of complex symbols is not subject to an important distinction in language use. By combining adjunctions and certain deformations, an important property of these three types of EC is not quite equivalent to irrelevant intervening contexts in selectional rules. This suggests that the notion of level of grammaticalness cannot be arbitrary in the requirement that branching is not tolerated within the dominance scope of a complex symbol. I suggested that these results would follow from the assumption that the natural general principle that will subsume this case is not to be considered in determining the ultimate standard that determines the accuracy of any proposed grammar.

    1. Really? Who subsidized Adam Smith?

      1. Smith was in the pocket of Big Printing Press.

    2. Any moron can believe in plain facts and truth; believing in TOTAL BULLSHIT requires an IQ of at least 160 and a PhD.

  24. Maybe those predisposed toward non-progressive beliefs aren’t the sort to waste their time studying glorified sociology.

    Just a thought.

    1. Or maybe liberals like me is just more smarter.

      1. “moar” smarter tony

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.