The New Yorker has an interesting article about a lack of political diversity in social psychology and how that may be leading to a climate of bias against conservative researchers, ideas and the evidence that might support them.
Some of the evidence for a bias against conservative thinking in social psychology goes back some years, and the article gives a good account of the empirical work as well as the debate.
However, the issue was recently raised again by morality researcher Jonathan Haidt leading to a renewed reflection on the extent of the problem.
There is a case to be made that, despite the imbalance, no formal changes need to be made, and that, on the whole, despite its problems, social psychology continues to function remarkably well and regularly produces high-quality research. Controversial work gets done. Even studies that directly challenge the field—like Haidt’s—are publicized and inspire healthy debate…
And yet the evidence for more substantial bias, against both individuals and research topics and directions, is hard to dismiss—and the hostility that some social psychologists have expressed toward the data suggests that self-correction may not be an adequate remedy.
A timely reminder of the eternal truth that bias is entirely non-partisan, and if you’ve not heard it before, a pointer to a great BBC Radio documentary that outlines how it works equally across people of every political stripe.
Link to ‘Is Social Psychology Biased Against Republicans?’