T Nation

Diversity?

I’m always struck by the idea that diversity only encompasses the superficial (skin color), genitalia equipped, or manner of orifice lusted over. But ideas? Not so much.

Saw this over at Hotair, and was shocked by how stifling the progressive/liberal culture within the field of Psychology has become. Just how academic can an echo chamber really be?

http://yoelinbar.net/papers/political_diversity.pdf

“Diversity” is code for subjects of or pertaining to other than heterosexual, white males.

I became highly suspicious of it when I was forced to take “diversity” credits in college to graduate.

Is this like the new york councilman that sent a letter to NYU trying to get them to ban chick-fil-a from campus because they believe differently than her, and did it in the name of diversity? Ban different belief to increase diversity…

only a liberal could cognitively pull that off without imploding.

Well, I have already made my opinion on statistics as a discipline well known, so I will leave that alone for now. I will start by saying that some of the questions asked were very misleading and probably designed to show what these researchers wanted them to. In order to establish a clear pattern of discrimination against conservatives, which this paper does not (it only mentions hypothetical scenarios that are not all that representative of real life situations such as the hiring a liberal vs a conservative), they would also need to establish that the people being polled would not treat liberally biased research and researchers the same way, which was not done, they just assumed that to be the case(page 6), which is bad science.

For instance, if I were asked if I would unfavorably review a paper or a grant application with a ?politically conservative perspective" (page 5), I would emphatically say yes. I would also say yes if you replace “conservative” with “liberal,” as would any honest scientist. The fact that that question was not also asked in the study raises some serious doubts about the validity of this paper. In any scientific article, the study should be designed independent of the personal opinions of the researcher and any sign of bias can and should result in the dismissal of the research. The fourth question is meaningless since questions about political leanings are not part of the hiring process in real life, so the opinions expressed are meaningless and the fourth question is as well since the study already established that most conservatives keep their views to themselves, which they should just like liberals, so it is unlikely that that situation would occur in real life. On page 6, the authors tries to address these issues with their research, but their reasoning for not doing these things amounts to nothing and does not stand up at all. In fact, one sentence in their section on this is “Liberals are much more negative toward work with a conservative perspective.” which was not tested in this study and is pure biased conjecture.

All this study really established is that liberals prefer to be around liberals, and that there are not a lot of conservatives in this field, which was already known. I wonder if the respondents who identified as conservative chose that, all else being equal, they would prefer to hire a conservative. Overall, this was a useless study that did not show any actual discrimination within a given field and may have even been conducted dishonestly.

[quote]Dr.Matt581 wrote:

All this study really established is that liberals prefer to be around liberals…[/quote]

Ok. And when asked, a significant amount indicated they would make sure this was the case. Call this ‘hostility.’

See above

That WAS the point. The questions about grants, papers, and hiring was a damn good one considering what you just said. If there’s that much cultural bias in the field, that even a PERCEIVED hint of conservative interest makes something tingle in the reviewer’s/hiring agent’s head, well, shut it down. Did they measure how often it happens? No, it’s obviously outside of the scope of this paper. That’s not a valid criticism. They accomplished exactly what they set out to look at. Do different ideological groups perceive different levels of hostility? Yes. Do the feelings of the majority suggest this perception is justified? Yes. How many admit they would act on their bias if possible? A significant amount.

[quote]Sloth wrote:

[quote]Dr.Matt581 wrote:

All this study really established is that liberals prefer to be around liberals…[/quote]

Ok. And when asked, a significant amount indicated they would make sure this was the case. Call this ‘hostility.’

See above

That WAS the point. The questions about grants, papers, and hiring was a damn good one considering what you just said. If there’s that much cultural bias in the field, that even a PERCEIVED hint of conservative interest makes something tingle in the reviewer’s/hiring agent’s head, well, shut it down. Did they measure how often it happens? No, it’s obviously outside of the scope of this paper. That’s not a valid criticism. They accomplished exactly what they set out to look at. Do different ideological groups perceive different levels of hostility? Yes. Do the feelings of the majority suggest this perception is justified? Yes. How many admit they would act on their bias if possible? A significant amount.

[/quote]

I did not say that the point of the paper was to measure the extent to which discrimination against conservatives occurs. The point of the paper was to show active discrimination (emphasis on active) discrimination against conservatives, which it did not do. All it established was that bias in research and in grant applications is not generally tolerated. If they had asked questions about other types of political bias to compare the other answers to (i.e. would those reviewing grant applications and papers respond favorably to liberal bias) then useful conclusions about bias can be made, as it stands no such conclusion can be made since the author just assumed that that is the case, which is not a valid assumption. It may be correct, but we do not know. As for the other questions, I already explained why they are irrelevant.

[quote]Dr.Matt581 wrote:
The point of the paper was to show active discrimination (emphasis on active) discrimination against conservatives, which it did not do.[/quote]

If by active discrimination you somehow mean measuring perception of hostility, and the actual hostility of the in-group, they accomplished the point of the paper. Otherwise, your wording suggests they set out to measure actual incidences. A rate of some sort. That wasn’t the point. Again, it sounds an awful lot as if you’re claiming they failed to accomplish something they don’t pretend to have even tried to accomplish.