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How to ruin a discipline: Ban diversity of opinion

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A common complaint today is that university is the opposite of diversity. Indeed, that was what sparked the work of Greg Lukianoff (cf Unlearning Liberty). Now Cambridge journal Behavioral and Brain Sciences is prepared to offer an article that details the damage academic censorship has done to social sciences (whose scandals we have often covered):

Abstract: Psychologists have demonstrated the value of diversity—particularly diversity of viewpoints—for enhancing creativity, discovery, and problem solving. But one key type of viewpoint diversity is lacking in academic psychology in general and social psychology in particular: political diversity. This article reviews the available evidence and finds support for four claims: 1) Academic psychology once had considerable political diversity, but has lost nearly all of it in the last 50 years; 2) This lack of political diversity can undermine the validity of social psychological science via mechanisms such as the embedding of liberal values into research questions and methods, steering researchers away from important but politically unpalatable research topics, and producing conclusions that mischaracterize liberals and conservatives alike; 3) Increased political diversity would improve social psychological science by reducing the impact of bias mechanisms such as confirmation bias, and by empowering dissenting minorities to improve the quality of the majority’s thinking; and 4) The underrepresentation of nonliberals in social psychology is most likely due to a combination of self-selection, hostile climate, and discrimination. We close with recommendations for increasing political diversity in social psychology.

If this paper does end up getting published, a question:

Does the trigger warning system, now advocated at universities, come with a scale of triggers? Like, one through seven triggers, depending how upset you are likely to be if you expected everyone at university to confirm all your beliefs—and are now disappointed? We’re thinking full profs in sociology will need all seven triggers a lot.

Note: One consequence of living in an echo chamber is that people don’t know when they are being bigots. I (O’Leary for News ) remember about angry confabs about the work of Patrick Tierney, Derek Freeman, and Michael Regnerus.  Where the clear purpose was not to understand and critique the researcher’s work but just to “get” him, period. The dudgeon was deafening. Yet the attendees probably think they are the most broad-minded people on Earth.

Fetch a broom and mop, someone, please.

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One Reply to “How to ruin a discipline: Ban diversity of opinion

  1. 1
    Charles says:

    “If you only read people who think like you, you will soon find you don’t do much thinking” – John Mauldin

    “When everyone thinks alike, everyone is likely to be wrong” – Humphrey Neill, The Art of Contrary Thinking

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