New Yorker article
The New Yorker has a nice article about our BBS paper on the lack of intellectual diversity in social psychology.
I cringe a bit at the title: Is Social Psychology Biased Against Republicans?
This was never about political parties, and the lack of diversity goes much deeper than even political philosophy (conservative, liberal, libertarian -- that level of analysis). It goes down to basic assumptions about free will, the force of situational and nonconscious factors, and the various assumptions of one subculture in this place and this time -- American white academic liberal culture, which I see as a distinct culture, one culture in a constellation of them. I don't think there's anything particularly terrible about that culture -- I think there are a number of things to admire about it. But the unstated assumptions of that culture have shaped -- and sometimes invalidated -- social science research in myriad ways. Political bias is one of the major facets of what has happened, but it's not the whole story.
Treating political parties as the level of analysis makes it much less interesting, and a bit tawdry. The explosion of partisanship in America is one of the sadder facts of our day. We see it everywhere. I'm not interested in political parties. I'm interested in science and in how we do science. I'm interested in the different ways we can frame research, and how our choices impact the results. Lately, I'm also interested in fraud cases, but just barely. One of the worst things about fraud is that it's boring -- it leaves us with nothing to talk about, no findings, no effects. I fight the fraud because of a baseline commitment to integrity in science, but I'm more interested in methods and validity, which is what we discuss in our BBS paper.
Anyway, my conversation with Maria Konnikova had a couple of bonuses. I learned that Walter Mischel accounted for trust in adults in his famous marshmallow studies. I need to rewrite that post. And I learned of a very special babka place in NYC: Breads Bakery. I need to go there, stat. Next time I'm at the X with OG, or just in NYC. The biggest thing I learned from Seinfeld was the existence of babkas. I finally found sound at Zabar's a couple of years ago, but it sounds like Breads is a very serious situation.
11/9/2014 09:47:48 pm
11/11/2014 05:54:59 am
Many of the comments there at klimazwiebel seem to be doubling down (again I am peering through the language barrier): We don't trust the media to present the coherent message that we think is true (because the denier media will blow things totally out of proportion), so we have no choice but to suppress things that we don't want in the media.
11/9/2014 09:55:06 pm
Good article in the New Yorker. I don't know if the New Yorker made clear enough, at least for me, the problem with the "bias" that it is describing: that doesn't mean the results are biased; it means the results are wrong, or else meaningless. Or at least that no one with sense can trust them.
<blockquote>Treating political parties as the level of analysis makes it much less interesting, and a bit tawdry. </blockquote>
11/18/2014 12:03:05 am
It's unfortunate that in the US everything is portrayed as Democrats v Republicans. Here in the UK, things are a bit less politically polarised. Maybe you could come and work over here when you've finished your PhD! There are some good research groups, for example at Nottingham.
12/20/2014 07:10:54 am
Things are less polarised in the UK because both major parties agree about most things: that we need a free health system, (agreed) and that climate change is the biggest threat facing us (er...)
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José L. Duarte
Social Psychology, Scientific Validity, and Research Methods.