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.
José L. Duarte
Social Psychology, Scientific Validity, and Research Methods.