A Plea for Political Diversity in Research

The lack of political diversity among researchers in social psychology is skewing findings and alienating students who find conservative and libertarian views regularly ignored or denigrated, according to an article featured on the Pope Center site today.  In social psychology, self-identified liberals outnumber conservatives by about 10 to 1.

The Pope report refers to a forthcoming academic article by six researchers which says, “We focus on social psychology because it is the subfield of psychology that most directly examines ideologically controversial topics, and is thus most in need of political diversity.” It adds, “The collective efforts of researchers in politically charged areas may fail to converge upon the truth when there are few or no non-liberal researchers to raise questions and frame hypotheses in alternate ways.” The six authors of the article include one liberal, one centrist, two libertarians and two hard-to-classify academics.

John Leo

John Leo is the editor of Minding the Campus, dedicated to chronicling imbalances within higher education and restoring intellectual pluralism to our American universities. His popular column, "On Society," ran in U.S.News & World Report for 17 years.

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