The political “left” dominates a number of institutions, including, most famously, Hollywood entertainment and up-market journalism. But perhaps even more striking is the heavily “liberal-progressive” bent observed in many academic fields, particularly in the humanities and social sciences, far in excess of the leftist percentage in America at large.
And this certainly deserves an explanation.
Could it be the result of bias and discrimination?
It’s long been fun to listen to academics defend their heavily leftist cut of the higher ed pie using arguments that have nothing to do with bias. Why “fun”? Because similar arguments trotted out in other fields receive nothing but scorn from academics.
Now there’s a study showing that social psychologists, at least, self-admit to an anti-conservative bias in grading papers, awarding grant proposals, inviting symposium speakers, and accepting job applicants. And here’s the kicker: “The more liberal the survey respondents identified as being, the more likely they were to say that they would discriminate.”
Those who are already sharpening their ad hominem retorts should note that the study was not conducted by folks on “the right.” Co-author Yoel Inbar described himself to Inside Higher Ed as “‘a pretty doctrinaire liberal,’ who volunteered for the Obama campaign in 2008 and who votes Democrat. His co-author, Joris Lammers of Tilburg, is to Inbar’s left, he said.”
The most interesting aspect of bias uncovered in the study, however, is that interviewed academics estimated that their colleagues were twice as likely as themselves to discriminate on ideological grounds.
The “other guy” is always worse than oneself.
Which is where bias and prejudice begin, perhaps.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.