Three people (and thank you to them!) have sent me a link to John Tierney’s article in the New York Times, about the almost complete absence of conservatives from the psychology field:
It [this imbalance] was identified by Jonathan Haidt, a social psychologist at the University of Virginia who studies the intuitive foundations of morality and ideology. He polled his audience at the San Antonio Convention Center, starting by asking how many considered themselves politically liberal. A sea of hands appeared, and Dr. Haidt estimated that liberals made up 80 percent of the 1,000 psychologists in the ballroom. When he asked for centrists and libertarians, he spotted fewer than three dozen hands. And then, when he asked for conservatives, he counted a grand total of three.
“This is a statistically impossible lack of diversity,” Dr. Haidt concluded, noting polls showing that 40 percent of Americans are conservative and 20 percent are liberal. In his speech and in an interview, Dr. Haidt argued that social psychologists are a “tribal-moral community” united by “sacred values” that hinder research and damage their credibility — and blind them to the hostile climate they’ve created for non-liberals.
The article is right on the money, and reflects a broad problem with academia generally: Outside of the hard sciences, liberals own our universities, which means that they own the next generation of the best and the brightest.
What one hopes is that the university bubble is about to burst. Maybe, just maybe, with the government running out of money, and with parents running out of money too, the insanity that is higher education — $200,000 to teach young women herstory or young blacks about their perpetual servitude or young men about drinking — will finally run itself out. Then, in the rubble, some real education might happen.