Members of the field of philosophy have, just as other people, political convictions or, as psychologists call them, ideologies. How are different ideologies distributed and perceived in the field? Using the familiar distinction between the political left and right, we surveyed an international sample of 794 subjects in philosophy. We found that survey participants clearly leaned left (75%), while right-leaning individuals (14%) and moderates (11%) were underrepresented. Moreover, and strikingly, across the political spectrum, from very left-leaning individuals and moderates to (...) very right-leaning individuals, participants reported experiencing ideological hostility in the field, occasionally even from those from their own side of the political spectrum. Finally, while about half of the subjects believed that discrimination against left- or right-leaning individuals in the field is not justified, a significant minority displayed an explicit willingness to discriminate against colleagues with the opposite ideology. Our findings are both surprising and important, because a commitment to tolerance and equality is widespread in philosophy, and there is reason to think that ideological similarity, hostility, and discrimination undermine reliable belief formation in many areas of the discipline. (shrink)
Psychologists have demonstrated the value of diversity – particularly diversity of viewpoints – for enhancing creativity, discovery, and problem solving. But one key type of viewpoint diversity is lacking in academic psychology in general and social psychology in particular: political diversity. This article reviews the available evidence and finds support for four claims: Academic psychology once had considerable political diversity, but has lost nearly all of it in the last 50 years. This lack of political diversity can undermine the validity (...) of social psychological science via mechanisms such as the embedding of liberal values into research questions and methods, steering researchers away from important but politically unpalatable research topics, and producing conclusions that mischaracterize liberals and conservatives alike. Increased political diversity would improve social psychological science by reducing the impact of bias mechanisms such as confirmation bias, and by empowering dissenting minorities to improve the quality of the majority's thinking. The underrepresentation of non-liberals in social psychology is most likely due to a combination of self-selection, hostile climate, and discrimination. We close with recommendations for increasing political diversity in social psychology. (shrink)
This first volume in the Rutgers Series on Self and Social Identity presents a sophisticated and detailed analysis of some of the most fundamental issues facing scholars interested in studying self and identity. Chapters written by a world-class set of social scientists, from the fields of psychology, sociology, and anthropology, represent the diverse issues, perspectives, and controversies inherent in the recent wave of interest in the self, and suggest productive avenues of analysis and empirical research.
How are group-based identities related to intergroup conflict? When and how do ethnic, religious, and national identities lead to oppression, violence, rebellion, war, mass-murder, and genocide? How do intergroup conflicts change people's identities? How might social identity be harnessed in the service of reducing conflict between groups? The chapters in this book present a sophisticated and detailed interdisciplinary analysis of the most topical and fundamental issues involved in understanding identity and conflict.
Ever since Plato’s ‘Republic’ was written over two thousand years ago, one of the main concerns of social philosophy and later empirical social science was to understand the moral nature of human beings. The faculty to think and act in terms of overarching moral values is as much a defining hallmark of our species as is our intelligence, so _homo moralis_ is no less an appropriate term to describe humans as _homo sapiens_. This volume makes a case for the pivotal (...) role of social psychology as the core discipline for studying morality. The book is divided into four parts. First, the role of social psychological processes in moral values and judgments is discussed, followed by an analysis of the role of morality in interpersonal processes. The sometimes paradoxical, ironic effects of moral beliefs are described next, and in the final section the role of morality in collective and group behavior is considered. This book will be of interest to students and researchers in the social and behavioral sciences concerned with moral behavior, as well as professionals and practitioners in clinical, counseling, organizational, marketing and educational psychology where issues of ethics and morality are of importance. (shrink)
This paper contests social psychology’s emphasis on the biased, erroneous, and constructed nature of social cognition by: showing how the extent of bias and error in classic research is overstated; summarizing research regarding the accuracy of social beliefs; and describing how social stereotypes sometimes improve person perception accuracy. A Goodness of Judgment Index is also presented to extract evidence regarding accuracy from research focusing on bias. We conclude that accuracy is necessary for understanding social cognition.
Evidence is presented indicating that mainstream social psychology material leads undergraduates to conclude that people are irrational. To help address the problems identified by Krueger & Funder (K&F), a new statistic, the Goodness of Judgment Index (GJI), is presented. A concrete example based on a recent study is used to show how the GJI can be used to bring some balance back to research emphasizing error and bias.