It’s finally out–The big review paper on the lack of political diversity in social psychology

Heterodox Academy has its origins in a collaborative effort by five social psychologists and a sociologist to study a problem that has long been noted in psychology: nearly everyone in the field is on the left, politically. We have been working together since 2011 to write a paper explaining how this situation came about, how it reduces the quality of science published in social psychology, and what can be done to improve the science. (Note that none of us self-identifies as conservative.) In the process we discovered the work of the other scholars in other fields who joined with us to create this site.


Our paper is finally published this week! A preprint of the manuscript was posted last year, but now we have the final typeset version, plus the 33 commentaries. Here is a link to the PDF of the final manuscript, on the website of Behavioral and Brain Sciences. (Thanks to Paul Bloom for his wise and patient editorship.) Here’s a link to a page linking to HTML versions of all the documents. But because our article is long (13 dense pages) and the 33 commentaries are longer (another 31 pages) — and then there’s our response (another 7 pages) — we recognize that few people will ever read the whole package.

我们的论文终于在本周出版啦!我们去年曾贴出原稿的预印本,但现在我们已经有了排版稿,外加33条评论。以下是《行为与脑科学》杂志网站上最终稿的PDF版链接(感谢Paul Bloom明确且细致的编辑工作。)以下则是所有文档的HTML版的网页链接。不过,由于我们的文章很长(密密麻麻13页),那33条评论更长(加31页)——还有我们的回应(再加7页)——我们认为没什么人会读完全部材料。

For all these reasons, we offer here a “CliffsNotes” version, giving the basics of our argument using excerpts copied directly from the paper. [Occasional comments from me–Jonathan Haidt–are interspersed in brackets] Please also see this post by Lee Jussim, explaining why we think this problem is so serious. In a later post Jarret Crawford summarizes the 33 commentaries on our article.

出于以上理由,我们现在提供一份“克里夫笔记”【导读荟萃】版,通过对论文的直接复制摘录,给出我们的论证要点。[间或在括号中加入了由我(Jonathan Haidt)写的评论]。此外,还请阅读Lee Jussim发布的这个帖子,他解释了我们为何认为这个问题很严重。在之后的一片帖子中,Jarret Crawford总结了33条关于我们文章的评论。

CITATION: Duarte, J. L., Crawford, J. T., Stern, C., Haidt, J., Jussim, L., & Tetlock, P. E. (2015). Political diversity will improve social psychological science. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 38, 1-13.DOI:[and try this link, with no paywall, or this link to the preprint version]

引用:Duarte, J. L., Crawford, J. T., Stern, C., Haidt, J., Jussim, L., & Tetlock, P. E. (2015). 政治多样性将会改善社会心理科学。《行为和脑科学》, 38, 1-13.DOI:[另外,试试这个链接,没有付费墙,或者这个预印本]


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: (1) Academic psychology once had considerable political diversity, but has lost nearly all of it in the last 50 years.


(2) 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.


(3) 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.


(4) 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.


1. Introduction
1. 导论

In the last few years, social psychology has faced a series of challenges to the validity of its research, including a few high-profile replication failures, a handful of fraud cases, and several articles on questionable research practices and inflated effect sizes… In this article, we suggest that one largely overlooked cause of failure is a lack of political diversity. We review evidence suggesting that political diversity and dissent would improve the reliability and validity of social psychological science…


We focus on conservatives as an underrepresented group because the data on the prevalence in psychology of different ideological groups is best for the liberal-conservative contrast – and the departure from the proportion of liberals and conservatives in the U.S. population is so dramatic. However, we argue that the field needs more non-liberals however they specifically self-identify (e.g., libertarian, moderate)…


The lack of political diversity is not a threat to the validity of specific studies in many and perhaps most areas of research in social psychology. The lack of diversity causes problems for the scientific process primarily in areas related to the political concerns of the Left – areas such as race, gender, stereotyping, environmentalism, power, and inequality – as well as in areas where conservatives themselves are studied, such as in moral and political psychology.


2. Psychology is less politically diverse than ever
2. 心理学的政治多元性之少史无前例

[In this section we review all available information on the political party identification of psychologists, as well as their liberal-conservative self descriptions. The graph below says it all. Whichever of those two measures you use, you find a big change after 1990. Before the 1990s, academic psychology only LEANED left. Liberals and Democrats outnumbered Conservatives and Republican by 4 to 1 or less. But as the “greatest generation” retired in the 1990s and was replaced by baby boomers, the ratio skyrocketed to something more like 12 to 1. In just 20 years. Few psychologists realize just how quickly or completely the field has become a political monoculture. This graph took us by surprise too.]



Figure 1. The political party and ideological sympathies of academic psychologists have shifted leftward over time. Circles show ratios of self-reports of liberal vs. conservative. Diamonds show ratios of self-reports of party preference or voting (Democrat vs. Republican). Data for 1924–60 is reported in McClintock et al. (1965). Open diamonds are participants’ recollections of whom they voted for; gray diamonds are self-reported party identification at time of the survey. Data for 1999 is reported in Rothman et al. (2005). Data from 2006 is reported in Gross and Simmons (2007). The right-most circle is from Inbar and Lammers (2012) and is the ratio of selfidentified liberal/conservative social psychologists.

图1. 学院心理学家的政治党派和意识形态倾向已经随时间流逝而趋向左转。圆形表示自陈自由派的与自陈保守派的比率。菱形则表示自陈的政党偏好或投票记录(民主党vs.共和党)的比率。1924-60年数据据McClintock 等(1965)。空心菱形是参与者对投票给谁的回忆;灰色菱形则是被调查时自陈的政党身份。1999年的数据据Rothman等(2005)。2006年的数据据Gross和 Simmons (2007)。最右边的圆形则来自Inbar和Lammers(2012),指的是自认自由派和自认保守派的社会心理学家之比。

3. Three ways that the lack of diversity undermines social psychology
3. 多元性的缺乏对社会心理学造成破坏的三种方式

Might a shared moral-historical narrative [the “liberal progress” narrative described by sociologist Christian Smith] in a politically homogeneous field undermine the self-correction processes on which good science depends? We think so, and present three risk points— three ways in which political homogeneity can threaten the validity of social psychological science—and examples from the extant literature illustrating each point.

在一个政治同质化的领域内,一种共享的道德-历史叙事(社会学家Christian Smith所描绘的那种“自由进步”叙事),会破坏良好科学所赖以存在的自我纠正过程吗?我们认为会,并提出了三个风险点——政治同质性能够威胁社会心理科学有效性的三种方式,针对每一点,我们都从现存文献中提出例证来作了说明。

3.1. Risk point 1: Liberal values and assumptions can become embedded into theory and method
3.1. 风险点之一:自由派价值观和假设可能预装到理论和方法之中

The embedding of values occurs when value statements or ideological claims are wrongly treated as objective truth, and observed deviation from that truth is treated as error.


[Example:] and McBride (2007) found that: 1) people high in social dominance orientation (SDO) were more likely to make unethical decisions, 2) people high in right-wing authoritarianism (RWA) were more likely to go along with the unethical decisions of leaders, and 3) dyads with high SDO leaders and high RWA followers made more unethical decisions than dyads with alternative arrangements (e.g., low SDO—low RWA dyads).

[例证:]Son Hing, Bobocel, Zanna和 McBride(2007)发现:1)社会支配倾向(SDO)高的人更可能作出不道德的决定,2)右翼权威主义(RWA)程度高的人更可能遵从领导人作出的不道德决定,以及3)高SDO的领导人与高RWA的追随者这一组合作出的不道德决定比其它形式的排列组合(如低SDO和低RWA组合)要多。

Yet consider the decisions they defined as unethical: not formally taking a female colleague’s side in her sexual harassment complaint against her subordinate (given little information about the case), and a worker placing the well-being of his or her company above unspecified harms to the environment attributed to the company’s operations. Liberal values of feminism and environmentalism were embedded directly into the operationalization of ethics, even to the extent that participants were expected to endorse those values in vignettes that lacked the information one would need to make a considered judgment.


The appearance of certain words that imply pernicious motives (e.g., deny, legitimize, rationalize, justify, defend, trivialize) may be particularly indicative of research tainted by embedded values.


3.2. Risk point 2: Researchers may concentrate on topics that validate the liberal progress narrative and avoid topics that contest that narrative
3.2 风险点之二:研究者可能全神关注那些能够证实自由进步叙事的论题,避开那些对这一叙事构成质疑的论题

Since the enlightenment, scientists have thought of themselves as spreading light and pushing back the darkness. The metaphor is apt, but in a politically homogeneous field, a larger-than-optimal number of scientists shine their flashlights on ideologically important regions of the terrain. Doing so leaves many areas unexplored. Even worse, some areas become walled off, and inquisitive researchers risk ostracism if they venture in.


[Example:] Stereotype accuracy. Since the 1930s, social psychologists have been proclaiming the inaccuracy of social stereotypes, despite lacking evidence of such inaccuracy. Evidence has seemed unnecessary because stereotypes have been, in effect, stereotyped as inherently nasty and inaccurate (see Jussim, 2012a for a review).

[例证:]刻板印象的准确性。自1930年代起,社会心理学家一直声称,社会刻板印象是不准确的,尽管他们拿不出相关证据。此类证据一直被视为毫无必要,因为刻板印象本身事实上已经被刻板印象化了,成了一种本质上恶劣且不准确的事物(评论见Jussim, 2012a)。

Some group stereotypes are indeed hopelessly crude and untestable. But some may rest on valid empiricism—and represent subjective estimates of population characteristics (e.g. the proportion of people who drop out of high school, are victims of crime, or endorse policies that support women at work, see Jussim, 2012a, Ryan, 2002 for reviews).

某些群体刻板印象确实无可救药地生硬粗糙、不可验证。但还有一些,则可能确实建立在有效的经验主义基础之上——并体现了对于人群特征的主观估计(比如高中辍学的人口比例、罪案受害者的人口比例、支持职业女性的政策的支持者比例等,评论见Jussim, 2012a和Ryan,2002)。

In this context, it is not surprising that the rigorous empirical study of the accuracy of factual stereotypes was initiated by one of the very few self-avowed conservatives in social psychology—Clark McCauley (McCauley & Stitt, 1978). Since then, dozens of studies by independent researchers have yielded evidence that stereotype accuracy (of all sorts of stereotypes) is one of the most robust effects in all of social psychology (Jussim, 2012a).

在这种氛围中,毫不稀奇,关于有事实基础的刻板印象之准确性,最严谨的经验研究是由社会心理学领域极少见的自陈保守派之一——Clark McCauley开创的(McCauley和Stitt, 1978)。自那以后,独立研究者的数十种研究已经得出证据,在所有社会心理学成果中,(关于所有种类的刻板印象的)刻板印象准确性之说乃是最为有力的之一(Jussim, 2012a)。

Here is a clear example of the value of political diversity: a conservative social psychologist asked a question nobody else thought (or dared) to ask, and found results that continue to make many social psychologists uncomfortable. McCauley’s willingness to put the assumption of stereotype inaccuracy to an empirical test led to the correction of one of social psychology’s most longstanding errors.


3.3. Risk point 3: Negative attitudes regarding conservatives can produce a psychological science that mischaracterizes their traits and attributes
3.3 风险点之三:对于保守派的负面看法可能导致心理科学错误地描绘保守派的特征和性质

A long-standing view in social-political psychology is that the right is more dogmatic and intolerant of ambiguity than the left, a view Tetlock (1983) dubbed the rigidity-of-the-right hypothesis…. But had social psychologists studied a broad enough range of situations to justify these broad conclusions? Recent evidence suggests not.


The ideologically objectionable premise model (IOPM; Crawford, 2012) posits that people on the political left and right are equally likely to approach political judgments with their ideological blinders on. That said, they will only do so when the premise of a political judgment is ideologically acceptable. If it’s objectionable, any preferences for one group over another will be short-circuited, and biases won’t emerge.

据“意识形态争议性前提模型”(IOPM; Crawford, 2012)推断,政治上的左派和右派戴着意识形态眼罩形成政治判断的可能性是一样大的。当然,这只会发生于政治判断的前提在意识形态上可以接受的情况下。如果这一前提是可争议的,那么偏好其中任意一个群体都会引起直接短路,偏见就不会出现。

The IOPM thus allows for biases to emerge only among liberals, only among conservatives, or among both liberals and conservatives, depending on the situation. For example, reinterpreting Altemeyer’s mandatory school prayer results, Crawford (2012) argued that for people low in RWA who value individual freedom and autonomy, mandatory school prayer is objectionable; thus, the very nature of the judgment should shut off any biases in favor of one target over the other.


However, for people high in RWA who value society-wide conformity to traditional morals and values, mandating school prayer is acceptable; this acceptable premise then allows for people high in RWA to express a bias in favor of Christian over Muslim school prayer.


Crawford (2012, Study 1) replaced mandatory prayer with voluntary prayer, which would be acceptable to both people high and low in RWA. In line with the IOPM, people high in RWA were still biased in favor of Christian over Muslim prayer, while people low in RWA now showed a bias in favor of Muslim over Christian voluntary prayer. Hypocrisy is therefore not necessarily a special province of the right.


These example illustrate the threats to truth-seeking that emerge when members of a politically homogenous intellectual community are motivated to cast their perceived outgroup (i.e., the ones who violate the liberal progressive narrative) in a negative light. If there were more social psychologists who were motivated to question the design and interpretation of studies biased towards liberal values during peer review, or if there were more researchers running their own studies using different methods, social psychologists could be more confident in the validity of their characterizations of conservatives (and liberals).


4. Why political diversity is likely to improve social psychological science
4. 为什么政治多元性有可能改进社会心理科学

Diversity can be operationalized in many ways, including demographic diversity (e.g., ethnicity, race, and gender) and viewpoint diversity (e.g., variation in intellectual viewpoints or professional expertise).


Research in organizational psychology suggest that: a) the benefits of viewpoint diversity are more consistent and pronounced than those of demographic diversity (Menz, 2012; Williams & O’Reilly, 1998); and

组织心理学研究表明:a)视角多元化比人口学多元化的益处更为一贯、更为显著(Menz, 2012; Williams & O’Reilly, 1998);又

b) the benefits of viewpoint diversity are most pronounced when organizations are pursuing open-ended exploratory goals (e.g., scientific discovery) as opposed to exploitative goals (e.g., applying well-established routines to well-defined problems; Cannella, Park & Hu, 2008).

b)与追求利用性目标(比如,在界定明确的问题上执行已良好确立的例行程序)的组织相比,在追求开放式的探索性目标(比如,科学发现)的组织中,视角多元化的益处最为显著(Cannella, Park & Hu, 2008)。

Viewpoint diversity may therefore be more valuable than demographic diversity if social psychology’s core goal is to produce broadly valid and generalizable conclusions. (Of course, demographic diversity can bring viewpoint diversity, but if it is viewpoint diversity that is wanted, then it may be more effective to pursue it directly.)


It is the lack of political viewpoint diversity that makes social psychology vulnerable to the three risks described in the previous section. Political diversity is likely to have a variety of positive effects by reducing the impact of two familiar mechanisms that we explore below: confirmation bias and groupthink/majority consensus.


4.1. Confirmation bias
4.1 确认偏误

People tend to search for evidence that will confirm their existing beliefs while also ignoring or downplaying disconfirming evidence. This confirmation bias (Nickerson, 1998) is widespread among both laypeople and scientists (Ioannidis, 2012). Confirmation bias can become even stronger when people confront questions that trigger moral emotions and concerns about group identity (Haidt, 2001; 2012).

人们更喜欢为他们已有的信念搜罗证据,同时无视或轻视与既有信念抵触的证据。这种确认偏误(Nickerson, 1998)在外行和科学家中都很常见(Ioannidis, 2012)。当人们面对的问题还能够引发对于群体认同的道德情绪和关怀时,确认偏误可能会变得更为强烈(Haidt, 2001; 2012)。

Further, group-polarization often exacerbates extremism in echo chambers (Lamm & Myers, 1978). [and note from the graph above that social psychology has become an echo chamber since the 1990s]

此外,群体的极化通常还会在回音室中加剧极端主义(Lamm & Myers, 1978)。[并且注意,前面的图表已经显示,社会心理学自1990年代起已经变成了一个回音室]。

Indeed, people are far better at identifying the flaws in other people’s evidence-gathering than in their own, especially if those other people have dissimilar beliefs (e.g., Mercier & Sperber, 2011; Sperber et al., 2010).

实在来说,人们在别人的证据搜集过程中找出错误,可比针对自己时要得心应手得多,特别是当别人具有不同的信念时(如见Mercier & Sperber, 2011; Sperber等, 2010)。

Although such processes may be beneficial for communities whose goal is social cohesion (e.g., a religious or activist movement), they can be devastating for scientific communities by leading to widely-accepted claims that reflect the scientific community’s blind spots more than they reflect justified scientific conclusions (see, e.g., the three risk points discussed previously).


The most obvious cure for this problem is to increase the viewpoint diversity of the field. Nobody has found a way to eradicate confirmation bias in individuals (Lilienfeld et al., 2009), but we can diversify the field to the point where individual viewpoint biases begin to cancel each other out.

对于这个问题,最显而易见的疗法就是增加该领域的视角多元性。从来没有人找到过在个体身上根除确认偏误的办法(Lilienfeld等, 2009),但我们可以不断增加一个领域的多元性,直到个体的视角偏见开始相互抵消。

4.2. Minority influence
4.2 众从

Minority influence research has focused on the processes by which minorities influence majority members’ (and thus the groups’) reasoning (e.g., Crano, 2012; Moscovici & Personnaz, 1980). Majorities influence decision-making by producing conformity pressure that creates cohesion and community, but they do little to enhance judgmental depth or quality (Crisp & Turner, 2011; Moscovici & Personnaz, 1980). They also risk creating the type of groupthink that has long been a target of criticism by social psychologists (e.g., Fiske, Harris, & Cuddy, 2004; Janis, 1972)….

众从研究聚焦于一种过程:少数派影响多数成员(进而是整个群体)的论证(如见Crano, 2012; Moscovici & Personnaz, 1980)。多数派通过制造顺从压力影响决策,而这种压力能够创造凝聚力和共同体,但无益于提高决断的深度或质量(Crisp & Turner, 2011; Moscovici & Personnaz, 1980)。他们也导致群体思维的风险,而这被社会心理学家诟病已久(如见Fiske, Harris, & Cuddy, 2004; Janis, 1972)……

There is even evidence that politically diverse teams produce more creative solutions than do politically homogeneous teams on problems such as “how can a person of average talent achieve fame” and how to find funding for a partially-built church ineligible for bank loans (Triandis, Hall, & Ewen, 1965)….


In sum, there are grounds for hypothesizing that increased political diversity would improve the quality of social psychological science because it would increase the degree of scientific dissent, especially, on such politicized issues as inequality versus equity, the psychological characteristics of liberals and conservatives, stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination. Social psychologists have shown these effects in many settings; they could take advantage of them within their own ranks.


5. Why are there so few non-liberals in social psychology?
5. 为什么非自由派在社会心理学中难得一见?

the evidence does not point to a single answer. To understand why conservatives are so vastly underrepresented in social psychology, we consider five explanations that have frequently been offered to account for a lack of diversity not just in social psychology, but in other contexts (e.g., the underrepresentation of women and ethnic minorities in STEM fields, e.g., Pinker, 2008).

证据表明,答案不止一个。为了理解为什么保守派在社会心理学中的人数如此不足,我们考虑了五种解释,这五种解释不仅在说明社会心理学中多元性的缺乏时,而且在其它学术文章中也经常被人提到(如在STEM领域内妇女和少数族裔的缺乏,如见Pinker, 2008)【译注:STEM为科学、技术、工程和数学四个学科的英文首字母缩写】。

5.1. Differences in ability
5.1. 能力差异

[Are conservatives simply less intelligent than liberals, and less able to obtain PhDs and faculty positions?] The evidence does not support this view… [published studies are mixed. Part of the complexity is that…] Social conservatism correlates with lower cognitive ability test scores, but economic conservatism correlates with higher scores (Iyer, Koleva, Graham, Ditto, & Haidt, 2012; Kemmelmeier 2008). [Libertarians are the political group with the highest IQ, yet they are underrepresented in the social sciences other than economics]

[难道保守派就是没有自由派那么聪明,取得博士学位和教职岗位的能力要差些?]证据不支持这种观点……[已有的研究形形色色。情况的复杂性部分体现在……]社会保守派与认知能力测试得分较低存在相关性,不过经济保守派则与得分较高存在相关性(Iyer, Koleva, Graham, Ditto, & Haidt, 2012; Kemmelmeier 2008)[自由意志主义者是IQ最高的政治团体,但他们在除经济学以外的所有社会科学中人数均不足]

5.2. The effects of education on political ideology
5.2. 政治意识形态教育的影响

Many may view education as “enlightening” and believe that an enlightened view comports with liberal politics. There is little evidence that education causes students to become more liberal. Instead, several longitudinal studies following tens of thousands of college students for many years have concluded that political socialization in college occurs primarily as a function of one’s peers, not education per se (Astin, 1993; Dey, 1997).

许多人可能将教育视为“启蒙”,并相信经过启蒙的观念会与自由派政治一致。鲜有证据表明教育会使得学生更为趋向自由派。几项对数万名大学生的多年追踪研究倒是得出结论认为,大学里的政治社会化过程【译注:指个体形塑政治态度的过程】主要取决于一个人的同伴,而非教育本身(Astin, 1993; Dey, 1997)。

5.3. Differences in interest
5.3. 兴趣差异

Might liberals simply find a career in social psychology (or the academy more broadly) more appealing? Yes, for several reasons. The Big-5 trait that correlates most strongly with political liberalism is openness to experience (r = .32 in Jost, Glaser, Kruglanski, & Sulloways’s 2003 meta-analysis), and people high in that trait are more likely to pursue careers that will let them indulge their curiosity and desire to learn, such as a career in the academy (McCrae, 1996). An academic career requires a Ph.D., and liberals enter (and graduate) college more interested in pursuing Ph.D.s than do conservatives (Woessner & Kelly-Woessner, 2009)…

有没有可能就是因为自由派觉得社会心理学(或更广泛而言,整个学术界)这种职业更有吸引力?有可能,理由有多个。与政治自由主义相关性最强的“五大”人格特点【译注:五大人格特点,指心理学上描述人格特征时常用的五维度模型,分别为外倾性、经验开放性、随和性、神经质和尽责性】就是“经验开放性”(在Jost, Glaser, Kruglanski和 Sulloways 2003年所做的meta分析中,r=0.32),而在这一特点上得分高的人更有可能从事能让他们的好奇心和求知欲得到满足的职业,比如学术事业(McCrae, 1996)。从事学术事业要求博士学位,而入读大学(和从大学毕业)的自由派比保守派更有兴趣谋求博士学位(Woessner & Kelly-Woessner, 2009)……

Such intrinsic variations in interest may be amplified by a “birds of a feather” or “homophile” effect. “Similarity attracts” is one of the most well-established findings in social psychology (Byrne, 1969). As a field begins to lean a certain way, the field will likely become increasingly attractive to people suited to that leaning.

这种兴趣上的内在差异有可能通过“物以类聚”或“同性相爱”效应而得到放大。“同类相吸”是社会心理学中理据最为坚实的成果之一(Byrne, 1969)。随着某个领域开始向一个特定方向倾斜,那么对于适应这种倾斜的人,这个领域就很可能会变得越来越具有吸引力。

Over time the group itself may become characterized by its group members. Professors and scientists may come to be seen as liberal just as nurses are typically thought of as being female. Once that happens, conservatives may disproportionately self-select out of joining the dissimilar group, based on a realistic perception that they “do not fit well.” [See Gross (2013)]…

长此以往,群体本身就被其成员特征化了。教授和科学家可能会逐渐被视为自由派,就像护士经常被理解成为女性一样。一旦如此,保守派就可能自我选择不参加这种异己群体,因为他们有一种现实的认知:他们“合不来”(见Gross , 2013)……

Self-selection clearly plays a role. But it would be ironic if an epistemic community resonated to empirical arguments that appear to exonerate the community of prejudice—when that same community roundly rejects those same arguments when invoked by other institutions to explain the under-representation of women or ethnic minorities (e.g., in STEM disciplines or other elite professions). [Note: we agree that self-selection is a big part of the explanation. If there were no discrimination and no hostile climate, the field would still lean left, as it used to. But it would still have some diversity, and would work much better.]


5.4. Hostile climate
5.4. 敌对气氛

Might self-selection be amplified by an accurate perception among conservative students that they are not welcome in the social psychology community? Consider the narrative of conservatives that can be formed from some recent conclusions in social psychological research: compared to liberals, conservatives are less intelligent (Hodson & Busseri, 2012) and less cognitively complex (Jost et al., 2003). They are more rigid, dogmatic, and inflexible (Jost et al., 2003). Their lower IQ explains their racism and sexism (Deary, Batty, & Gale, 2008), and their endorsement of inequality explains why they are happier than liberals (Napier & Jost, 2008).

自我选择有没有可能因为保守派学生的一种正确认知——他们得不到社会心理学共同体的欢迎——而被放大?考虑一下我们能从最近的一些社会心理学研究结论中得出的关于保守派的叙述:比起自由派,保守派没那么聪明(Hodson & Busseri, 2012),认知复杂度没那么高(Jost等, 2003)。他们更死板、更教条、更不懂变通(Jost等, 2003)。他们IQ低,所以他们有种族主义和性别歧视(Deary, Batty, & Gale, 2008),他们对不平等的支持正是他们之所以比自由派更快乐的理由(Napier & Jost, 2008)。

As conservative undergraduates encounter the research literature in their social psychology classes, might they recognize cues that the field regards them and their beliefs as defective? And what happens if they do attend graduate school and take part in conferences, classes, and social events in which almost everyone else is liberal?


We ourselves have often heard jokes and disparaging comments made by social psychologists about conservatives, not just in informal settings but even from the podium at conferences and lectures. The few conservatives who have enrolled in graduate programs hear these comments too, and some of them wrote to Haidt in the months after his 2011 remarks at the SPSP convention to describe the hostility and ridicule that force them to stay “in the closet” about their political beliefs—or to leave the field entirely.


Haidt (2011) put excerpts from these emails online (in anonymous form); representative of them is this one from a former graduate student in a top 10 Ph.D. program:


I can’t begin to tell you how difficult it was for me in graduate school because I am not a liberal Democrat. As one example, following Bush’s defeat of Kerry, one of my professors would email me every time a soldier’s death in Iraq made the headlines; he would call me out, publicly blaming me for not supporting Kerry in the election.


I was a reasonably successful graduate student, but the political ecology became too uncomfortable for me. Instead of seeking the professorship that I once worked toward, I am now leaving academia for a job in industry.


Evidence of hostile climate is not just anecdotal. Inbar and Lammers (2012) asked members of the SPSP discussion list: “Do you feel that there is a hostile climate towards your political beliefs in your field?”

敌对气氛存在的证据并非只有个别逸闻。Inbar和 Lammers(2012)曾询问人格与社会心理学学会讨论组成员以下问题:“你是否觉得你所在的领域针对你的政治信念存在一种敌对气氛?”

Of 17 conservatives, 14 (82%) responded “yes” (i.e., a response at or above the midpoint of the scale, where the midpoint was labeled “somewhat” and the top point “very much”), with half of those responding “very much.”


In contrast, only 18 of 266 liberals (7%) responded “yes”, with only two of those responding “very much.” Interestingly, 18 of 25 moderates (72%) responded “yes,” with one responding “very much.”


This surprising result suggests that the hostile climate may adversely affect not only conservatives, but anyone who is not liberal or whose values do not align with the liberal progress narrative.


5.5. Discrimination
5.5 歧视

The literature on political prejudice demonstrates that strongly identified partisans show little compunction about expressing their overt hostility toward the other side (e.g., Chambers et al., 2013; Crawford & Pilanski, 2013; Haidt, 2012). Partisans routinely believe that their hostility towards opposing groups is justified because of the threat posed to their values by dissimilar others (see Brandt et al., 2014, for a review).

政治偏见方面的研究文献证明,认同感强烈的党徒毫不避讳公开表达对对方的敌意(如见Chambers等, 2013; Crawford & Pilanski, 2013; Haidt, 2012)。党徒们例行公事般认为他们针对对立团体的敌视态度是合理的,因为异己分子威胁到他们珍视的价值(相关评论见Brandt 等, 2014)。

Social psychologists are unlikely to be immune to such psychological processes. Indeed, ample evidence using multiple methods demonstrates that social psychologists do in fact act in discriminatory ways toward non-liberal colleagues and their research.


[Here we review experimental field research: if you change a research proposal so that its hypotheses sound conservative, but you leave the methods the same, then the manuscript is deemed less publishable, and is less likely to get IRB approval]


Inbar and Lammers (2012) found that most social psychologists who responded to their survey were willing to explicitly state that they would discriminate against conservatives. Their survey posed the question: “If two job candidates (with equal qualifications) were to apply for an opening in your department, and you knew that one was politically quite conservative, do you think you would be inclined to vote for the more liberal one?”


Of the 237 liberals, only 42 (18%) chose the lowest scale point, “not at all.” In other words, 82% admitted that they would be at least a little bit prejudiced against a conservative candidate, and 43% chose the midpoint (“somewhat”) or above. In contrast, the majority of moderates (67%) and conservatives (83%) chose the lowest scale point (“not at all”)….


Conservative graduate students and assistant professors are behaving rationally when they keep their political identities hidden, and when they avoid voicing the dissenting opinions that could be of such great benefit to the field. Moderate and libertarian students may be suffering the same fate.


6. Recommendations
6. 建议

[Please see the longer discussion of recommended steps on our “Solutions” page. In the BBS paper we offer a variety of specific recommendations for what can be done to ameliorate the problem. These are divided into three sections]


6.1. Organizational responses
6.1. 组织方面的回应

[We looked at the list of policy steps that the American Psychological Association recommended for itself to improve diversity with regard to race, gender, and sexual orientation. Many of them work well for increasing political diversity, e.g.,:]


  • Formulate and adopt an anti-discrimination policy resolution.
  • 制定并采纳一项反歧视政策决议。
  • Implement a “climate study” regarding members’ experiences, comfort/discomfort, and positive/negative attitudes/opinions/policies affecting or about members of politically diverse groups.
  • 实施一项“气氛研究”,研究对象是其成员的经历,包括舒适的/不适的,以及他们持有的、会影响政治多样化的不同团体(或与他们有关)的积极/消极的态度/观点/政策
  • Each organization should develop strategies to encourage and support research training programs and research conferences to attract, retain, and graduate conservative and other non-liberal doctoral students and early career professionals.
  • 每一个组织都应该形成各种策略,鼓励和支持研究训练项目和研究会议去吸引、留住或毕业送走保守派及其他非自由派博士研究生和新入行的业内人士。 6.2. Professorial responses
    6.2. 教授方面的回应

There are many steps that social psychologists who are also college professors can take to encourage non-liberal students to join the field, or to “come out of the closet”: 1) Raise consciousness [acknowledge publicly that we have problem]; 2) Welcome feedback from non-liberals. 3) Expand diversity statements. [i.e., add “political diversity” to any list of kinds of diversity being encouraged].


6.3. Changes to research practices
6.3. 改变研究做法

1.Be alert to double standards. 2. Support adversarial collaborations. 3. Improve research norms to increase the degree to which a research field becomes self-correcting.

1.警惕双重标准。2. 支持对抗性合作。3. 改进研究规范,以增加研究领域趋向自我纠正的程度。

7. Conclusion
7. 结论

Others have sounded this alarm before (e.g., MacCoun, 1998; Redding, 2001; Tetlock, 1994)… No changes were made in response to the previous alarms, but we believe that this time may be different. Social psychologists are in deep and productive discussions about how to address multiple threats to the integrity of their research and publication process. This may be a golden opportunity for the field to take seriously the threats caused by political homogeneity.

早已有人敲响过这一警钟(如MacCoun, 1998; Redding, 2001; Tetlock, 1994)……对于之前的警钟却无人回应,不过我们相信这次可能有点不同。关于如何应对他们的研究和出版程序之健全性所面临的诸多威胁的问题,社会心理学家目前正在进行深入且卓有成效的讨论。现在也许就是严肃对待政治同质化所导致危机的黄金时期。

We have focused on social (and personality) psychology, but the problems we describe occur in other areas of psychology (Redding, 2001), as well as in other social sciences (Gross, 2013; Redding, 2013).

我们的焦点是社会(及人格)心理学,但我们所描述的问题也发生于心理学的其它领域(Redding, 2001),以及其它社会科学领域(Gross, 2013; Redding, 2013)。

Fortunately, psychology is uniquely well-prepared to rise to the challenge. The five core values of APA include “continual pursuit of excellence; knowledge and its application based upon methods of science; outstanding service to its members and to society; social justice, diversity and inclusion; ethical action in all that we do.” (APA, 2009).

幸运地是,心理学是唯一有准备来应对之个挑战的领域。美国心理学会的五大核心价值包括“不断追求卓越;基于科学方法的知识及其应用;对成员和社会的出色服务;社会正义、多元性和包容性;一切行动遵守伦理规范。”(APA, 2009)。

If discrimination against non-liberals exists at even half the level described in section 4 of this paper, and if this discrimination damages the quality of some psychological research, then all five core values are being betrayed.


Will psychologists tolerate and defend the status quo, or will psychology make the changes needed to realize its values and improve its science? Social psychology can and should lead the way.




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