mfioretti: diversity*

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  1. Comics studio’s vice president of sales tells summit that some stores say people ‘have had enough’ of new female and ethnic minority characters
    https://www.theguardian.com/books/201...-diversity-may-have-alienated-readers
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  2. Diversity is all the rage on college campuses. And for good reason. It is important for the diversity of our nation to be reflected in higher education and beyond. However, the people who champion gender, racial, and cultural diversity often shun viewpoint diversity. Universities have become increasingly ideologically homogeneous. This is especially the case in the social sciences; fewer than 10 percent of professors in these fields identify as conservative, and this number keeps shrinking. Conservatives have little influence in the scholarly disciplines that have the most to say about social and cultural life, family, and mental health.

    The study of prejudice in social psychology (my field) illustrates why this lack of viewpoint diversity is problematic. Considering how harmful prejudice can be, most people would agree that it is a worthy topic of research. The problem isn’t the topic. The problem is how the personal ideologies of social psychologists can influence how the topic is studied. For example, social psychologists have long been interested in a possible link between political ideology and prejudice. To study prejudice one has to pick a target group. And guess what? Liberal social psychologists tend to pick target groups that are generally viewed as political allies (e.g., gay men and lesbians, atheists). The research then reveals that conservatives, compared to liberals, are less tolerant of members of these groups. And the liberal social psychologists proclaim that the finding supports the broader notion that conservatives are more prejudiced, less tolerant than liberals.

    Social psychologists have now produced a rather large literature promoting this idea. However, when researchers have bothered to examine attitudes about target groups that tend to be conservative (e.g., evangelical Christians, members of the military), the opposite pattern is observed. It is liberals, not conservatives, who display intolerance. But there are far fewer studies that focus on such target groups, probably because there are very few conservative social psychologists.

    This issue does not disappear when scholars focus on cognitive and personality traits instead of political beliefs because these traits are often correlates of conservatism/liberalism. This research tells a familiar story. Liberals have the characteristics associated with thoughtfulness, fairness, and empathy for others. Conservatives do not. But again, many of these studies were incomplete. And recent research has helped reveal this fact.

    When fields like social psychology are almost entirely composed of researchers who are ideologically similar, it is easy to create a social science that rarely looks inward.
    https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/...diversity-why-not-viewpoint-diversity
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