Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

My Professor is a Partisan Hack: How Perceptions of a Professor's Political Views Affect Student Course Evaluations

  • April Kelly-Woessner (a1) and Matthew C. Woessner (a2)
Abstract

In recent years, a number of prominent political commentators have raised concerns about the lack of ideological diversity on college campuses (Shapiro 2004; Black 2004; Kors and Silvergate 1999; Kimball 1998). Among other accusations, they claim that liberal college professors may actually penalize students for expressing conservative opinions by assigning them lower marks on exams and assignments (Horowitz 2003; Hebel 2004). Their concern is not without merit. Researchers have found that, when evaluating a colleague's research, college professors are more critical of work that contradicts their own views (Mahoney 1977). It is logical to assume that the same bias influences professors' evaluations of students' arguments. It is also reasonable to expect that students, charged with the important task of evaluating their professors, are vulnerable to their own ideological biases.We thank Markus Kemmelmeier and Janet M. Box-Steffensmeier for their helpful suggestions and valuable guidance. We also acknowledge the valuable support of research assistants Jessica Defenderfer, Cristina Ciocirlan, and Kathleen Winters. Finally, we would like to acknowledge a debt of gratitude to the dozens of political science faculty throughout the country who took the time to distribute our survey to their undergraduate students. This project would not have been possible without their generous assistance. This research was funded through a Faculty Research Grant from Elizabethtown College.

Copyright
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Epley, N., K. Savitsky, and T. Gilovich. 2001. “Empathy Neglect: Reconciling the Spotlight Effect and Correspondence Bias.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 83: 300312.

Hollander, B. A. 1996. “Fuel to the Fire: Talk Radio and the Gamson Hypothesis.” Political Communication 14: 355370.

Huckfeldt, Robert, and John Sprague. 1987. “Networks in Context: The Social Flow of Political Information.” American Political Science Review 81: 11971216.

Johnson, L. 1996. “Resisting Change: Information-Seeking and Stereotype Change.” European Journal of Social Psychology 26: 799825.

Jonas, Eva, Stefan Schulz-Hardt, Dieter Frey, and Norman Thelen. 2001. “Confirmation Bias in Sequential Information Search after Preliminary Decisions: An Expansion of Dissonance Theoretical Research on Selective Exposure to Information.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 80: 557571.

Kunda, Ziva. 1990. “The Case for Motivated Reasoning.” Psychological Bulletin 108: 480498.

Lapinski, Maria Knight, and Franklin J. Boster. 2001. “Modeling the Ego-Defensive Function of Attitudes.” Communication Monographs 68: 314324.

Lord, C. G., L. Ross, and M. R. Leeper. 1979. “Biased Assimilation and Attitude Polarization: The Effects of Prior Theories on Subsequently Considered Evidence.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 37: 20982109.

Lundgren, S. R., and R. Prislin. 1998. “Motivated Cognitive Processing and Attitude Change.” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 24: 71526.

Mahoney, M. J. 1977. “Publication Prejudices: An Experimental Study of Confirmatory Bias in the Peer Review System.” Cognitive Therapy and Research 1: 161175.

Rothman, Stanley, Robert Lichter, and Neil Nevitte. 2005. “Politics and Professional Advancement among College Faculty.” The Forum 3:1. Available at www.bepress.com/forum/vol3/iss1/art2, accessed on October 2, 2005.

Valle, Antonio, Ramon Cabanach, Jose Nunez, and Julio Gonzalez-Pienda. 2003. “Multiple Goals, Motivation, and Academic Learning.” British Journal of Educational Psychology 73: 7187.

Zaller, John. 1991. “Information, Values, and Opinion.” American Political Science Review 85: 12151237.

Zuwerink, Julia R., and Patricia Devine. 1996. “Attitude Importance and Resistance to Persuasion: It's Not Just the Thought That Counts.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 70: 931944.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

PS: Political Science & Politics
  • ISSN: 1049-0965
  • EISSN: 1537-5935
  • URL: /core/journals/ps-political-science-and-politics
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×