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ANTI-CONSERVATIVE BIAS IN EDUCATION IS REAL — BUT NOT UNJUST

  • Michael Cholbi (a1)
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1 Bloom, Allan, Closing of the American Mind: How Higher Education has Failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of Today’s Students (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1987); Marsden, George M., Soul of the American University: From Protestant Establishment to Established Nonbelief (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996); D’Souza, Dinesh, Illiberal Education: The Politics of Race and Sex on Campus (New York: Free Press, 1998); Berube, Michael, What’s Liberal About the Liberal Arts? Classroom Politics and “Bias” in Higher Education (New York: W.W. Norton, 2006); and Horowtiz, David and Laskin, Jacob, One-Party Classroom: How Radical Professors at America’s Top College Indoctrinate Students and Undermine Democracy (New York: Crown Forum/Random House, 2009).

2 In the studies I discuss in this essay, subjects were identified as liberal and conservative through a combination of methods, including self-identification, surveys of their attitudes toward political liberals and conservatives, and surveys of their stances of particular political questions, such as the widely used Wilson-Patterson scale of conservatism. See Wilson, Glenn D. and Patterson, J. R., “A new measure of conservatism,” British Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology 7 (1968): 264–69.

3 American Conservative Union, Statement of Principles (December 1964). http://conservative.org/about-acu/principles/.

4 Stan Greenberg, James Carville, and Erica Seifert, “Inside the GOP” (Democracy Corps Research Report, October 3, 2013). http://www.democracycorps.com/attachments/article/954/dcor%20rpp%20fg%20memo%20100313%20final.pdf.

5 Gross, Neil, Why Are Professors Liberal and Why Do Conservatives Care? (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press), 2535.

6 Ibid., 7.

7 Lydia Saad, “Conservatives Remain Largest Ideological Group in U.S.” Gallup Politics, January 12, 2012 (http://www.gallup.com/poll/152021/conservatives-remain-largest-ideological-group.aspx).

8 Gross, Why are Professors Liberal and Why Do Conservatives Care? 336.

9 J. H. Pryor, K. Eagan, L. P. Blake, S. Hurtado, J. Berdan, and M. H. Case, “The American Freshman: National Norms 2012,” Cooperative Institutional Research Program, Higher Education Research Institute, University of California, Los Angeles.

10 Mariani, Mack D. and Hewitt, Gordon J., “Indoctrination U.? Faculty Ideology and Changes in Student Political Orientation,” PS: Political Science and Politics 41, no. 4 (2008): 773–83; Stoker, Laura, and Kent Jennings, M., “Of Time and the Development of Partisan Polarization,” American Journal of Political Science 52, no. 3 (2008): 619–35; and Pryor et al., “The American Freshman.”

11 Saloner, Brendan, “Does College Make You Liberal?Inequalities, March 12, 2012 (http://inequalitiesblog.wordpress.com/2012/03/12/does-college-make-you-liberal/).

12 Cook, Charlie, “The Growing Educational Attainment Gap,” Cook Political Report, January 8, 2009. (http://cookpolitical.com/story/2125).

13 Woessner, Matthew, “Rethinking the Plight of Conservatives in Higher Education,” Academe (American Association of University Professors), January–February 2012 (http://www.aaup.org/article/rethinking-plight-conservatives-higher-education).

14 Carney, Dana R., Jost, John T., Gosling, Samuel D., and Potter, Jeff, “The Secret Lives of Liberals and Conservatives: Personality Profiles, Interaction Styles, and the Things They Leave Behind,” Political Psychology 29, no. 6 (2008): 817.

15 Altemeyer, R. A., “The Other ‘Authoritarian Personality’,” Advances in Experimental Social Psychology 30 (1998): 4791 ; and Tetlock, P. E., Visser, P. S., Singh, R., Polifroni, M., Scott, A., Elson, S. B., et al., “People as Intuitive Prosecutors: The Impact of Social-Control Goals on Attributions of Responsibility,” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 43 (2007): 195209.

16 Jost, John T., Glaser, Jack, Kruglanski, Arie W., and Sulloway, Frank F., “Political Conservatism as Motivated Social Cognition,” Psychological Bulletin 129, no. 3 (2003): 369.

17 Helzer, Erik G., and Pizarro, David A., “Dirty Liberals!: Reminders of Physical Cleanliness Influence Moral and Political Attitudes,” Psychological Science 20 (2011): 16.

18 Inbar, Yoel, Pizarro, David A., and Bloom, Paul, “Conservatives Are More Easily Disgusted Than Liberals,” Cognition & Emotion 23, no. 4 (2009): 714–25.

19 Schaller, Mark and Duncan, Lesley A., “The Behavioral Immune System: Its Evolution and Social Psychological Implications,” in Forgas, J. P., Haselton, M. G., and von Hippel, W., eds., Evolution and the Social Mind: Evolutionary Psychology and Social Cognition (New York: Psychology Press, 2007), 293307.

20 Smith, Kevin B., Oxley, Douglas, Hibbing, Matthew V., Alford, John R., and Hibbing, John R., “Disgust Sensitivity and the Neurophysiology of Left-Right Political Orientations,” PLOS One 6, e2552 (2011). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0025552.

21 Janoff-Bulman, Ronnie, “To Provide or Protect: Motivational Bases of Political Liberalism and Conservatism,” Psychological Inquiry 20, nos. 2–3 (2009): 120–28; and Rock, Mindi S. and Janoff-Bulman, Ronnie, “Where Do We Draw Our Lines? Politics, Rigidity, and the Role of Self-Regulation,” Social Psychological and Personality Science 1 (2010): 2633.

22 Lavine, H., Burgess, D., Snyder, M., Transue, J., Sullivan, J., Haney, B., et al., “Threat, Authoritarianism, and Voting: An Investigation of Personality and Persuasion,” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 25 (1999): 337–47.

23 Kanai, Ryota, Feilden, Tom, Firth, Colin, and Rees, Geraint, “Political Orientations are Correlated with Brain Structure in Young Adults,” Current Biology 21 (2011): 677–80.

24 Mondak, Jeffery J., Personality and the Foundations of Political Behavior (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010).

25 Carney et al., “The Secret Lives of Liberals and Conservatives,” 817.

26 Jost et al., “Political Conservatism as Motivated Social Cognition.”

27 Martinez, Margaret A., An Investigation into Successful Learning Measuring the Impact of Learning Orientation, a Primary Learner-Difference Variable, on Learning. Ph.D. dissertation, Department of Instructional Psychology and Technology, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT, 1999.

28 Cholbi, Michael, “Intentional Learning as a Model for Philosophical Pedagogy,” Teaching Philosophy 30, no. 1 (2007): 3558.

29 Shook, Natalie J. and Fazio, Russell H., “Political Ideology, Exploration of Novel Stimuli, and Attitude Formation,” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 45, no. 4 (2009): 997.

30 Eidelman, S., Crandall, C. S., Goodman, J. A., and Blanchar, J. C., “Low-effort Thought Promotes Political Conservatism,” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 38, no. 6 (2012): 809.

31 Luguri, J. B., Napier, J. L., and Dovidio, J. F., “Reconstruing Intolerance: Abstract Thinking Reduces Conservatives’ Prejudice against Nonnormative Groups,” Psychological Science 23 (2012): 756–63.

32 Everett Carl Ladd and Seymour Martin Lipset, The Divided Academy: Professors and Politics (New York: W.W. Norton, 1975), 60.

33 See Anderson, Lorin W. and Krathwohl, David R., et al., Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching and Assessing: A Revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives (New York: Longman, 2011).

34 Perry, William G. Jr. Forms of Intellectual and Ethical Development in the College Years: A Scheme. (New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1970).

35 Martinez, An Investigation into Successful Learning Measuring the Impact of Learning Orientation; and Cholbi, “Intentional Learning as a Model for Philosophical Pedagogy.”

36 Gross, Why Are Professors Liberal and Why Do Conservatives Care?105.

37 Schmidtz, David, “How to Deserve,” Political Theory 30, no. 6 (2002): 774–99.

38 Rawls, John, Theory of Justice (Cambridge, MA: Harvard/Belknap, 1971), 7.

39 Bain, Ken, What the Best College Students Do (Cambridge, MA: Belknap, 2012).

40 For a useful introduction to this view, see Arneson, Richard, “Luck Egalitarianism Interpreted and Defended,” Philosophical Topics 32, nos.1–2 (2004): 120.

41 Alford, John, Funk, Carolyn, and Hibbing, John R., “Are Political Orientations Genetically Transmitted?American Political Science Review 99 (2005): 153–67; and Hatemi, Peter K., Funk, Carolyn L., Medland, Sarah E., Maes, Hermine M., Silberg, Judy L., Martin, Nicholas G., and Eaves, Lindon J., “Genetic and Environmental Transmission of Political Attitudes over a Life Time,” Journal of Politics 71, no. 3 (2009): 1141–56.

42 Block, J., and Block, J. H., “Nursery School Personality and Political Orientation Two Decades Later,” Journal of Research in Personality 40, no. 5 (2006): 734–49.

43 Plato, Republic, C. D. C. Reeve, trans. (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing, 2004), Stephanus page 375a.

44 Ibid., Stephanus 375c.

45 Ibid., Stephanus 375e.

46 Ibid., Stephanus 376b.

47 Stanovich, Keith E., Rationality and the Reflective Mind (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011), 36 ; and Esch, Emily, “A Cognitive Approach to Teaching Philosophy,” Teaching Philosophy 36, no. 2 (2013): 108112.

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Social Philosophy and Policy
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