Saturday, March 31, 2012

Why Academia is so Partisan

Interesting article here.
"Haidt (a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia, and a former liberal who became a centrist in the process of conducting this research) finds that liberals and conservatives alike form their political beliefs according to three values: caring for the weak, fairness, and liberty. Yet conservatives also hold to three other values: loyalty, respect for authority, and sanctity. This accounts in part for the liberal failure to understand conservative viewpoints.
...
When you look at the three values that conservatives (according to Haidt) honor but liberals do not — loyalty, respect for authority, and sanctity — these are precisely the values that are flouted in the precincts of American academe. The result is a more impoverished moral imagination amongst students, a stubborn inability to understand the beliefs and the motives of conservatives, and thus the imputation of nefarious motives to those irrational conservatives who do not see things in the ways the illuminati do. If you don’t believe that this has contributed to the partisanship we’ve observed in recent years — particularly the exceedingly nasty way in which liberals in general have responded to the Tea Party movement, to social conservatives and generally to anyone who refers too much to moral sanctity and loyalty to American traditions and institutions, then I think you’re wearing exactly the kind of blinders Haidt talks about."
Hat tip: Instapundit.

Update:
The same research is mentioned today in the Volokh Conspiracy, regarding how legal elites underestimated the case against the health care individual mandate.
"I’ve heard Paul Clement (among others) explain, you can’t effectively advocate your own position until you truly understand the other side."

See also Peter Suderman in Reason
"Moderates and conservatives were the most able to think like their liberal political opponents. 'Liberals,' he reports, 'were the least accurate, especially those who describe themselves as "very liberal.”'

Liberals, on the other hand, have a different theory. The Court is just a bunch of partisan hacks"

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