On this page you’ll find ideas and tools that may be part of the solution to the problem of orthodoxy on campus and in the academy more broadly.
I) Recommendations made in published books and papers.
A) From Duarte, J. L., Crawford, J. T., Stern, C., Haidt, J., Jussim, L., & Tetlock, P.E. (2015). Political diversity will improve social psychological science.
We offer a section of recommendations that the major professional organizations in psychology can take, particularly APA, APS, SPSP, and SESP. Here is that section:
“Diversity is a well-established value throughout the academy, and it enjoys broad support in psychology. The American Psychological Association has been very thoughtful
about how to promote diversity within the field, and it issued a major report in 2005. Its task force focused on diversity with regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, and disability, but most of the specific recommendations in the report are appropriate for promoting political diversity as well (American Psychological Association 2005). Below are five of the report’s 45 recommendations, which we have edited only slightly:
1. Formulate and adopt an anti-discrimination policy resolution.
2. Implement a “climate study” regarding members’ experiences, comfort/discomfort, and positive/negative attitudes/opinions/policies affecting or about members of politically diverse groups.
3. Expand the Publication and Communications Board’s database of conservative, moderate, and libertarian researchers who have expertise to serve as ad hoc reviewers or on editorial boards.
4. Conduct a study of barriers/obstacles that non-liberal students face within training programs, with the intent that these data subsequently be used in establishing formal suggestions for enabling the training of non-liberal students.
5. 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. Examples might include dissertation awards, travel funds for presentations and attendance at conferences, and other financial support targeted to graduate students.
B) From Crawford, Duarte, Haidt, Jussim, Stern, & Tetlock (2015), “It may be harder than we thought, but political diversity will (still) improve social psychological science”
This article is our “response to the commentaries.” Based on some helpful points raised in the commentaries, we revised the recommendations we made in our target article for actions that individuals can take. Here is the list of steps from our response article, aimed mostly at guiding individuals in their teaching and research:
1. Acknowledge the problem and raise awareness about it.
2. Seek feedback from non-liberals.
3. Expand organizational diversity statements to include politics.
4. Add a statement to your own academic website acknowledging that you encourage collaboration among people of diverse political views.
5. Eliminate pejorative terms referring to non-liberals; criticize others’ scholarship when they use those terms. As an editor or reviewer, do not permit such terms to
pass without comment.
6. Avoid “leakage” of political hostilities or presumptions (including jokes) when functioning in any teaching or research capacity, but especially around students and junior colleagues.
7. Encourage young scholars who are not liberals to pursue careers in social psychology.
8. Be alert to double standards. Use turnabout tests to reveal bias.
9. Support adversarial collaborations that encourage competing ideological camps to explore the boundary conditions on each other’s claims, in joint data collection and model building efforts.
10. Assign in classes, especially for graduate students, the growing scholarship taking social psychology and related disciplines to task for having a scientific problem stemming from political bias (Brandt et al. 2014; Crawford 2012; Eagly 1995; 2011; Inbar & Lammers 2012; Jussim 2012a; 2012b; Jussim et al., in press a; Redding 2001; Tetlock 1994). Teach eliminating such biases as a core component of methods, validity, and scientific integrity.
11. Use Washburn et al.’s checklist in one’s own work, especially in politicized areas.
12. Use Popperian falsification. If you are a liberal social psychologist, to guard against potential bias, seek to falsify rather than confirm your preferred prediction.
C) Explore some of the now-extensive scholarship on the nature, sources and manifestations of political biases, and on how to limit them, on our Readings page.
II) Initiatives. Heterodox Academy is currently developing several initiatives designed to support those who want greater viewpoint diversity on campus and in academic disciplines.
- Description: Materials to help students request that their collegiate government vote on a resolution to make their school a “Heterodox Academy” where viewpoint diversity is supported.
- Audience: Current students in colleges/universities, as well as prospective students who would prefer to attend Heterodox U rather than Orthodox U. May be of interest to high school students too.
- Description: A set of readings that can be used during first-year orientation (or at any point, in any organization) to prepare everyone to encounter and respect people with different values and beliefs.
- Audience: Educators, administrators, and incoming college students; also suitable for use in corporations, NGOs, and other organizations that want to avoid the dangers of orthodoxy and reap the benefits of viewpoint diversity.
- Status: Finalizing, with expected launch in January 2017. (But you can browse the project now–and suggest readings!)
- Description: An online resource that collects all available information on the degree of orthodoxy/heterodoxy at America’s top 150 universities, as well as at its top 50 liberal arts schools. Our Guide to Colleges will help those who would prefer to attend Heterodox U, rather than Orthodox U. Eventually we’ll add up all the indicators to provide an overall rating and ranking of schools by viewpoint diversity.
- Audience: High school students and their parents who are evaluating colleges.
- Status: First edition is online. A more reliable second edition will be posted by January 2017.
4) Fearless Speech Index
- Description: A web-based survey that any professor, dean, or administrator can use to measure the degree to which students feel free to speak up in class, versus feeling that they are “walking on eggshells” and must keep quiet to avoid being punished for their questions or ideas. The FSI is the first survey that measures which kinds of people have which kinds of fears when talking about which specific topics. The FSI can help educators figure out exactly where the problems are, and what they must do to achieve the kind of open intellectual environment that nearly all say they want. The tool is also being evaluated for use in businesses that want to foster a “speak up” culture.
- Audience: Educators and administrators, in high school as well as college.
- Status: Coming soon, in early 2017
Page in progress on professional societies.