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self-selection conversion

Political Disparities in the Academy: It’s More than Self-Selection

American university professors are overwhelmingly politically liberal.  Nowhere is this better demonstrated than by Mitchell Langbert’s (2018) recent study of faculty political party preferences at elite liberal arts colleges.  In short, Langbert found that Republicans are virtually absent in many academic disciplines and are entirely absent in some universities. The dearth of non-liberal faculty is..

the dress

What Color is the Dress?

Perhaps you recall the worldwide debate about the color of a wedding dress? If not, here is the short version. A picture of a wedding dress was posted online along with a question: What color is this dress? It seemed that when some looked at the dress, they saw the dress to be blue and black in color while others saw the dress to be gold and white.

The ensuing debate appeared to be something out of a social psychology experiment. The blue and black camp circled the wagons, supported each other’s observations, and then disparaged the gold and white camp. Of course the same dynamics were at play in the gold and white camp. Each side was incredulous. How, they asked, could the other side be so wrong and not see it?

Those in the debate eventually called on scientists for answers. Using the science behind light wavelengths, retina sensitivity, optic nerve signaling, and the brain’s processing of visual cues, scientists eventually told us that both groups were correct in their perceptions.