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persistence change

Liberalism and Conservatism, for a Change! Rethinking the Association Between Political Orientation and Relation to Social Change

Abstract: According to common wisdom, which is supported by extant psychological theorizing, a core feature of political conservatism (vs. liberalism) is the resistance to (vs. acceptance of) societal change. We propose that an empirical examination of the actual difference in political liberals’ and conservatives’ attitudes toward change across different sociopolitical issues may call into question this assumed..

political dehumanization in American politics

Partisan Dehumanization in American Politics

Abstract: Despite evidence that dehumanizing language and metaphors are found in political discourse, extant research has largely overlooked whether voters dehumanize their political opponents. Research on dehumanization has tended to focus on racial and ethnic divisions in societies, rather than political divisions. Understanding dehumanization in political contexts is important because the social psychology literature links..

hidden tribes

Hidden Tribes: A Study of America’s Polarized Landscape

The international initiative More in Common, in collaboration with Purpose and YouGov, recently released an extensive report on the state of civic life among the American electorate. Reviewing research on how contemporary Americans perceive the political climate in the United States, they assert that more Americans than ever perceive deep partisan division between Democrats and..

silencing fellow citizens

Silencing Fellow Citizens: Conceptualization, Measurement, and Validation of a Scale for Measuring the Belief in the Importance of Actively Silencing Others

A spate of recent publications have focused on the construct of self-censorship (e.g., here, here, and here), extending and expanding the work of Andrew Hayes and his colleagues (e.g., here, here, and here). New research by Yariv Tsfati and Shira Dvir-Gvirsman adopts an alternative approach.  Instead of focusing on the construct of self-censorship, they defined and..

coddling of the american mind

The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas are Setting up a Generation for Failure

The origin of The Coddling of the American Mind occurred over lunch in May of 2014, with Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt in attendance.  Lukianoff had asked Haidt to help him make sense of a puzzle he had noticed emerging over the past year or two.  Historically, students had consistently opposed administrative calls for campus..

race and the race for the white house

Race and the Race for the White House: On Social Research in the Age of Trump

Al-Gharbi argues that when research disparages Trump and his supporters on weak evidentiary grounds, the credibility and viability of the broader social research enterprise is called into question as well. Many on the right already view the humanities and social sciences as essentially “partisan propaganda,” he reminds,  and have called for defunding social research on these grounds. It is therefore imperative that research about these already-skeptical constituents be as fair-minded and rigorous as possible. 

changing campus culture

The Skeptics Are Wrong Part 2: Speech Culture on Campus is Changing

In this essay we show that the skeptics went wrong by basing their case primarily on GSS data about members of the Millennial generation. We explain why the debate hinges not on Millennials but on the generation after them––iGen, or Gen Z, who began replacing Millennials in college in 2013. We draw on a variety of datasets to show that iGen is different, and that there is indeed reason for concern that things are changing on campus. We address three questions: 1) Is the speech climate (i.e., willingness to speak up) worsening on college campuses, overall, in recent years? We show that it is. 2) Is there a “politically correct” range of viewpoints on campus? We show that there is. 3) Which side of the spectrum is more willing to use illiberal tactics? We show that left and right used to be similar, before 2015, in their desire to “disinvite” speakers, but since 2015 the right has used that tactic much less often while the left has used it much more often, and has also conducted all of the shout-downs that have occurred since 2015.  In conclusion, the skeptics are wrong.

that's not funny

That’s Not Funny: Instrument Validation of the Concern for Political Correctness Scale

The research summarized below by Strauts and Blanton (2015), documents the development of their concern for political correctness scale, as well as two studies validating the predictive utility of that scale.  Briefly, Strauts and Blanton (2015) reported that their concern for political correctness measure consists of two factors, an emotion factor (which measures the likelihood of experiencing a negative emotional response after hearing politically incorrect language) and an activism factor (which measures a willingness to correct others who use politically incorrect language).