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Princeton, The N Word and Students: An opportunity for learning

  • Ian Storey
  • February 16, 2018

By: Ian Storey of The Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities at Bard College Princeton University professor Lawrence Rosen, the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Anthropology, found himself as the latest professor in the national spotlight when The Princetonian reported that several students walked out of his class after Rosen repeatedly used the n-word as..

Research Summary: The Wisdom of Polarized Crowds

Sean Stevens is HxA’s Research Director The founding of Heterodox Academy had roots in a collaboration between five social psychologists and one sociologist that produced a featured paper, and 33 responses to it, in Behavioral and Brain Sciences.  A number of specific recommendations to improve social psychology were made, but the main thesis was that..

Stigmatizing Legitimate Dissent Threatens Freedom of Speech

By: Dr. Lee Jussim, founding member of Heterodox Academy and Akeela Careem, PhD Candidate in Social Psychology at Rutgers University In this essay, we discuss Spiked’s Unsafe Spaces event, held at our home institution, Rutgers.  It was, at times, a wild and woolly event, complete with a substantial security presence, Black Lives Matter activists, some..

Adam Grant on the Value of Disagreement

New Heterodox Academy member Adam Grant, professor of management and psychology at UPenn's Wharton School, wrote in Saturday's New York Times op-ed page:

The skill to get hot without getting mad — to have a good argument that doesn’t become personal — is critical in life.

We couldn't agree more.

The Implications of Charlottesville

Like everyone else, I’ve been thinking a lot about the events in Charlottesville last week, and President Trump’s comments about those events. I taught at UVA for 16 years and I lived a few blocks East of Emancipation Park (back when it was called “Lee Park”). I share in the horror felt by my friends and former neighbors that neo-Nazis, the KKK, terrorism, and death came to our lovely town.... To explain why I thought “very fine people” could be a turning point, I wrote an essay for The Atlantic in which I analyzed the whole affair through the lens of my research on moral psychology—specifically the psychology of sacredness, taboo, and contamination. I showed how the psychology of sacredness could explain why the alt-right would march to defend a statue, why UVA students would risk their lives to defend another statue, and why the President’s delays and equivocations in condemning white supremacists are likely to have longer-lasting effects than his previous taboo violations. ... What are the implications of Charlottesville for universities, and for those of us who believe that viewpoint diversity is a good thing, and who believe that we need more of it on many campuses? There are many, and its going to take us a while to work them all out. I have no time to write this week, but I just wanted to raise a few points briefly, as markers for future posts.

The Google Memo: What Does the Research Say About Gender Differences?

The recent Google Memo on diversity, and the immediate firing of its author, James Damore, have raised a number of questions relevant to the mission of Heterodox Academy. Large corporations deal with many of the same issues that we wrestle with at universities, such as how to seek truth and achieve the kinds of diversity we want, being cognizant that we are tribal creatures often engaged in motivated reasoning, operating within organizations that are at risk of ideological polarization.

In this post, we address the central empirical claim of Damore’s memo, which is contained in its second sentence.