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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.

Data on how Ideological (Under)Representation Compares to (Under)Representation Along the Lines of Race, Gender or Sexuality

However, a question has come up time and again regarding the relative scale of these challenges: how does the lack of, say, political diversity measure up when compared to underrepresentation by race, gender or sexuality? To get at this question, we can compare rates of faculty identification across different identity measures.

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..

I Don’t Care if Amy Wax Is Politically Incorrect; I Do Care that She’s Empirically Incorrect

I was one of the 33 members of the University of Pennsylvania Law School faculty to sign a letter criticizing Amy Wax’s (joint with Larry Alexander) op-ed and subsequent comments regarding the decline of bourgeois culture and its role in America’s perceived social ills. Was this the predictable response of a morally squishy, politically correct, ivory tower academic lefty who is unwilling to endorse unspeakable truths for fear of being bounced from faculty cocktail parties? I can understand this presumption, but, in my case, I prefer going to my kids’ football games to chatting about Derrida over wine and cheese anyway… [I believe that] Wax’s arguments come up lacking when judged by rigorous empirics.

The Most Authoritative Review Paper on Gender Differences

By Sean Stevens (HxA Research Director) and Jonathan Haidt (HxA Director) This blog post is a supplement to our main post: The Google Memo: What Does the Research Say About Gender Differences? Please do read at least the introduction to that post before continuing. As we have scanned the literature to find the major meta-analyses..

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.