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Research Summary: Intellectual Humility and Openness to the Opposing View

The results of Porter and Schumann (2017) have direct relevance for Heterodox Academy and the OpenMind Platform.  One of our hypotheses regarding the OpenMind Platform is that it can increase intellectual humility and openness, and that these increases will then have downstream effects on communication between individuals who have opposing views on an issue.  By demonstrating one way to, at least temporarily, increase intellectual humility, Porter and Schumann (2017) have provided a valuable first test of one of OpenMind’s main hypotheses.

Research Summary: Caught in the Nexus: A Comparative and Longitudinal Analysis of Public Trust in the Press

These findings suggest political systems that lack ideological diversity are at risk for widespread declines in trust of long-standing societal institutions, including, but not limited to, the press.  At first blush, these findings do not seem directly relevant to Heterodox Academy and its core issue of viewpoint diversity in the academy.  Yet, like the press, American universities comprise a long-standing social institution which has also experienced a decline in public trust and confidence (see also here and here).  The overall decline in political trust evident at the societal level may also have an impact on trust in universities.  Increasing ideological homogeneity among the professorate (Bonica, Chilton, Rozema, & Sen, 2017; Duarte, Crawford, Stern, Haidt, Jussim, & Tetlock, 2015; Honeycutt & Freberg, 2016; Langbert, Quain, & Klein, 2016) may contribute to societal level declines in political trust and, thus, fuel the anti-elite sentiment hinted at by Hanitzsch et al.

Research Summary: The Polarizing Effects of Online Partisan Criticism: Evidence from Two Experiments

We conclude that online partisan criticism likely has contributed to rising affective and social polarization in recent years between Democrats and Republicans in the United States, and perhaps between partisan and ideological group members in other developed democracies as well. We close by discussing the troubling implications of these findings in light of continuing attempts by autocratic regimes and other actors to influence democratic elections via false identities on social media.

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..

The Greater Male Variability Hypothesis – An Addendum to our post on the Google Memo

In this addendum we focus on the Greater Male Variability Hypothesis – the idea that men are more variable than women on a variety of abilities, interests, and personality traits – and the possibility that males are overrepresented in the upper and lower tails of such distributions.  This hypothesis was first proposed by Ellis over 100 years ago, in 1894.  It is also the hypothesis that Lawrence Summers was referring to in 2005 when, at the National Bureau of Economic Research Conference, he weighed in on the gender gap in STEM professions.

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.