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Sociological Paradigms and Organizational Analysis

Sociological Paradigms and Organizational Analysis

Derek Coursen is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Public Administration at the NYU Wagner School of Public Service. He designs and writes about data management practices for government and nonprofit settings. Readers can follow him on Twitter @DerekCoursen. In 2016 Jonathan Haidt framed the tensions in academia as representing a conflict between two incompatible sacred..

towards an ethics of activism

Towards An Ethics of Activism

Frances Lee is a multidisciplinary creative scholar who investigates culture, knowledge production and matters of the heart. They have a MA in Cultural Studies from University of Washington at Bothell. Social justice activism has reached unprecedented levels of prominence in U.S. public consciousness in the last several years. Movements such as #BlackLivesMatter, intersectional feminism, transgender..

Education is Related to Greater Ideological Prejudice

Education is Related to Greater Ideological Prejudice

Sean Stevens is Heterodox Academy’s Research Director. He has a PhD in social psychology from Rutgers University.  Everyone knows that education makes people more tolerant, right? Well, yes, if you focus on the traditional targets of intolerance that are generally studied in the social sciences, such as members of ethnic, racial, or religious outgroups. A..

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. 

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). 

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.

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.

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.

The Wisdom of Polarized Crowds

Sean Stevens is Heterodox Academy’s Research Director. He has a PhD in social psychology from Rutgers University. 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..

Richard Shweder on the End of the Modern Academy

This post is the first in our “Essential Reading” series. These posts make it possible for readers to get the basic idea of a major work quickly. Here is the first such essay: Richard A. Shweder (2017). The End of the Modern Academy: At the University of Chicago, for Example.
Shweder describes the “modern” (as opposed to pre- or post-modern) conception of a university that was widespread in the 1960s and 1970s when he began teaching at the University of Chicago—an “ivory tower” conception in which the purpose of the university is “improving the stock of ordered knowledge and rational judgment.” He structures his essay around three ideals of the modernist university, and three threats that are now undermining those ideals. The three threats are: 1) the increasing pursuit of profit from research after 1980; 2) the rise of bureaucratic constraints on research, such as the creation of Internal Review Boards (IRBs) to govern all research; and 3) the rise of a post-modern form of expressive identity politics. This third point is the most important for our mission at Heterodox Academy, for this form of activism, when done by scholars, is sometimes in conflict with the cultivation of viewpoint diversity and the search for truth. When Shweder speaks of the “end” of the academy, it is a double-entendre. He refers to “end” as purpose or goal, but as he describes the three threats, it becomes clear that these threats may bring about the end (termination) of the modernist truth-oriented conception of a university.

Unwanted Advances: Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus

Laura Kipnis does not care if you don’t appreciate her oppositional position – or her sense of humor. “Kiss my ass,” she states in the penultimate paragraph of the 34-page introduction to her new book, “Unwanted Advances: Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus.”

Her new book grabs readers’ attention in ways that cause both pleasure and discomfort. Perhaps not surprising, then, she is facing a gag order of sorts and a lawsuit filed by a graduate student at Northwestern University whom she writes about in the book.