Advertisement

Social Justice Research

, Volume 31, Issue 3, pp 323–333 | Cite as

Political Contamination of Social Psychology: A Review of Crawford and Jussim’s (2017) Edited Book on The Politics of Social Psychology

  • Linus Chan
  • James D. McFarland
  • Lucian Gideon ConwayIII
Article

Social psychology is a field currently dominated by liberals (Duarte et al., 2015). Though this imbalance should not be an issue because one’s political orientation (along with age, gender, sexuality, religious views and other individual differences) should not influence how researchers conduct science, this is arguably not the case in social psychology. “The Politics of Social Psychology,” edited by Jarett Crawford and Lee Jussim, contains 15 chapters that outline the potential methodological and discriminatory drawbacks of politicized social psychology. Although we discuss some shortcomings of the book below, taken in total, this book provides stellar analyses on how the current political climate has the potential to contaminate research and fuel ideological-based discrimination within the field.

In social psychology research, there are abundant liberal narratives and liberal agendas. Is the fact that the field is overwhelmingly liberal inherently a “bad” thing? No. Science does not...

References

  1. Beck, C. (2018). The Left’s Smearing of Steven Pinker. Retrieved from https://www.splicetoday.com/politics-and-media/the-left-s-smearing-of-steven-pinker.
  2. Brandt, M. J., Reyna, C., Chambers, J. R., Crawford, J., & Wetherell, G. (2014). The ideological-congruence hypothesis: Intolerance among both liberals and conservatives. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 23(1), 27–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Campbell, T. H., & Kay, A. C. (2014). Solution aversion: On the relation between ideology and motivated disbelief. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 107(5), 809–824.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Chua, A. (2018). Political tribes: Group instinct and the fate of nations. New York, NY: Random House Large Print.Google Scholar
  5. Conway, L. G., III. (2012). Are liberals really more complex than conservatives? Interactions between topic domain and ideology. Paper presented at the 35th Annual Meeting of the International Society of Political Psychology, Chicago, USA.Google Scholar
  6. Conway, L. G., Gornick, L. J., Houck, S. C., Anderson, C., Stockert, J., Sessoms, D., et al. (2016a). Are conservatives really more simple-minded than liberals? The domain specificity of complex thinking. Political Psychology, 37(6), 777–798.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Conway, L. G., III, Houck, S. C., Gornick, L. J., & Repke, M. A. (2016b). Ideologically-motivated perceptions of complexity: Believing those who agree with you are more complex than they are. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 35, 708–718.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Conway, L. G., III, Houck, S. C., Gornick, L. J., & Repke, M. R. (2017a). Finding the loch ness monster: Left-wing authoritarianism in the United States. Political Psychology.  https://doi.org/10.1111/pops.12470.Google Scholar
  9. Conway, L. G., III, Repke, M. A., & Houck, S. C. (2017b). Donald Trump as a cultural revolt against perceived communication restriction: Priming political correctness norms causes more Trump support. Journal of Social and Political Psychology, 5, 244–259.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Conway, L. G., III, Salcido, A., Gornick, L. J., Bongard, K. A., Moran, M., & Burfiend, C. (2009). When self-censorship norms backfire: The manufacturing of positive communication and its ironic consequences for the perceptions of groups. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 31, 335–347.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Conway, L. G., & Schaller, M. (2005). When authorities commands backfire: Attributions about consensus and effects on deviant decision making. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 89(3), 311–326.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Cook, J., Oreskes, N., Doran, P. T., Anderegg, W. R., Verheggen, B., Maibach, E. W., et al. (2016). Consensus on consensus: A synthesis of consensus estimates on human-caused global warming. Environmental Research Letters, 11(4), 048002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Crawford, J. T. (2017). Are conservatives more sensitive to threat than liberals? It depends on how we define threat and conservatism. Social Cognition, 35, 354–373.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Crosby, F. J., & Bearman, S. (2006). The uses of a good theory. Journal of Social Issues, 62(2), 415–438.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Duarte, J. L., Crawford, J. T., Stern, C., Haidt, J., Jussim, L., & Tetlock, P. E. (2015). Political diversity will improve social psychological science. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 38, 1–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Henrich, J., Heine, S. J., & Norenzayan, A. (2010). Beyond WEIRD: Towards a broad-based behavioral science. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 33(2–3), 111–135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Heterodox Academy. (2015). Retrieved from https://heterodoxacademy.org/.
  18. Inbar, Y., & Lammers, J. (2012). Political diversity in social and personality psychology. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 7(5), 496–503.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Jost, J. T., Glaser, J., Kruglanski, A. W., & Sulloway, F. J. (2003). Political conservatism as motivated social cognition. Psychological Bulletin, 129(3), 339–375.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Konnikova, M. (2014). Is Social Psychology Biased Against Republicans? Retrieved from https://www.newyorker.com/science/maria-konnikova/social-psychology-biased-republicans.
  21. Kovacheff, C., Schwartz, S., Inbar, Y., & Feinberg, M. (2018). The problem with morality: Impeding progress and increasing divides. Social Issues and Policy Review, 12(1), 218–257.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Markus, H. R., & Kitayama, S. (1991). Culture and the self: Implications for cognition, emotion, and motivation. Psychological Review, 98(2), 224–253.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Markus, H. R., & Kitayama, S. (2010). Cultures and selves: A cycle of mutual constitution. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 5(4), 420–430.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Marques, J. M., Yzerbyt, V. Y., & Leyens, J. (1988). The “Black Sheep Effect”: Extremity of judgments towards ingroup members as a function of group identification. European Journal of Social Psychology, 18(1), 1–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Medin, D. L., & Lee, C. D. (2012). Diversity Makes Better Science. Retrieved from https://www.psychologicalscience.org/observer/diversity-makes-better-science.
  26. Newtson, D., & Czerlinsky, T. (1974). Adjustment of attitude communications for contrasts by extreme audiences. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 30, 829–837.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Ngo, A. (2018). Can Heterodoxy Save the Academy? Retrieved from https://quillette.com/2018/06/22/can-heterodoxy-save-the-academy/.
  28. Nisbett, R. E., Peng, K., Choi, I., & Norenzayan, A. (2001). Culture and systems of thought: Holistic versus analytic cognition. Psychological Review, 108, 291–310.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Pinker, S. (2002). The blank slate: The modern denial of human nature. New York: Penguin Books.Google Scholar
  30. Reeves, R. V., Haidt, J., & Cicirelli, D. (2018). All minus one/John stuart mills ideas on free speech illustrated. New York: Heterodox Academy.Google Scholar
  31. S.I.P.S. (2017). Society for the Improvement of Psychological Science. Retrieved from https://improvingpsych.org/.
  32. Tetlock, P. E. (1994). Political psychology or politicized psychology: Is the road to scientific hell paved with good moral intentions? Political Psychology, 15(3), 509–529.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. The Guardian (2016). Most Americans do not feel represented by Republicans or Democrats. Retrieved May 4, 2018, from https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/oct/25/american-political-parties-democrats-republicans-representation-survey.
  34. Triandis, H. C. (1996). The psychological measurement of cultural syndromes. American Psychologist, 51(4), 407–415.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Westwood, S. J., Iyengar, S., Walgrave, S., Leonisio, R., Miller, L., & Strijbis, O. (2017). The tie that divides: Cross-national evidence of the primacy of partyism. European Journal of Political Research, 57(2), 333–354.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MontanaMissoulaUSA

Personalised recommendations