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Likes Attract: The Sociopolitical Groupthink of (Social) Psychologists

Perspectives on Psychological Science, Volume 7, Issue 5, p. 512, 2012

Chapman University Law Research Paper No. 12-9

5 Pages Posted: 12 Sep 2012 Last revised: 30 May 2014

Richard E. Redding

Chapman University, Office of the Provost

Date Written: September 1, 2012

Abstract

Inbar and Lammers (2012, this issue) contribute to the growing empirical evidence of discrimination against conservative (i.e., right-of-center) people and ideas not only in social and personality psychology, but the academy generally. Because sociopolitical values are often a core component of self-identity that significantly impact our interpersonal relationships, sociopolitical discrimination is difficult to overcome. There is a tendency to marginalize the sociopolitical “other,” along with a groupthink that implicitly presupposes that this form of discrimination is acceptable (e.g., because conservatives are self-interestedly motivated, conservative ideas are incorrect, or conservatism is well represented elsewhere in society and thus need not be in the academy). Yet discrimination must be overcome because sociopolitical diversity is vital for scholarly inquiry, pedagogy, and for ethical professional practice. Recent research suggests that the assumptions underlying psychology’s value system of promoting racial, ethnic, gender, or sexual orientation diversity -- (1) that doing so recognizes people’s personal identities, (2) ameliorates discrimination, and (3) has educational benefits -- may be all the more compelling with respect to sociopolitical ideas.

Keywords: discrimination, sociopolitical, conservative, multiculturalism, diversity, cultural sensitivity, affirmative action, higher education

JEL Classification: J70, J71, J79, I00, Z00

Suggested Citation

Redding, Richard E., Likes Attract: The Sociopolitical Groupthink of (Social) Psychologists (September 1, 2012). Perspectives on Psychological Science, Volume 7, Issue 5, p. 512, 2012; Chapman University Law Research Paper No. 12-9. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2145491

Richard E. Redding (Contact Author)

Chapman University, Office of the Provost ( email )

One University Drive
Orange, CA 92866-1099
United States
714-628-2688 (Phone)
714-628-2564 (Fax)

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