Plenty of evidence shows that liberals and conservatives process threat indicators differently and are emotionally affected by those indicators in ways that also differ. Hence, we have the old joke about “being a liberal until getting mugged.”
Now it appears there is some truth to the old joke. Scholars in England tracked the responses of individuals before/after terror bombings that occurred in London. After the bombings, liberals reported more in-group solidarity and less concern with fairness. Conservatives didn’t change along these dimensions.
Much the same is likely going on when it comes to crime. People who are not affected by crime--that is, not connected to it emotionally or physically--are more likely to be liberal. Conservatives, because they see crime as a threat to social order and to individual safety and because they are more emotionally affected by it, are more motivated to control crime.
I’ve always been struck by the number of criminologists who have never met a true thug, who have never been into a jail or prison, and who have never walked the mean streets of a ghetto. There is something that happens to you when you see the suffering caused by criminals--all of a sudden, you become a bit more conservative.
One of the principles of motivated political reasoning is that we start with the answer first and then marshal data and evidence to support our position. Of course this is ass-backwards from the scientific process and people deny that it happens but .........it happens ALL THE TIME.
Along comes this paper that, wait for it.......actually tests whether the political orientation of the lawyer/scholar affects his/her legal writing.
From their abstract:
........law professors at elite law schools who make donations to Democratic political candidates write liberal scholarship, and law professors who make donations to Republican political candidates write conservative scholarship.
Think about the implications of this study for our system of law and justice and think about the broader implications of this study for science and society.
Somewhere along the way, objectivity as a scientific necessity was lost.
I have yet to meet Professor Jussim but I look forward to the occasion. Why? Because I like the way he thinks--not what he thinks, but how he thinks. He is not afraid to confront the biases of those in the academy and he had the temerity to actually examine stereotype accuracy.
So, here is Lee Jussim’s classic post on “liberal privilege.
Here are posts on his personal experiments with liberal bias:
Below are two files. One is a commentary by Lee Jessum concerning findings by the famous Inbar study. The other is a chapter on ideological biases.
An interesting paper that goes against traditional thoughts about parental political socialization:
Can we really escape the irony of some parts of the diversity movement? Seriously, step back away from it and ask yourself how we can simultaneously label racial and ethnic segregation as a bad thing--and it is sometimes--and then ask for more racial and ethnic segregation on campus?
Well, I’ve been looking for evidence on these things and what did I find? This article empirically shows that “ethnic enclaves” found on university campuses create increased social distance between groups. For whites these enclaves come in the form of frats/sororities, while for blacks they come in the form of “cultural centers,” frats/sororities, and some academic programs.
It seems that by talking to people JUST LIKE US creates further animosity, resentments, and distortions.
There is strong evidence that shows that humans desire being around others like themselves. There are important evolutionary reasons for this but the impulse for similarity is strong.
That said, we do not grow or learn or expand when we hang out with people JUST LIKE US.
I don’t have an axe to grind against Greek life or even against cultural centers. I’m sure there are benefits to each, including group cohesion, increased in-group trust, and social networking.
I think diversity operates best when it is organic. When people trust each other enough to talk freely, to joke around, to share, then most barriers can be broken down. Trust, however, is the ingredient most often overlooked by diversity advocates.
Here is the article:
I think this is one area that cuts across ideological lines but that too often escapes our attention. In our book we call for the wholesale reform of child protective services across states. The system is stymied by politics, poorly funded, and enmeshed in a quagmire of laws and policies that often work against protecting kids.
I constantly hear people complain that you cannot spank your kids today. This is BS. The truth is you can beat the hell out of your kids and get away with it--for years.
Occasionally, really, really bad examples of child abuse and neglect emerge. And even here, the constraints placed on this messed up system sometimes collude to allow children to suffer.
The first order of government is the protection of citizens. People who abuse children, who starve them, who allow them to live in utter filth, are entirely worthy of scorn and severe criminal penalties.
If changing the system means first destroying it, then fine. Feel free to call me a liberal or a hypocrite. I don’t care. Just change it.
I actually prefer these adds because even though they are illegal, they are nonetheless honest.
Another storm brews at Harvard. This time it is not between the Federalists and Anti-Federalists, but between which placemat is most correct. Yes, the great minds at Harvard--and there are many great minds at Harvard--have focused their attention on a subject so singularly important that Western civilization may fall if it is not addressed. What’s the issue, you ask?
How to talk to your family during Christmas break.
For those of you who don’t know, college students seemingly have to return home to their socially and politically backwards families--families who don’t understand the complexities of the world around them. To aid in this traumatic process, Harvard created a set of placemats that gave students “talking points” that could be used around the dinner table, under the mistletoe, or maybe even while opening presents.
Brought to you by the office of diversity and stupid ideas, the placemats provided tips on how to talk to stupid parents about student activism, Islamaphobia, and black crime.
If your house is like mine, these are the issues we discuss over Christmas dinner. I particularly enjoy discussing the finer points of Islamaphobia while my kids open presents. Nothing, after all, better reflects the spirit of Christmas than a discussion on prejudice.
If it seems like my sarcasm engine is revved up, then you have caught on.
The Harvard republicans pushed back and created their own placemats and some other students joined the chorus. Eventually, and to their credit, Harvard apologized saying their motives were good.
Let me state the obvious: This is what ideology looks like.
Lots of interesting information here. Something for everyone.
John Paul Wright and Matt DeLisi
Professors of Crime and Criminology