Does Activism in Social Science Explain Conservatives’ Distrust of Scientists?
- 405 Downloads
Data from the General Social Survey suggest that conservatives have become less trustful of scientists since the 1970s. Gauchat argues that this is because conservatives increasingly see scientific findings as threatening to their worldview. However, the General Social Survey data concern trust in scientists, not in science. We suggest that conservatives’ diminishing trust in scientists reflects the fact that scientists in certain fields, particularly social science, have increasingly adopted a liberal-activist stance, seeking to influence public policy in a liberal direction.
KeywordsPublic understanding of science Politics and science Trust in science Conservatism Political polarization
Thanks to Lawrence Nichols and Neven Sesardić for helpful comments on earlier drafts of this paper.
- Abascal, M., & Baldassarri, D. (2015). Love thy neighbor? Ethnoracial diversity and trust reexamined. American Journal of Sociology, 121(3), 722–782.Google Scholar
- Altemeyer, B. (1996). The authoritarian specter. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- American Academy of Pediatrics. (2000). Testimony of the American Academy of Pediatrics on media violence before the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee. Retrieved from http://ibrarian.net/navon/paper/TESTIMONY_Of_the_AMERICAN_ACADEMY_OF_PEDIATRICS_O.pdf?paperid=4330072. Accessed 1 March 2017.
- American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, American Psychological Association, American Medical Association, American Academy of Family Physicians, & American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Joint statement on the impact of entertainment violence on children. Congressional Public Health Summit. Retrieved from http://public.psych.iastate.edu/caa/VGVpolicyDocs/00AAP%20-%20Joint%20Statement.pdf. Accessed 1 March 2017.
- American Educational Research Association et al. (2013). Brief of the American Educational Research Association et al. as amici curiae in support of respondents. No. 11-345. Abigail Noel Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin et al. Retrieved from https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/ebb8/97d10d24e6435b44163f57870b4c7a26c5dc.pdf?_ga=2.23810877.641589602.1497940175-70837359.1497940175. Accessed 1 March 2017.
- Bhattacharjee, Y. (2013, April 28). The mind of a con man. The New York Times Magazine, p. MM44.Google Scholar
- Flynn, J. R. (2007). Rational discussion of the offensive is okay. Cato unbound. Retrieved from http://www.cato-unbound.org/2007/11/21/james-r-flynn/rational-discussion-offensive-okay. Accessed 1 March 2017.
- Gardner, H. (2001). The ethical responsibilities of professionals. The good project: Ideas and tools for a good life. Retrieved from http://thegoodproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/GoodWork2.pdf. Accessed 1 March 2017.
- Halpern, D. F. (2000). Sex differences in cognitive abilities (3rd ed.). Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- Halpern, D. F. (2012). Sex differences in cognitive abilities (4th ed.). New York: Psychology Press.Google Scholar
- Jussim, L. (2015). Is stereotype threat overcooked, overstated, and oversold? Heterodox Academy. Retrieved from http://heterodoxacademy.org/2015/12/30/is-stereotype-threat-overcooked-overstated-and-oversold/. Accessed 1 March 2017.
- Kahan, D. M. (2013). Ideology, motivated reasoning, and cognitive reflection. Judgment and Decision making, 8(4), 407–424.Google Scholar
- Kruglanski, A. W. (2004). The psychology of closed mindedness. New York: Psychology Press.Google Scholar
- Lloyd, J. (2006). Study paints bleak picture of ethnic diversity. Financial Times. Retrieved from http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/c4ac4a74-570f-11db-9110-0000779e2340.html#axzz3V0WTKbXG. Accessed 1 March 2017.
- Marra, W. C., & Polsky, S. E. (2005). Lack of confidence: Faculty of Arts and Sciences votes, 218–185-18, to express lack of confidence in Summers. The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved from http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2005/3/16/lack-of-confidence-in-a-sharp/. Accessed 1 March 2017.
- Mooney, C. (2005). The Republican war on science. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
- Nam, H. H., Jost, J. T., & Van Bavel, J. J. (2013). “Not for all the tea in China!” Political ideology and the avoidance of dissonance-arousing situations. PlOS ONE, 8(4), e59837.Google Scholar
- Open Science Collaboration. (2015). Estimating the reproducibility of psychological science. Science, 349(6251), aac4716.Google Scholar
- Putnam, R. D. (2013). Brief of Dr. Robert D. Putnam as amicus curiae in support of respondents. No. 11-345. Abigail Noel Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin et al. http://www.scotusblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/11-345-respondent-amicus-Putman.pdf. Accessed 1 March 2017.
- Sowell, T. (1987). A conflict of visions: Ideological origins of political struggles. New York: William Morrow.Google Scholar
- Thernstrom, A., Thernstrom, S., Nagai, A. K., & Nieli, R. (2013). Brief of Abigail Thernstrom, Stephan Thernstrom, Althea K. Nagai, and Russell Nieli as amici curiae in support of petitioners. No. 11-345. Abigail Noel Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin et al. Retrieved from http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/publications/supreme_court_preview/briefs/11-345_petitioneramcu4scholars.authcheckdam.pdf. Accessed 1 March 2017.
- Weber, M. (2009). Science as a vocation. In H. H. Gerth & C. W. Mills (Eds.), From Max Weber: Essays in sociology (pp. 129–156). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Wright, J. P., & DeLisi, M. (2016). Conservative criminology: A call to restore balance to the social sciences. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Yong, E. (2013). Psychologists strike a blow for reproducibility. Nature. Retrieved from http://www.nature.com/news/psychologists-strike-a-blow-for-reproducibility-1.14232#/b3. Accessed 1 March 2017.