The American Sociologist

, Volume 49, Issue 2, pp 336–343 | Cite as

Yes Academic Bias is a Problem and We Need to Address it: a Response to Larregue

  • George Yancey


Larregue argued that while there is an ideological imbalance among academics that this imbalance has not unfairly impacted our findings. He also implies that it is the activism of conservatives, rather than progressives, which has created real problems in academia. As such he disputes claims that activism among progressive academics has create a backlash from political conservatives. However, Larregue does not address the previous empirical work on the subject of academic bias. Furthermore, his argument of methodological rigor does not address the tendency of scholars to overlook alternate theories. His argument that progressive scholars are no more biased than conservative scholars fails to account for the sheer number of progressive scholars relative to conservative scholars as it concerns the possibly of institutional bias. I also find his focus on fraud to be misplaced since scholars do not have to engage in fraud to be in ideological silos that do not take alternative theories into account. As to his second major argument, I am unsure whether liberal academic activism leads to conservative mistrust and await further future research on this topic. I do commend Larregue in bringing the question of sources of conservative mistust to our attention.


Academic bias Conservative mistrust Conservative scholars Progressive scholars 


  1. Ames, B., Barker, D., Bonneau, C., & Carman, C. (2005). Hide the republicans, the christians, and the women: a response to “politics and professional advancement among college faculty”. The Forum, 3(2), 7 (2005).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Antonio, A. L., Chang, M. J., Hakuta, K., Kenny, D. A., Levin, S., & Milem, J. F. (2004). Effects of racial diversity on complex thinking in college students. Psychological Science, 15(8), 507–510.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Asante, M. K. (1998). The Afrocentric idea (rev. ed.). Philadelphia: Temple university.Google Scholar
  4. Bolce, L., & De Maio, G. (2008). A prejudice for the thinking classes. American Politics Research, 36(2), 155–185.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cofnas, N., & Carl, N. (2017). Does activism in social science explain Conservatives’ distrust of scientists? The American Sociologist, 1–14.Google Scholar
  6. Cohen, G. L. (2003). Party over policy: The dominating impact of group influence on political beliefs. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 85(5), 808–822.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. deBoer, F. (2017). Republicans don't Trust higher education. That is a problem for liberal academics. LA Times, accessed January 8.
  8. Ecklund, E. H., Park, J. Z., & Veliz, P. T. (2008). Secularization and religious change among elite scientists. Social Forces, 86(4), 1805–1839.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Gross, N. (2013). Why are professors liberal and why do conservatives care? Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Gross, N., & Simmons, S. (2007). The social and political views of American professors. Working Paper presented at a Harvard University Symposium on Professors and Their Politics.Google Scholar
  11. Grosz, E. A., & De Lepervanche, M. (1988). "Feminism and science." Crossing boundaries: Feminisms and the critique of knowledge. Wellington, NZ: Allen & Unwin Ltd.Google Scholar
  12. Harding, S. G. (1986). The science question in feminism. Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Hunter, J. D. (1991). Culture war: The struggle to define America. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  14. Inbar, Y., & Lammers, J. (2012). Political diversity in social and personality psychology. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 7(5), 496–503.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Janis, I. L. (1982). Groupthink: Psychological studies of policy decisions and fiascoes.Google Scholar
  16. Karenga, M. (2002). Introduction to Black studies. Racism: Essential Readings (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2001):209–216.Google Scholar
  17. Ladd, E. C. Jr, Lipset, S. M. (1975) The Divided Academy: Professors and Politics.Google Scholar
  18. Larregue, J. (2017). Conservative apostles of objectivity and the myth of a “Liberal Bias― in science. The American Sociologist.
  19. Milliken, F. J., Bartel, C. A., Kurtzberg, T. R.. (2003). Diversity and creativity in work groups. Group creativity: Innovation through collaboration. 32–62.Google Scholar
  20. Mullen, B., Anthony, T., Salas, E., & Driskell, J. E. (1994). Group cohesiveness and quality of decision making: an integration of tests of the groupthink hypothesis. Small Group Research, 25(2), 189–204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Reinharz, S., Davidman, L. (1992). Feminist methods in social research. Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Rothman, S., & Robert Lichter, S. (2009). The vanishing conservative - IsThere a glass ceiling? In R. Maranto, R. E. Redding, & F. M. Hess (Eds.), The politically correct university: problems, scope, and reforms (pp. 60–76). Washington, D.C.: The AEI Press.Google Scholar
  23. Rothman, S., Kelly-Woessner, A., Woessner M. (2010). The still divided academy: How competing visions of power, politics, and diversity complicate the mission of higher education.Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.Google Scholar
  24. Tobin, G. A., Weinberg, A. K. (2007). Profiles of the American University, Vol. 2: Religious beliefs and behaviors of college faculty. Institute for Jewish and Community Research.Google Scholar
  25. Yancey, G. (2011). Compromising scholarship: religious and political bias in American higher education. Waco: Baylor University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Yancey, G. (2012). Recalibrating academic Bias. Academic Questions, 25(2), 267–278.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Yancey, G. (2015). Both/and instead of either/or. Society, 52(1), 23–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Yancey, G., & Williamson, D. (2014). So many Christians, so few lions: Is there Christianophobia in the United States? Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers.Google Scholar
  29. Yancey, G., Reimer, S., & O'Connell, J. (2015). How academics view conservative protestants. Sociology of Religion, 76(3), 315–336.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Yaniv, I. (2011). Group diversity and decision quality: amplification and attenuation of the framing effect. International Journal of Forecasting, 27(1), 41–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of North TexasDentonUSA

Personalised recommendations