Liberal Norms and Their Discontents

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Recent analyses of the predominance of liberals in personality and social psychology have raised the possibility that this ideological imbalance is driven in part by active discrimination against conservatives. In this article, I review empirical evidence relevant to this possibility and find little support for it. The evidence points instead to a predominance of liberal views in academia more generally, driven by multiple factors including the consonance of academic work with the goals and values of liberals. Within the field of personality and social psychology, this concentration of liberal views has fostered strong liberal norms, which both intensify and exaggerate the field's ideological homogeneity. These liberal norms have unfortunate narrowing effects on research in personality and social psychology; remedies for these effects should focus on weakening the norms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)516-518
Number of pages3
JournalPerspectives on Psychological Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Psychology


  • discrimination
  • diversity
  • ideology
  • social norms


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