A recent study by Tilburg University is gaining attention for its stunning conclusion that among psychologists, conservatives have reason to fear negative consequences should their political beliefs be revealed.
“In decisions ranging from paper reviews to hiring, many social and personality psychologists admit that they would discriminate against openly conservative colleagues,” the authors, Yoel Inbar and Joris Lammers, wrote.
“The more liberal respondents are, the more willing they are to discriminate.”
The study was done by the two members of the Department of Social Psychology at Tilburg University in the Netherlands. They warned specifically that conservatives who fear harm if their colleagues discover their leanings “are right to do so.”
The results got the attention of the U.S.-based Alliance Defending Freedom, which runs a Center for Academic Freedom. There, Travis C. Barham, litigation staff counsel, noted the results “should come as a disappointment to those who think that we should – in the words of Thomas Jefferson – ‘follow the truth wherever it may lead.’”
“As the researchers noted, ‘as offensive as it may seem to many social psychologists, believing that abortion is murder does not mean that one cannot do excellent research,’” wrote Barham.
“And these results should also disturb the millions of Americans who think that universities should serve as a ‘marketplace of ideas,’ where all perspectives are welcome and addressed on their merits,” he wrote.
The study found participants were asked how likely they would be to discriminate against conservatives regarding issues such as evaluating papers, symposium invitations, grants and even job applications.
“They also asked participants how likely their colleagues would be to discriminate against conservatives in the same areas. The results were disturbing,” Barham wrote. “Almost 20 percent admitted they would at least be somewhat inclined to discriminate against conservatives when reviewing papers. Almost 25 percent would discriminate in reviewing grants and almost 40 percent would when making hiring decisions.”
Dr. Lyle Rossiter, who wrote “The Liberal Mind: The Psychological Causes of Political Madness,” told WND radical liberals “see liberal principles as revealed truth, admitting of no debate.”
“They are confident they are right and therefore justified in holding their biases and acting on them,” he continued. “The irony is that their policies are immoral (redistributing wealth is theft, affirmative action rewards inferiority and penalizes success); destructive (their policies corrupt the character of the people and undermine the productivity needed to overcome poverty); and historically disastrous (their policies exploit and tyrannize the people and ultimately destroy social order).”
He said, “We should be glad this research affirms what everyone knows informally: that colleges, universities, the mainstream media, and the entertainment industry are at least 80 percent Kool Aid drinkers who endorse liberal madness. Then we had better join the tea party and support other conservative causes that can get out the message that liberalism is a fatal disease.”
He said the alternative isn’t pleasant.
“If they don’t, we will all join the ongoing economic, social and political train wreck that is now Europe. In fact, Europe is the crowning glory of the modern liberal agenda. It is the inevitable result of liberal madness, applied to every societal institution at every level: economic, fiscal, financial, monetary, social/communitarian, marital/familial, political, ethical, moral, legal, educational, spiritual, and military,” he said.
“Europe is in decay because of its modern parental state and modern permissive culture, the twin arms of the modern liberal agenda. It is financially and morally beyond bankruptcy; it must corrupt its currency to postpone collapse of its banking system and keep governments from default; it is unable to defend itself militarily against anybody, or intellectually and spiritually against the encroachment of Islam; it is unable to maintain or defend philosophically its Western heritage of freedom based on individualism; its declining birthrate cannot sustain its dwindling Anglo-European population; and it is dissolving its culture in the secular nihilism and hedonism of la dolce vita (the sweet life),” he said.
“Other than that, everything is just fine.”
In his book, Rossiter, who got his medical and psychiatric training at the University of Chicago, explains how modern liberalism is an attack on the freedom of adults to make good lives for themselves by cooperating with others, the ability of families to raise children to be self-reliant and mutual, and the morals, rights and laws that protect freedom.
He is board-certified in both general and forensic psychiatry, has diagnosed and treated mental disorders for more than 40 years, and has consulted in more than 2,700 civil and criminal cases in both state and federal jurisdictions.
The Tilburg study itself noted that during a 2011 meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, a speaker asked the political conservatives to raise their hands.
“We believe that conservatives’ (and moderates’) actual and seeming under-representation in social-personality psychology, as well as their evident reluctance to disclose their politics, may be explained by a hostile political climate against conservatives,” the researchers suggested.
“Non-liberals may feel unwelcome and unable to express their views, and the liberal majority may even actively discriminate against more conservative individuals.”
Their self-evaluations identified 93 percent of the psychologists as liberal on social issues, 70 percent liberal on economic issues and 74 percent liberal on foreign policy.
“The more conservative respondents were, the more they experienced a hostile climate, were reluctant to express their views to colleagues, and feared that they might be the victims of discrimination based on their political views,” the study said.
“These fears are quite realistic: a sizeable portion of our respondents indicated at least some willingness to discriminate against conservative professors. One in six respondents admitted that she or he would be somewhat included to discriminate against conservatives in inviting them for symposiums or reviewing their work. One in four would discriminate in reviewing their grants. And more than one in three would discriminate against conservatives when making hiring decisions,” the study said.
“And the more liberal respondents were, the more willing they were to discriminate,” the study said.
The results surprised even the surveyors, because they come from questions “explicitly asking … whether they would discriminate.”
“Presumably there is a strong norm against discrimination among psychologists, so these figures may even underestimate the actual degree of discrimination,” the report said.
“Is this a problem? If one believes that conservatives are simply wrong, perhaps not. Geologists are not obliged to accept colleagues who believe the earth is flat. Biologists are not obliged to accept colleagues who reject natural selection But conservative political beliefs do not in and of themselves meet this standard. A belief that the earth is flat is factually false: a belief that abortion should be prohibited is not.”
They concluded conservatives know of the discrimination, so they hide their views.
Barham wrote, “The results of this study will not come as news to students who have experienced professors that inject their political views into class or to students who feel pressured [to] agree with those views to get a good grade. Nor will they surprise conservative professors like Dr. Mike Adams (who was denied a promotion because his colleagues vociferously disliked his conservative beliefs), Kenneth Howell (who was fired for teaching Catholic theology in a class about Catholic theology), June Sheldon (who was terminated for answering questions about homosexuality in a genetics class) and Theresa Wagner (who was not hired because of her pro-life views).”