My attention was drawn belatedly to this article which chronicles Jonathan Haidt’s claims that his profession of social psychology is biased towards liberals. Haidt notes that when an organization is found to be mostly male there is a a priori assumption of bias. Haidt’s audience was more than 80% liberal and he asked why this should not be seen as a similar bias. Being somewhat libertarian I nonetheless feel it necessary to defend the liberals, sort of. One can argue that persuasion (liberal or conservative) is a consequence of one’s studies, in which case the observed imbalance was not a matter of biased selection, but rather of ideological shift resulting from education. Actually I suspect that liberals are attracted to psychological studies which is yet a different explanation.

The light that I think that Haidt’s observation throws on the profession is to discredit the notion that statistically unbalanced membership of a association implies selection bias.