Jonathan Haidt stuns the audience at the annual conference of the Society of Personality and Social Psychology with a blinding glimpse of the obvious:
He polled his audience at the San Antonio Convention Center, starting by asking how many considered themselves politically liberal. A sea of hands appeared, and Dr. Haidt estimated that liberals made up 80 percent of the 1,000 psychologists in the ballroom. When he asked for centrists and libertarians, he spotted fewer than three dozen hands. And then, when he asked for conservatives, he counted a grand total of three.
For a tribal-moral community, the social psychologists in Dr. Haidt’s audience seemed refreshingly receptive to his argument. Some said he overstated how liberal the field is*, but many agreed it should welcome more ideological diversity. A few even endorsed his call for a new affirmative-action goal: a membership that’s 10 percent conservative by 2020.
Especially brave is the call for a 10% quota of conservatives. More Kool Aid, Dr Haidt?
* Yeah, that informal survey was fatally flawed. All the conservative social psychologists are back home teaching, only the liberals are in San Antonio schmoozing and sucking down giant Margaritas.