Professor of Organisational Behaviour
Eric Luis Uhlmann
Associate Professor of Organisational Behaviour
Politics; Liberalism; Conservatism; Meta-Science; Political Bias; Liberal Bias
The present investigation provides the first systematic empirical tests for the role of politics in academic research. In a large sample of scientific abstracts from the field of social psychology, the authors find both evaluative differences, such that conservatives are described more negatively than liberals, and explanatory differences, such that conservatism is more likely to be the focus of explanation than liberalism.In light of the ongoing debate about politicized science, a forecasting survey permitted scientists to state a priori empirical predictions about the results, and then change their beliefs in light of the evidence.Participating scientists accurately predicted the direction of both the evaluative and explanatory differences, but at the same time significantly overestimated both effect sizes. Scientists also updated their broader beliefs about political bias in response to the empirical results, providing a model for addressing divisive scientific controversies across fields.