Prominent social psychologist and NYU professor calls the requirement “explicitly ideological.”
J.D. TUCCILLE | 9.30.2022 7:00 AM
It was probably inevitable that Jonathan Haidt, an academic long concerned about the politicization of academia, would eventually be caught up in the displacement of intellectual inquiry by ideological rigidity.
Last week the New York University (NYU) psychology professor announced that he would resign at the end of the year from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, his primary professional association, because of a newly adopted requirement that everybody presenting research at the group’s conferences explain how their submission advances “equity, inclusion, and anti-racism goals.” …
As the scientific evidence piles up that the dogmas of the Great Awokening are based on a pack of lies, a push is building to ban the dissemination of research that doesn’t deliver politically correct results.
… “The Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP)—recently asked me to violate my quasi-fiduciary duty to the truth,” he added. “I was going to attend the annual conference in Atlanta next February to present some research with colleagues on a new and improved version of the Moral Foundations Questionnaire. I was surprised to learn about a new rule: In order to present research at the conference, all social psychologists are now required to submit a statement explaining ‘whether and how this submission advances the equity, inclusion, and anti-racism goals of SPSP.'”
Such diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) statements have proliferated at universities and in academic societies, he notes, even though “most academic work has nothing to do with diversity, so these mandatory statements force many academics to betray their quasi-fiduciary duty to the truth by spinning, twisting, or otherwise inventing some tenuous connection to diversity.”
But the SPSP requirement went a step further, dropping “diversity” in favor of “anti-racism,” a term frequently associated with Boston University’s Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to Be an Antiracist and other works. Among the book’s passages is a widely shared one highlighted by Haidt:
“The only remedy to racist discrimination is antiracist discrimination. The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination.”
That’s an “explicitly ideological” interpretation of social interactions, Haidt objects, along with prescribed remedies to which he has moral and professional objections. He believes individual members of SPSP should be free to adopt the sentiment themselves, but adherence shouldn’t be compelled.
“So I’m going to resign from SPSP at the end of this year, when my membership dues run out, if the policy on mandatory statements stays in place for future conventions,” he concludes.