April 2, 2006

More or less surprising results

from a study seeking a bias against conservative students in college.
* The more liberal students are, the more likely they are to take courses in fields like sociology and American studies where “questions of social justice” are a focus. Conservative students are more likely to enroll in departments like economics and business. This is a key fact, Kemmelmeir said, because the fields conservatives tend to study are fields where average grades are lower — across all political groups. So when conservative students complain that their grades are lower than their liberal friends, they might be right — but it has nothing to do with bias.

* In disciplines that tend to attract more liberal students, there was no relationship between students’ politics and the grades they received. The disciplines examined here included sociology, American studies, African-American studies, cultural anthropology, education, nursing and women’s studies.

* In disciplines that tend to attract more conservative students (economics and all of the disciplines in business schools), conservatives have a slight edge — the equivalent of 0.25 on a 4-point graduate point average scale.

No comments:

Post a Comment