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Political bias in peer reviewed science

An excellent article in The New Yorker: Is Social Psychology Biased Against Republicans?

It’s an article about the failings of peer review and research design in psychology due to the dominance of one particular political ideology (rather than having a spread more representative of the total population). You won’t be shocked to find there is a dominance of liberal left-leaning views in the profession. The paper it discusses is by Jonathan Haidt and co-authored by our friend Jose Duarte — the psychology PhD candidate and blogger who entertainingly and comprehensively dissected Lewandowsky on his blog: Do we hate our participants?

It will be no surprise that controversial psychology papers (which disagree with the reviewer’s world view)  are usually treated harshly — no matter if the data is as strong. So, thinking of another field we know, what does it mean for research design and peer review when 97% of certified climate scientists hold one world view? (They not only agree on the scientific hypothesis but on the political action as well — and they boast about that?)  What chance does a “controversial” paper have? Has anyone done a study on the political diversity of official climate scientists? There are plenty of studies claiming general opposition to climate action is split on political lines.

However much psychology is slowed by its political bias, climate science is surely doubly so. Indeed, the whole field would make a case study. It’s a long but good article in the New Yorker, though I see no solutions to the problem suggested. It needs more than checklists. It needs incentives. Some fields of science are 100% dependent on big-government funds, and if there was also a large sector of independent philanthropic research funds competing, then it would not be so difficult to find independent thinkers who held the big-government world views to the fire.

The New Yorker: Is Social Psychology Biased Against Republicans?   By

Most academic social psychologists are in favor of big-government

A 2012 survey of social psychologists throughout the country found a fourteen-to-one ratio of Democrats to Republicans. But where were the hard numbers that pointed to bias, be it in the selection of professionals or the publication process, skeptics asked?

… Tilburg University psychologists Yoel Inbar and Joris Lammers published the results of a series of surveys conducted with approximately eight hundred social psychologists—all members of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. In the first survey, they repeated a more detailed version of Haidt’s query: How did the participants self-identify politically? The question, however, was asked separately regarding social, economic, and foreign-policy issues. Haidt, they found, was both wrong and right. Yes, the vast majority of respondents reported themselves to be liberal in all three areas. But the percentages varied. Regarding economic affairs, approximately nineteen per cent called themselves moderates, and eighteen per cent, conservative. On foreign policy, just over twenty-one per cent were moderate, and ten per cent, conservative. It was only on the social-issues scale that the numbers reflected Haidt’s fears: more than ninety per cent reported themselves to be liberal, and just under four per cent, conservative.

When Inbar and Lammers contacted S.P.S.P. members a second time, six months later, they found that the second element of Haidt’s assertion—that the climate in social psychology was harsh for conservative thinkers—was on point. This time, after revealing their general political leanings, the participants were asked about the environment in the field: How hostile did they think it was? Did they feel free to express their political ideas? As the degree of conservatism rose, so, too, did the hostility that people experienced. Conservatives really were significantly more afraid to speak out. Meanwhile, the liberals thought that tolerance was high for everyone. The more liberal they were, the less they thought discrimination of any sort would take place.

Peer reviewers are human, they prefer studies that support their world view.

Perhaps even more potentially problematic than negative personal experience is the possibility that bias may influence research quality: its design, execution, evaluation, and interpretation. In 1975, Stephen Abramowitz and his colleagues sent a fake manuscript to eight hundred reviewers from the American Psychological Association—four hundred more liberal ones (fellows of the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues and editors of the Journal of Social Issues) and four hundred less liberal (social and personality psychologists who didn’t fit either of the other criteria). The paper detailed the psychological well-being of student protesters who had occupied a college administration building and compared them to their non-activist classmates. In one version, the study found that the protesters were more psychologically healthy. In another, it was the more passive group that emerged as mentally healthier. The rest of the paper was identical. And yet, the two papers were not evaluated identically. A strong favorable reaction was three times more likely when the paper echoed one’s political beliefs—that is, when the more liberal reviewers read the version that portrayed the protesters as healthier.

More than twenty years later, the University of Pennsylvania marketing professor J. Scott Armstrong conducted a meta-analysis of all studies of peer review conducted since (and including) Abramowitz’s, to determine whether there was, in fact, a systemic problem. He concluded that the peer-review system was highly unfair and discouraged innovation. Part of the reason stemmed from known bias: papers from more famous institutions, for instance, were judged more favorably than those from unknown ones, and those authored by men were viewed more favorably than those by women if the reviewers were male, and vice versa.

One early study had psychologists review abstracts that were identical except for the result, and found that participants “rated those in which the results were in accord with their own beliefs as better.” Another found that reviewers rejected papers with controversial findings because of “poor methodology” while accepting papers with identical methods if they supported more conventional beliefs in the field. Yet a third, involving both graduate students and practicing scientists, showed that research was rated as significantly higher in quality if it agreed with the rater’s prior beliefs. When Armstrong and the Drake University professor Raymond Hubbard followed publication records at sixteen American Psychological Association journals over a two-year period, comparing rejected to published papers—the journals’ editors had agreed to share submitted materials—they found that those about controversial topics were reviewed far more harshly.

Read the whole article in The New Yorker

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116 comments to Political bias in peer reviewed science

  • #
    PhilJourdan

    The fact that social psychologists (in English, ignorant fools) are for big government is not strange. They seek to control the human condition. Even though their faux science says that is impossible. So they seek out that which supports their agenda – which is the totalitarian left.

    What the “social” sciences fail to realize is that humans are not equations. There are as many answers as there are people to basic questions. Yet these “professionals” do not even ask basic questions, but race ahead and try to predict answers to complex sets of circumstances.

    And fail. That is why there are innocent people in looney bins, and certified nuts running around free. And they will never understand that.

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    • #
      Santa Baby

      I am not shure here. Why first now after the republicans have won the congress and Senate? Maybee the Cause and the Plan is more important than the induviduals behind it so far?

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    • #
      Gary in Erko

      What the “social” sciences fail to realize is that humans are not equations. There are as many answers as there are people to basic questions.

      Only one each – that’s not enough for most of us.

      30

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      Well if you step back and look at the overall picture of left influence on society:

      - dumbing down of education so people cant think for themselves
      - dumbing down media so the dumbed down people dont have the info to actually question the status quo
      - left domination of “education” so that anyone who dares take the spineless lot to task is harassed
      - left domination of media so anywho who dares speak out against “popular world view” is gharassed and haranged by amoral leftists.

      Now enter religion.

      In Houston, Texas the left wing “married” lesbian mayor declared all religious sermons covering anything to do with “gender” etc had to be handed to be “examined”.

      Speaking as a Christian, I find this very worrisome , namely when a Godless society decides to persecute a minority, this is how it starts.

      As student of history, we know a KrystalNacht will eventually follow unless society stands up to the left wing influence and starts to push it back.

      While “right wing” John Howard ( a closet socialist ) implemented left-wing gun cotnrol, leftists disarm people so they can crush them. The final phase of this hasnt happened yet, but it will.

      What is the common theme in all these odious acts?

      Left wing politics.

      As the Romanovs how that turned out.

      111

      • #
        Ron Cook

        OriginalSteve,

        In the main I couldn’t agree more. I have 2 issues tho’. Howard, closet socialist?, mmmm! maybe a little left of centre perhaps……BUT then Hawke was a little more “pink” than out-and-out red. Gun control? This is difficult…. how do you prevent maniacs from obtaining fire arms and going on a shooting rampage as happened in Tasmania a few years ago and in America regularly and on the other hand I as a responsible citizen have to “jump thro’ hoops” to obtain a gun license.

        To me the whole extreme left in general AND the Green movement in particular are Satanic. Their only agenda is to control mankind.

        50

        • #
          OriinalSteve

          I agree with their attempt to rule the world, it could all end rather badly.

          I hold to the logic that guns dont kill people, mentally disturbed people who should not have had access to guns, kill people.

          Unfortunately, when you remove guns from people, based on history, you go from being a citizen to being a serf.

          51

        • #
          CameronH

          I can assure you that it is very easy for people to get guns. As the saying goes: If you outlaw guns only outlaws have guns. The anti gun lobby is really about disarming the populous. People like Howard who cave in to alinski style activism are just their useful idiots.

          40

      • #
        Ron Cook

        OriginalSteve,

        In the main I couldn’t agree more. I have 2 issues tho’. Howard, closet socialist?, mmmm! maybe a little left of centre perhaps……BUT then Hawke was a little more “pink” than out-and-out red. Gun control? This is difficult…. how do you prevent maniacs from obtaining fire arms and going on a shooting rampage as happened in Tasmania a few years ago and in America regularly and on the other hand I as a responsible citizen have to “jump thro’ hoops” to obtain a gun license.

        To me the whole extreme left in general AND the Green movement in particular are Satanic. Their only agenda is to control mankind.

        R-Coo- K+

        10

        • #
          Ron Cook

          Ooooops SORRY don’t know what happened woth a double post.

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        • #
          Ron Cook

          Ooooops SORRY don’t know what happened with a double post.

          10

        • #
          john robertson

          Ron, armed civilians, are the only deterrent to armed idiots on a shooting rampage.
          remember, the cops are only minutes away, when seconds count.
          Have you ever noticed the absence of mass shooting in open carry /concealed carry country?

          41

          • #
            Cookster

            Yes but the unintended consequence of arming the average American to defend themselves against idiots is a gun murder rate over 10 times and an overall murder rate 4 times greater per capita than that of Australia. Most murders are committed by people the victim knows – not mentally ill idiots. Giving all your friends and relatives a gun can have very bad consequences if things turn nasty. A gun is much easier to kill with than a knife. You have more to fear with guns by people you know than from criminals. And I state all this as a conservative thinker – pro small government and free enterprise.

            [I think we will end this side-conversation with that point. I think we should get back to discussing Science -Fly]

            01

      • #
        Streetcred

        How To Create a Social State
        by Saul Alinsky (a mentor of the POTUS Obama)
        There are 8 levels of control that must be obtained before you are able to create a social state. The first is the most important.

        1) Healthcare – Control healthcare and you control the people
        2) Poverty – Increase the Poverty level as high as possible, poor people are easier to control and will not fight back if you are providing everything for them to live.
        3) Debt – Increase the debt to an unsustainable level. That way you are able to increase taxes, and this will produce more poverty.
        4) Gun Control – Remove the ability to defend themselves from the Government. That way you are able to create a police state.
        5) Welfare – Take control of every aspect of their lives (Food, Housing, and Income)
        6) Education – Take control of what people read and listen to – take control of what children learn in school.
        7) Religion – Remove the belief in God from the Government and schools
        8) Class Warfare –Divide the people into the wealthy and the poor. This will cause more discontent and it will be easier to take (Tax) the wealthy with the support of the poor.

        50

    • #
      Keith Willshaw

      Neither phsyciatry nor psychology are hard sciences and both have always had a strong political aspect. This is by no means always left leaning. The former USSR and its acolytes used the psychological analyses of the state employed ‘experts’ to justify exclusion of dissidents from society. Defining those who’s beliefs are not in the mainstream as ‘nuts’ is a strategy as old as language.

      In Modern China the concept that those who do ‘political harm to society’ are mentally ill is still widely held to be true and Vladimir Putin seems to be reintroducing the idea into Russia.

      Vaclav Havel put it best

      “…we never decided to become dissidents. We have been transformed into them, without quite knowing how, sometimes we have ended up in prison without precisely knowing how. We simply went ahead and did certain things that we felt we ought to do, and that seemed to us decent to do, nothing more nor less.”

      50

  • #
    Roy Hogue

    Is there bias against Republicans? I have an opinion but I think it wont matter if I state it.

    I do know this, psychologists view anything you may be experiencing that is outside their particular view of “normal” as being broken and in need of fixing. Any stress is addressed as if the stress is the problem rather than the symptom. So the original underlying problem may never get attention. And this view is also held by many in the general population. So the temptation is to slap a band-aid on anyone with an emotional pain to deal with.

    Republicans as a group tend to be independent, self sufficient types with less need for “fixing” and so they don’t fit the psychologists mold. And that, I guess, states my opinion indirectly, doesn’t it?

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    • #
      Roy Hogue

      I went through this when my first wife died. Her doctor’s wife was some sort of psychologist and within the first week or 2 she had called me several times. I was screening calls and didn’t answer so she finally quit.

      I knew several things at that point. I was hurting and I knew why I was hurting. I knew that what I was going through was completely normal for what had happened to me so, QED, there was nothing anyone could fix. I knew I had to go through it.

      But I knew one other important thing — I could start making a plan to get my life back and I did exactly that. And within 2 years I had a whole new circle of friends and after 4 years I remarried. I’ve had my life back for more than 20 years.

      Don’t let me discourage you from getting help if you think you need it. But many of life’s worst problems are not curable by anyone but you.

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      • #
        Robert

        But many of life’s worst problems are not curable by anyone but you.

        It took me many years to realize the truth in that sentence.

        151

        • #
          Roy Hogue

          Me too.

          I think all the problems and trying times I went through because of my wife’s diabetes were what prepared me to deal with her death. Otherwise I might not have done nearly so well.

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      • #

        The following may be appropriate here. It is a reproduction of a recent email conversation I had with someone who is a professional therapist who is having a continuing problem dealing with the ups and downs of her private practice. We have known each other for over 50 years and we have talked about many things over the years. She asked about being an “entrepreneur”. My point is that even when you are dealing with your own emotions, you must deal with them objectively as a client. Sadly, in the world of social studies the objective does not exist. It is subjectivity first, last, and always.

        The conversation:

        Is running a private practice an example of being an entrepreneur ? Are you one?

        Yes and yes.

        I am trying to figure out how to be a better one. I must detach my emotions from the ups and downs of the practice for one thing.

        The best way to do that is to develop a deep understanding of the following:

        1. You cannot choose not to feel.
        2. You can always choose what to do about what you feel.
        3. Suppressing your feelings is about the worst thing you can choose to do about what you feel.
        4. Your feelings are part of what you are and must be dealt with as they are.
        5. You are not that frightened child who was overwhelmed by your situation.
        6. You are an adult with the power to choose.
        7. One of the best things to do when you feel something is to examine why you are feeling it.
        8. In an emergency situation do the rational thing and examine the feelings after the emergency.
        9. A feeling is a report of your subconscious conclusions and may or may not reflect external reality.
        10. If the feelings are a true reflection of the real state of things, act according to what is real.
        11. If the feelings are not a true reflection of the real state of things, understand that you have made a long standing mistake in your unexamined and automatized assumptions, premises, and values.
        12. Make a habit of correcting mistakes in thinking, assumptions, premises, and values and the feelings will correspondingly change and lose their power over you.
        13. This process takes a life time to complete. It is never done but does get easier with practice.
        14. You already know these things and use them in your rational cognitive therapy sessions.
        15. You already know that only you can do these things for yourself.

        Only the hard part is left: actually making the understanding conscious, accepting the understanding, and doing these things.

        As I have long said: trust the process. You already use it for your clients. Use it on yourself.

        It works for me.

        Right. It is called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. You described it very well. I caution clients about the consequences of stuffing feelings and subsequently getting the inevitable explosion!

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        • #
          Roy Hogue

          8. In an emergency situation do the rational thing and examine the feelings after the emergency.

          Lionell,

          That’s sure true and probably one of the best pieces of advice anyone can get in a difficult situation.

          That first week after my wife’s death I had to run on adrenaline and put the emotion behind me so I could function to make all the decisions and arrangements, notify family and friends and keep from breaking down until the memorial service was over. Then I could let down and start to grieve. But not until then.

          I’m not sure I pulled it all off as well as I might. But it got me through a very complicated first week in one piece.

          90

      • #
        PhilJourdan

        Yep – some need a crutch. Some need a kick in the pants. And some just need to be left alone since your situation was not created by some mumbo jumbo in the 20th century.

        The problem with the social psychologists is they want everyone to be the crutch people.

        91

      • #
        Mark

        ROY, sorry! That one dislike is my fat thumb…AGAIN!
        Thoroughly agree with you. You, ultimately, are the best agent to change your life for the better.

        So, group think is a psychological disorder that permeates nearly half the population…going by voting intentions…whodathunkit!

        20

      • #
        Greg Cavanagh

        Roy; I’m happy to report the psychologists who work in the field of autism and similar neurological disorders, are wonderfully patient and forgiving people. They understand what it means to be different and to have different opinions. I just can’t tell you how I know this.

        So what you describe is possibly that specific field of psychology, or that particular person, not the whole. But I’m sure you could have guessed that anyway.

        00

        • #
          Roy Hogue

          Greg,

          I can easily imagine how you “know this”. My wife has a degree in marriage and family therapy so I’m well aware that some people really need professional help — and should get it.

          By the way, she agrees with me on a lot of what I think about psychology and has had some interesting tales to tell — several about misbehaving kids whose parents were the real problem and the child was never going to be “fixed” unless the parent got fixed.

          00

          • #
            PhilJourdan

            whose parents were the real problem and the child was never going to be “fixed” unless the parent got fixed.

            If the kids are already born, isn’t it too late to “fix” the parents? ;-)

            00

            • #
              Roy Hogue

              If the kids are already born, isn’t it too late to “fix” the parents?

              I get your point. ;-)

              On the other hand, when the parent’s attitude and behavior are a big contributor to the child’s problem there really is hope that a change of parental behavior can improve the child’s condition. So the therapist needs to be working with the parent as well as the child. Unfortunately such parents are unlikely to agree that they’re a big part of the problem. If they could see how they contribute to the problem they just might change on their own and the therapist wouldn’t be necessary.

              00

    • #
      Ted O'Brien.

      I have been told that only two and a half per cent of the population have the mental ability to initiate new thinking. This fits with my own observations.

      So. Among these various experts, no more than about 5% are doing their own thinking. No matter how much the rest might want us to believe that they are the authorities, they are channling somebody else.

      70

  • #
    Bulldust

    I wonder if the bias is symmetrical. My, possibly biased, perception suggests that left leaning individuals appear to be less tolerant of their counterparts than vice versa. Witness the booing of Tony Abbott today for example. Can you imagine or think of an equivalent reverse example? Perhaps it is an age and maturity related issue. Conservatives tend to be better represented in the older members of the population after all.

    150

    • #
      Roy Hogue

      I wonder if both viewpoints, conservative and liberal are learned behavior. I’ll bet a case could be made for this with a little honest work by the social scientists. But I doubt that they’ll do it.

      50

      • #
        Bulldust

        Actually I can think of another recent exhibition of leftardism… we all remember the scenes associated with the death of Margaret Thatcher, yes? I just can’t imagine conservatives getting out en masse (for starters – they tend to have lives) and then with the explicit intention of vilifying someone at a funeral, either the deceased or an attendee.

        For teh record, I consider myself neither left-wing or right-wing. I will criticise policies from both sides that make no sense – to wit:

        Labour – ETS/CO2 tax, GFC kneejerk policies, excesive spending.
        Lib/Nat – Direct Action, Baby bonus, excessive spending.

        Both sides have their faults. It’s just that the left supporters seem to be a heck of a lot more vicious about their positions.

        60

        • #
          Yonniestone

          I’m of the same mind, despite my post at #3.3.2 if the Liberals get back in I will hold them to account for any decisions I deem wrong, that is the true power of a democracy where the majority dictate the outcome of who they vote in, not self important minorities with public money on the brain.

          But even this political view will be labeled Right Wing by the Left, why? because the total lack of trust within the Left’s structure creates multiple divisions that creates fear and infighting, all the while the public suffers as they are secondary to upholding the power of the party, how any hard left party gets Democratically voted into power in this country is a mystery.

          30

    • #
      Yonniestone

      The booing of Tony Abbott was a disgrace on all levels,

      - It was a funeral, no matter who’s it is people are already upset so the mature response would be to wait for an more appropriate time to vent.
      - If the act of booing is to show your strong political views stop and think of how your actions reflect on your beloved party in the public eye.
      - This is politics and where the players can disgrace themselves during their careers the people have to be the grown ups to use their vote to smack bums and bring them into line, don’t stoop to political levels or everyone is stuffed.

      The list is endless but on a personal level when my Mother passed a few years ago one of the most upsetting moments at the funeral was a rude prat of a relative who thought it was OK to make fun of our jobs and financial positions, after an appropriate retort and suggestion of a double funeral the question was why would someone do that, this man was older than me with a higher education but behaved in this manner at an inappropriate time.

      90

    • #
      Ted O'Brien.

      The booing is pure, simple thuggery. And the ALP leadership owns every bit of it.

      They decided years ago now that the way to win an election was not to have policies, but to personally vilify Tony Abbott. Time has proved that wrong, but if Tony Abbott doesn’t soon fight back they will win in the end.

      50

      • #

        Amazing isn’t it, how Gough has been built into the greatest PM Australia ever had.

        He was the 15th longest serving PM in our history, of only 28 Prime Ministers.

        Julia Gillard served as PM for 4 weeks longer than Gough.

        Interesting little factoid here.

        Since just before the end of WW2, Australia and the US have had roughly the same number of Leaders.

        The U.S. has had 12 Presidents, and Australia 14 Prime Ministers. (minus the 2 Temporary leaders Frank Forde 7 days and Jack McEwan 22 days, following the deaths of the 2 Prime Ministers in Office)

        Tony.

        50

      • #
        Yonniestone

        We Victorians get to vote in 23 days and alarmingly it looks like the Labor Union/Marxists could get in, how anyone in their right mind would vote this corrupt rabble in considering the depressed economy is beyond my comprehension.

        I’m a blue collar worker mostly unemployed for the past 4 months, I wouldn’t vote for these economy destroying twats in a conniptic fit.

        41

        • #
          Rolf

          The flaw of democracy is that people vote for the theft they are promised to get. In another way, they vote into the treasury and destroy the democracy. But they can’t understand that they in the end vote away their freedom to vote, because they vote with their feet.

          Election is an auction on goods to be stolen in the future.

          There is a cure. Only people who contribute to the system should have the right to vote. This means no one in any official service or company. Not even politicians should have a vote ! Then we will have a sustainable !! democracy.

          10

          • #
            Dariusz

            Another flaw of democracy is that politicians go for the lowest denominator. If we had non-compulsory vote the situation would been somewhat less dominated by people that have no idea about the politics. On the other hand the free vote would lead to the polarisation of politics and no battle for the middle ground. However after the failures of the extremes that would lead to an increased vote participation …..me thinks.

            We often complain about the quality of the political figures, but they really are reflection of the us. The same people that voted crazy Kevin hated him a year later.

            You can,t win unless you introduce the Lichtenstein system in Australia or revert the monarch and the House of Lords.

            00

          • #

            There is another “cure”. One dollar one vote. Vote early and often. Anyone can vote as often and as much as they like. In fact, you don’t even have to be a legal citizen to vote. You just have to have dollars. Finally, have the government run off only the vote dollars – no debt, no bonds, no printing press to make dollars out of nothing.

            Done that way, if you want a particular policy, you pay for it. If you don’t, you don’t have to pay for it.

            By this system, your right to vote and your right to keep your earned wealth is secure. It is also the best implementation of “there is no such thing as a free lunch” I have been able to discover. Every other system appears to be a version of a clash of wishes for something for nothing.

            00

  • #
    mpcraig

    “Peer reviewers are human, they prefer studies that support their world view.”

    As a professional engineer, I find this statement to be highly unprofessional and perhaps even unethical.

    70

  • #
    Leonard Lane

    I have tried to read about psychology, to study it, to talk about it, and yet after decades of trying I still cannot get a clear picture of what it is or what it does. It does not seem to be a science. Yet it doesn’t sink to the level of sorcery, Tarot Cards, etc. So I wish I could find a short paragraph (not a book) that would explain what it is, what it does, how it does it, why we have it, and a brief statistical summary of its success and failure rates in accomplishing clear, measurable objectives.

    60

    • #
      King Geo

      Regarding Tarot Cards, they are more believable than the “Theory of AGW” with the latter akin to Sorcery. Only Satin himself wants our beloved planet to become “hotter”, and of course also those promoting AGW. The “Warmists” take great delight in highlighting “local warming weather events” e.g. heatwaves and say SFA when there are “local cooling weather events” e.g. the “Polar Vortex” in NE North America earlier this year. The “Warmists” remind me of that movie “The Devil’s Advocate” where the lead role was played brilliantly by Al Pacino. The end of that movie was a stunning spectacle with everything burning playing to the Rolling Stones song “Paint it Black” – that movie scene reminds me of the “Warmists” and their promotion of their ridiculous “Theory of AGW” which has no basis in real science.

      20

    • #
      TdeF

      My experience is that it is informed and formally educated counselling for people with what could be called mental issues, generally avoiding serious medical conditions which are the realm of psychiatrists. I guess it is like the relationship between opticians and opthamologists. Both are necessary and again the separating line is usually an underlying medical condition but also availability and cost.

      In the US, psychologists appear to be a major part of the social fabric providing a counselling function which used to be provided by priests, very close friends and older, presumably wiser and more experienced relatives. The difference was probably the groundbreaking work of Sigmund Freud who applied scientific analytic thinking to the human condition, especially sex and then establishing a basis for categorization and prediction and treatment.

      30

      • #
        TdeF

        However a “social” psychologist seems a quite unnecessary and artificial and pompous creation of a specialization, the study of how your feelings are affected by others? This is a speciality? So who do the other psychologists treat, hermits, eskimos and loners?

        30

    • #
      tom0mason

      King Geo

      I have some ink-blot cards here I would like you to look at, it may help you resolve your problems.

      :)

      00

    • #
      PhilJourdan

      @leonard lane – re: Psychology

      I take it you are an analytical type. I took the courses in school because everyone knew they were “Easy A”. It is all about “feelings”. When asked a question, do not think about it. “Feel” it. Then answer based upon feelings. And you get an A for the course.

      00

  • #
    Jaymez

    I loved the title of an article written about the 2012 survey you reference:

    Survey shocker: Liberal profs admit they’d discriminate against conservatives in hiring, advancement
    ‘Impossible lack of diversity’ reflects ideological intimidation on campus
    By Emily Esfahani Smith – Special to The Washington Times – - Wednesday, August 1, 2012

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/aug/1/liberal-majority-on-campus-yes-were-biased/?page=all

    I mean it is all interesting to read but WE all know it’s true, it is the so called tolerant Liberals who do not tolerate differences of opinion.

    And we know it goes on with the peer review process even though 4 alleged inquiries into the Climate gate emails found no evidence of wrong doing by climate scientists. They don’t actually consider this type of thing wrong:

    “I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin [Trenbeth] and I will keep them out somehow – even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!”
    Phil Jones to Michael Mann, Climategate emails, July 8th 2004.

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    DouptingDave

    Sorry to be o/t but ive just heard a rumour that since the republicans now control the senate they are going to make senator INHOFE head of the climate change committee !!! brilliant news if its true,like putting the fox in charge of the hen house.So does anyone know if there is any truth in this. Once again sorry to be off topic

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      King Geo

      I have heard of this Senator Inhofe – he has been involved in US Politics for a very long time – served in the Reagan Administration in the 1980′s – he is about 80. May the fox have his way in the Climate Change/AGW hen house. Like us two DD, this wise old fox knows that “AGW” is total & utter b…….

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      Bobl

      One could only hope, first act – a parliamentary directive to Obama that exempts CO2 from EPA regulation.

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    TdeF

    This is a very select group, ‘social psychologists’. They are dealing with people who need support, who have fears and lack security and confidence and surety. They are perceived victims of society, dealt hard blows by an uncaring world. Their mentors would be sympathetic or out of a job. The view then of clients and advisers is that the government should do more, that others should do more, that society should do more and that everyone else is at fault. The victim excuse for failure or hardship or temerity. This is perfect fodder for an interventionist all knowing, all powerful, totally supportive government which takes over all decision making. These are not Republicans.

    As for climate change and its precursor, man made Global Warming, it is a socialist fantasy which justifies big government and funds it. How many other scientific, engineering, mathematical, physical problems attract the trillions of dollars that this attracts? Perhaps the space race and the human genome project. How many are driven by fear whipped up by a compliant leftist media?

    Some good will also come from the scare, we hope but you have to wonder if that would not have come naturally from rising oil prices, as with the massive increase in petrol efficiency of cars. The tanks of WWII were electric hybrids, so the technology was always there. However it remains a pointless exercise as without nuclear, simple arithmetic tells you there is no substitute for oil, gas and coal. For all the maddening demands that coal is removed from the energy mix, solar, hydro and wind are not enough, despite the insistence of a non mathematical and largely science ignorant population who rely on independent and honest scientists, as they do on doctors.

    Independent and objective peer review? It is always very suspect when a lot of money is involved and with highly political matters, not possible. Darwin was really afraid to publish at all. Galileo was locked up for life for publishing even with permission. Copernicus too was only prepared to circulate his ideas among friends and not publicly and became famous after his death. To suggest that Global Warming is not almost entirely a political issue is to miss the start of the 21st century completely. Of course unbiased peer review is almost impossible. In fact climate science is almost a closed shop of self proclaimed and often unqualified high priests who agree with each other regardless of the facts. Much like the ABC.

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    pat

    DouptingDave -

    some might like to analyse why Hamburger felt the need to put “denier” in the headline!

    5 Nov: WaPo: Sen. Inhofe, denier of human role in climate change, likely to lead environment committee
    By Tom Hamburger
    If approved, Inhofe would replace Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), an avowed environmentalist, producing one of the most stark post-election changes in the Capitol…
    In his 2012 book, “The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future,” Inhofe describes himself as a lonely crusader against an environmental-liberal conspiracy. “First I stood alone in saying that anthropogenic [manmade] catastrophic global warming is a hoax,” he wrote…
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/inhofe-an-epa-foe-likely-to-lead-senate-environment-committee/2014/11/05/d0b4221e-64f4-11e4-836c-83bc4f26eb67_story.html!

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    • #
      Ron Cook

      Seems “a die could be set” all we need now, in Australia, is for Hunt to be replaced as environment minister by a “Denier” and an “EPA Foe” in the same ilk as Ihofe.

      Memo to Tony Abbott:- it is time to get serious about this climate rubbish, direct action, RET’s etc.

      R-COO- K+

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    DouptingDave

    Cheers Pat thanks for the link.Maybe Inhofe is now in a stronger position to tackle the EPA

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    JohnM

    Peer review is an odd beast. The original intent was to advise editors with limited knowledge of a subject whether a paper was fit for publication (i.e. contains no significant errors in mathematics, logic or science). The problem is that the method is so open to abuse and that abuse can range from blatant favorism/suppression through to the very subtle situations where reviewers know the subject well and don’t even notice gaps in the reasoning or science.

    Outside the scientific community, and to some extent inside to if I’m to be honest, there’s an assumption that any paper that passes peer-review must be “correct science”. The frequent media reports that worded something like “Scientists have discovered that …” are evidence of this assumption of “truth”.

    But how do we tell if in fact a paper is correct in its findings or hypotheses? (To be precise that should be “provisionally correct” as all science is) In theory the scientific community will discussion the paper and reach a conclusion, a process that might take years. Those conclusions are never formally announced and flawed or misguided papers will remain available, but scattered among them might be papers whose truth is only verified at some time in the future.

    Science might be all about reasoning and logic but the “management” of science leaves a lot to be desired. Frankly, I can’t see a solution.

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    ianl8888

    From the opening post:


    … Has anyone done a study on the political diversity of official climate scientists?

    Well, here is a start, I think:

    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2014/11/02/on-the-take-an-impromptu-psychological-study-of-government-science/

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  • #

    There is something else that we should add into the mix of left-liberal or socialist thought. Socialists tend to have less tolerance of questioning of their theories, as it is questioning their world-view that all of social phenomena are capable of being explained and improved upon. For them to fail to understand the world, particularly when it is widely-held, would mean that they were fallible. That, in turn, could mean that Governments could do harm, even when they are trying to do good.
    American Conservatives tend to believe that God plays a role and libertarians believe in the spontaneous order, where phenomena can be the result of human actions, but not of human design or intention. Both could accept that there may never be a complete explanation of phenomena, and we may be limited in our collective abilities to change society for the better. If the theory does not fit the real world, then it can be amended or rejected. Similarly, if a policy does not work, alternatives can be tried.

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      Yonniestone

      The strong rejection of other peoples opinions and absolute belief in your own is a psychopathic trait, look at the political bias of dictators and tyrants in world history and there is a definite socialist bent.

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      Bobl

      Kevin,
      I’d agree but add that the progressive are unique in thinking that there is only one rigid solution to any given problem, which usually involves fleecing the rich to finance the cause. Conservatives on the other hand recognise that there are many solutions to any given problem, and then many paths to acheive those solutions beyond that. Not only that, progressive seem inherently lazy, always looking for the silver bullet, wanting others to do the heavy lifting for them, while conservative recognise that acheiving an outcome usually involves working together and coordinating a plethora of small gains to produce a big gain and doing so at a profit to everybody.

      Example:
      Labors idea of stimulus spending, $900 cheques to teenagers, pink batts and school halls. Conservative would be more likely to build roads, bridges, ports and other infrastructure that post construction, continue to support the economy. Only the NBN was capable of doing that in the previous govs remit, and then they so botched it that any economic return was going to be 50 years out if at all. Me, I’d like to see the cape york spaceport (scrapped years ago) built!

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      • #
        Greg Cavanagh

        I’d like to see a uranium reprocessing plant on the Nullarbor Plane, with a railway line from Adelaide.

        Much like the French are currently doing. People sell them used uranium; they reprocess it, and sell it back to them. Win Win both ways.

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        tom0mason

        Bobl
        “I’d agree but add that the progressive are unique in thinking that there is only one rigid solution to any given problem,..”

        And so often they’ve built a solution based on a rigid structure of rules. Rules that are conjugated from vague theories, hypotheses, and ludicrous extrapolations, mixed well with what-ifs, and ‘could of should of’ suppositions that apply to ‘you all’ but not to themselves.
        These silly rules can never weather any turn of events, no matter how hard they try to apply them. And when the rules fail, or are proved invalid they’ll always blame ‘you all’.

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      • #

        Bobl,
        I generally agree with you. However I am not so sure about this:-

        progressive seem inherently lazy, always looking for the silver bullet, wanting others to do the heavy lifting for them

        The left in general have beliefs about the way the world works. So they are not lazy, but think simply identifying a problem points to a solution. For instance,
        1. There are rich countries and poor countries. It is evident that the rich are rich because the poor are poor. Redistribute the wealth and problem solved.
        2. Humans are causing warming through CO2 emissions, which causes catastrophic consequences. Most has been from rich countries. Stop emissions from rich countries and problem solved.

        This is all hidden behind reams of peer-reviewed articles and special reports that say little behind the dense fog of meaningless prose and quotations from others.
        When you disagree with the left it is disagreeing with their core beliefs. They cannot understand that people can genuinely reach different conclusions.

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  • #
    Ron Cook

    Jo,

    I’m finding your blog extremely interesting as, apart from the GW/CC issue, you come up with these other fascinating titbits of information. On this psychology issue it appears that those of us that are “deniers” (sorry for using that term) have very similar thoughts on the whole range of topics that appear in this blog. I am absolutely ecstatic that I came across this blog a couple of years ago.

    Keep up the good work

    R-COO- K+

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  • #
    Hat Rack

    What percentage of school teachers lean to the left politically? What percentage of university lecturers lean to the left politically? So, why wouldn’t a majority of university graduates favour a left leaning world view? And who peer-reviews all their papers?

    Until the left infestation of our schools and universities is cleaned out we will continue to flounder with lots of useless expensive ideology instead of useful real science.

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    • #
      King Geo

      “What percentage of school teachers/lecturers lean to the left politically”? – The answer HR is very high.

      The graduates initially will think likewise until they work in the “real world” – then they realize after a while that “leftie idealism” is bad for their countries economy in terms of employment & prospectivity – “socialism” is like a cancer that has only one outcome – it sucks the govt’s resources until the well is dry.

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      • #
        Ron Cook

        King Geo,

        That is an interesting question. I have several friends who were teachers and all of them leaned very much to the left. I also have (and sadly, had, due to illness) a number friends who are/were employed by local and state government organisations like local councils, VicRoads etc who also lean/leaned heavily to the left.

        You see teachers ARE Unionists, ergo, left wing.

        I often feel like the biblical ‘John The Baptist’ “crying like one in the wilderness” (John chapter 1 verse 23). No matter how hard I try I can’t get through their “leftist” ideology.

        BREAKING Left Wing IDEOLOGY is the key to winning this war. I only wish I knew how.

        R-COO- K+

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      Yonniestone

      How about ‘their ABC’?, this piece in the Australian ,May 2013, shows a seemingly disproportionate number of ‘Greens’ party voters within ABC staff compared to the general population.

      I am both shocked and appalled…./sarc.

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      • #
        Ron Cook

        Yonniestone,

        See my reply to K G above.

        It’s going to be all about how we break the “green leftist” ideology of which the ABC is a strong proponent.

        How we are to do this I have no idea.

        R-Coo- K+

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      the Griss

      “What percentage of school teachers lean to the left politically?”

      I was sort of non-political when I was a teacher.

      Then I woke up. :-)

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      Len

      The general ratio in Universities: tutors are 6 Lefties to one conservative; In professors the ratio is 12 lefties to one conservative.

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    • #
      tom0mason

      .
      All in Media Studies??

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  • #
    pat

    4 Nov: Political: Lauren French: Cory Gardner unseats Mark Udall in Colorado
    With more than 70 percent of the vote recorded, Gardner was beating Udall 51 to 44 percent..
    But a major Democratic super PAC — the NextGen Climate Action (Tom Steyer) — spent aggressively for Udall in support of his positions on climate change…
    During his four years in the House, Gardner has been outspoken about government regulations and has introduced a series of bills to limit or reduce the number of environmental inspections companies have to submit to the Environmental Protection Agency…
    http://www.politico.com/story/2014/11/cory-gardner-unseats-mark-udall-in-colorado-112532.html

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    pat

    just realised anthony has a bunch of stuff re Steyer’s wasted CAGW money:

    5 Nov: WUWT: The day ‘climate change’ became irrelevant in politics – Powerful Green Lobby Defeated In US Midterm Elections
    Andrew Restuccia, Politico, 5 November 2015: For Tom Steyer and other environmentalists, $85 million wasn’t enough to help Democrats keep the Senate blue or win more than a single governor’s mansion in Tuesday’s toughest races. The billionaire’s super PAC and other green groups saw the vast majority of their favored candidates in the battleground states go down to defeat, despite spending an unprecedented amount of money to help climate-friendly Democrats in the midterm elections.
    Will Bunsch, Philadelphia Daily News, 5 November 2014: Climate Change: This was one of the dogs that didn’t bark in the 2014 election, even after liberal billionaire Tom Steyer spent an estimated $70 million to promote the issue and a new U.N. report Sunday warned of “severe, pervasive, and irreversible” global warming that will worsen without environmental policy changes…
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/11/05/the-day-climate-change-became-irrelevant-in-politics-powerful-green-lobby-defeated-in-us-midterm-elections/

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    Leonard Lane

    Thanks for the help. But I still do not know what a psychologist is or does. I asked for a concise definition. Perhaps I should have also asked for specific examples from psychologists and some of their patients.
    Anyone here could tell me what a physician, aircraft pilot, or welder is and does. Sorry, I just don’t get it.

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    • #

      Unfortunately Leonard I think what you’re asking for has no easy or short answer.
      I could just as easily ask you if you can define philosophy? If you can, then I’d suggest that with a few minor word changes you have a definition which suits your interpretation but is unlikely to suit others.

      In my opinion, is psychology a science? Relative to physics, no, it’s not. The term “physics envy” is common in soft sciences. There are no hard and fast rules in psychology, much of it is conjecture and hypothesis that rarely (if ever) attain the status of a theory.

      As an example, when someone lays down on the footpath (sidewalk) of a busy city street, 100 people might just walk past and only a handful will stop to ask if he is ok. The same experiment in a small country village is likely to have people stopping their cars and running to give aid.
      For me, that is the study of psychology.

      If you can get a copy of “Opening Skinner’s Box” by Lauren Slater, I’d highly recommend it. She discusses some of the great psychological experiments of the 20th century. It’s very easy to read because it’s not intended as a text book. You get to read the stories and then think about them. She doesn’t tell you how or what to think, that’s up to you.

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      • #
        Leonard Lane

        Thank you Maxi for a thoughtful answer. I might just read that book you suggest. But I will wait until I can think it through and try to be unbiased.
        Right now, it seems like psychology is an observational technique wherein observations and the observer is free to draw general conclusions based upon their own personal bias and beliefs. That is probably too harsh, and that is why I need to think about it and then investigate more in the most unbiased way possible to see the underlying principles determining the outcome.
        Thanks again. You made me think about it and then do additional digging when I can dig without determining the outcome before the digging. Always good to have someone to make you think about something from a different view.

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    the Griss

    I suspect that at least some people would have voted Republican because of the involvement of Steyer and because of the IPCC “Synthesis” report.

    nb: “synthesis”.. related to synthetic..ie fabricated.

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      the Griss

      that was meant to be a reply to post #17 !

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    • #
      Ron Cook

      Griss,

      Re synthesis! I was thinking along the same lines. Back in my student days doing chemistry at RMIT in Organic Chemistry Prac we were required to synthesise certain organic compounds. In other words fabricate organic compounds.

      Interestingly “to fabricate” can also mean to “make up” or “lie” about something.

      Odd language, English.

      Cheers
      R-COO- K+
      Potassium salt of an aliphatic acid.
      Christened to be a chemist.

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    • #
      Robert

      This is true because it fits in the following list:

      1 – because of the mudslinging campaign ads that informed me they, the Democrats, had no accomplishments to speak of so they had to resort to mudslinging
      2 – the same campaign ads that would take what an opposing candidate had said, and by selectively omitting key pieces of what was said create a false picture of the candidate.
      3 – Because of the involvement of a billionaire like Steyer, who from what I have read is a hypocrite of the first order and who has done nothing of any real value for the common people of this country, all while vilifying people like the Koch brothers because they are billionaires who don’t support leftist ideology.
      4 – the general lack of moral behavior and common decency that has been exhibited by the Democrats all while they accuse the Republicans of things they are just as if not more guilty of.

      Those are just a few of the reasons why people who actually think for themselves about what his happening in the country rather than blindly accepting the media’s version of things are tired of the Democrats.

      Besides, we REALLY needed to get rid of Harry Reid. Now that both he and Pelosi are no longer “in charge” maybe we’ll see something that resembles rationality from congress.

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    Navy Bob

    A more important larger question is, is social psychology worth the paper it’s printed on? (or monitors displayed on?) What possible contribution have the no doubt hundreds of millions of dollars spent on social psychology research – mostly extorted from hapless taxpayers – made to humanity? Or looking at it from the other direction, if all social psychology research findings and social psychologists themselves were suddenly to disappear from the earth, would the world be any different? Would anyone other than their friends and family even notice?

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    • #
      JoKaH

      if all social psychology research findings and social psychologists themselves were suddenly to disappear from the earth, would the world be any different?

      More candidates for the “B” Ark I thinks!!

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    thingadonta

    From Xenophanes, (in which the more things change, the more they stay the same):

    “The Ethiops say that their gods are flat-nosed and black,
    While the Thracians say that theirs have blue eyes and red hair.
    Yet if cattle or horses or lions had hands and could draw,
    And could sculpt like men, then the horses would draw their gods
    Like horses, and cattle like cattle; and each they would shape
    Bodies of gods in the likeness, each kind, of their own.”

    Unfortunately this mind of ours is very predisposed to construct ideas in the form which reveals our limited imagination, and often in which we personally want to be true.

    As for peer review, as long as we have a healthy free market, this generally keeps little enclaves of radical academia in check, as they don’t have much power to force their ideas on the greater community, however once every while in history various ‘academic fantasies’ escape, and get forced or inflicted on the greater populace (e.g. social Darwinism/eugenics, communism, etc etc).

    One sure way to combat this is to ensure academic procedures, rules etc are rigorously enforced; half the problem is usually expediency and sloppy institutional regulation and oversight, in which opportunists take delight. They have rules they don’t bother enforcing, and procedures that nobody follows. (e.g. FOI, data and code availability, feedback mechanisms etc etc)

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    • #
      Ron Cook

      Thingadonta

      In an ideal world you may well be right.

      “As for peer review, as long as we have a healthy free market…………”

      Firstly, I doubt that there is a ‘healthy’ free market anywhere in this corrupt world of ours. Surely this is a little bit idealistic on your part. Or perhaps I misinterpret what you are trying to say and that’s possible.

      Secondly, as for peer review, this is also idealistic as, as can be shown, “peer review” has become “pal review”. If I want to get a paper published I would need to find “friends/PALS” with the same mind set and then I would need to find a “sympathetic” journal in which to publish that paper.

      Cheers
      R-COO- K+
      Potassium salt of am aliphatic acid
      Born to be a chemist.

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      • #
        thingadonta

        Yes Ron,
        obviously ‘healthy free market’ is a sliding scale, by that I mean being allowed to operate without having to regularly pay off the local politician, or having them steal your ideas or business. Secure property rights has been identified as a major factor in the economic health of any country, as, well as low levels of corruption.

        As for ‘pal review’, totally agree. But what is the alternative?. If you are going to publish, there will be gatekeepers of such publications in one sort or another. It can’t work like a market where people just buy what suits them. In that case we would have astrology, UFOS, ghosts, and missions to find Atlantis, as science. Science doesn’t seem to work too well using entertainment as a driving factor. (Perhaps that is the current problem with climate science?).

        What is important is that the gatekeepers of journals are following procedures and standards, although it seems that world academic research /culture has not been able to achieve this to an acceptable level to date, for a variety of reasons, that do not seem to be so easily fixed. Who supervisors the supervisors? (Answer: it seems society does).

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        • #
          Ron Cook

          Thanks for the reply thingadonta.

          “Who supervises the supervisors?” I’m not sure society does. Me, being a cynic :-) LOL, thinks that there are to many possibilities for conflicts of interests.

          C’est la vie

          Cheers
          Ron

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    handjive

    Going O/T.

    Latest excuse from the BoM re: homogenised temperatures:

    The poor quality of early data makes it impossible to conclude with confidence that 1896 was Australia’s hottest summer – the best available estimate is that it was considerably cooler than 2013.”

    https://theconversation.com/factcheck-was-the-1896-heatwave-wiped-from-the-record-33742

    Applying the “logic” (I use the term “logic” VERY loosely), then ALL early data must be “of poor quality”, as it was all done under the same conditions.

    Example #1:

    On the Influence of Carbonic Acid in the Air upon the Temperature of the Ground
    Svante Arrhenius
    Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science Series 5, Volume 41, April 1896,

    http://www.rsc.org/images/Arrhenius1896_tcm18-173546.pdf
    . . .
    Seriously, is this the best these people can do?

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    Bob Malloy

    O/T:

    Question for all, A site I visit often, and has been a great source of climate information for me “Appinsys” has been off the net the last two days. Does anyone know why?

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    DonS

    Hi Jo

    As a scientific field phychology is still in its infancy, relative to other fields it is about where physics or chemistry were in the 1600s, so I’ve always been sceptical about a lot of the findings that are published anyway.

    I have however always thought that there are some real opportunities for PhD students to make a name for themselves in the field. For example a thesis based on the origins of the hatred of humanity exhibited by the Green left, is it an outward projection of self hate or something else?

    I have also found it interesting that the left tend to think the earth mother is going to kill us all with climate change basically because all people, including themselves, are worthless scum i.e. evil, while the right seem to think god will kill us all with Ebola or some plague because we are all sinners i.e. evil. Plenty of work for real psychological research I would have thought.

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      DonS

      Sorry I meant skeptical about psychology not sceptical about phychology. Not having a good morning:)

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      PeterK

      Earth mother always wins…she created us and programmed us with a set number of best before days – unless chance interferes like a car accident, disease or a defect in our person that makes us do something stupid – when our times comes – we die.

      Why is it in our human nature to fret about things we have no control over. It’s one thing to wonder and think about these things but… Life is much better in my humble opinion if we do what we can, with what we’ve got to live to the best of our abilities and to leave the world a little bit of a better place than before we got here. Common sense should reign!

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    Bryl

    Did anyone see that show on TV (SBS I think) where researchers are investigating a link between genetics and political affiliation. It’s a study of twins and they found identical twins were more likely to have almost the same political leanings whereas fraternal twins differed in their political views. Have read somewhere in the past that when identical twins were reared apart (even in different countries) they still shared the same political views. This suggests the issue goes a lot deeper than we think Maybe the only way to solve the issue is to out breed them, which would not be as easy to do as it is to say. After all, it’s the ones “sucking at the teat” that are breeding the most.

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      Yonniestone

      I believe it’s this story about a project by the University of Nebraska focusing on identical twins.

      I didn’t watch it because ironically I’ve genetically self mutated to have a hardwired aversion to anything claiming to be scientific on SBS or ABC, talk about double blind.

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    chrism

    FWIW IMHO Psychology is the science/art that really has worked the earliest & hardest to evaluate statistical methods that are used to evaluate association and causation

    I headed a multicentre international prospective randomised single blind surgical intervention study that was Industry funded

    The upshot was a negative for the Industry intervention (equipment circa $500k each) ie no improved outcome

    That was when they ‘discovered’ the Intervention had 4 (previously unannounced) software upgrades during the study period, shooting the power of the study to virtually Nil

    My take on this is that given the Internet is an almost limitless resource (as opposed to paper and library buildings), ALL studies should be published, with peer reviewer comments, anonymous if need be

    My other Suggestion is that we skeptics ask for government funding for our own institutions, libraries, publications,etc and research and publish formally stuff that the orthodoxy is currently resisting :: just to speed this Kuhnian revolution on

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    pat

    little gratitude from the CAGW choir:

    6 Nov: LA Times: Evan Halper/Mark Z. Barabak: Tom Steyer sees little payoff for millions spent on green issues
    Environmentalists had something in their arsenal for Tuesday’s election they never did before: a billionaire benefactor…
    The Republicans who won control are already making plans to roll back President Obama’s signature emission reduction efforts, green-light the controversial Keystone XL pipeline … and cancel subsidies for renewable energy.
    Steyer says he has no regrets…
    “I feel great,” he said by phone from his organization’s San Francisco office. “We set out to put climate on the ballot in a bunch of states, to build an organization and to build a relationship with a bunch of voters.”…
    He chalked up Tuesday’s results to “that part of the world we don’t control.” …
    G. Terry Madonna, Franklin & Marshall College Poll in Lancaster: “Steyer’s impact was “Zero. None. Zero,” he said. Climate change “was not an issue at all. It has literally no salience with voters. It didn’t ever come up.”…
    Even Steyer’s strategists acknowledge that climate change is not a top-tier issue now. The question is whether it ever will be…
    “This is a multi-cycle effort,” said Chris Lehane, Steyer’s lead political strategist. “If it was easy, it already would have been done…. Social change like this is not like switching on a light bulb.”…
    Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune acknowledged there was a “copious amount of bad news” in Tuesday’s election. But he says there was “significant good news” as well.
    “Candidates who formerly denied climate science are now saying they are not scientists and instead talk about clean energy and associate themselves with it,” he said.
    “The money from Tom Steyer made a difference in elevating climate science and pushing all these lawmakers to move off a denial platform,” Brune said.
    http://www.latimes.com/nation/politics/la-na-steyer-environment-20141106-story.html#page=1

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    pat

    Steyer as “David”, Kochs make an appearance & a possible run for the Presidency?

    6 Nov: Politico: Where did Steyer’s stragegy go wrong?
    By ANDREW RESTUCCIA and DARREN GOODE; Kenneth P. Vogel contributed to this report.
    Still, the anti-Steyer grumbling started on election night, when some Democratic operatives said privately that instead of giving at least $57.6 million to his own NextGen Climate Action Committee, Steyer would have gotten more for his money by donating it to the party’s blessed super PACs…
    “I think it’s safe to say that Tom has to be hurting in a huge way and that sometimes Goliath wins,” one long-time climate campaigner said. “I don’t expect David to give up, but he may need to look at a different way of joining the battle.”
    Former South Carolina Rep. Bob Inglis, one of the few prominent Republicans calling for action on climate change, said Steyer’s problem is that he’s not doing enough to appeal to conservative-leaning voters…
    “I wish that he had gone to the right and not to the left. He could have played up his credentials as a very successful businessman and Stanford MBA to present free enterprise as the answer to climate,” said Inglis, who is a vocal advocate of a carbon tax. “Somewhere along the way, he chose to go left and work on the left. I think we see the limits of that now.”…
    Still, Steyer’s personal brand reached new heights. He’s been the subject of near-constant media attention for months, participating in high-profile stories in The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Los Angeles Times, POLITICO and even Men’s Journal, and he drew publicity by challenging conservative big-money titans Charles and David Koch to a debate on climate change. (They declined.) Unlike other notoriously private major donors, Steyer relishes the attention, cultivating his image in the press and setting the stage for his possible future political ambitions…
    “He becomes one of the most popular and sought after people in Democratic politics regardless because he’s written the checks and has the courage to write the checks,” veteran New York-based Democratic strategist Hank Sheinkopf said. “This may open up a different kind of political future for him. He could be kingmaker or he could be king. That’s his decision.”
    But “he’s going to have to change his tactics if he wants to win elections,” Sheinkopf said. That includes “picking better targets” and not being overly creative with his ads and media campaign, he said.
    “You don’t have to be Picasso to win a campaign,” he said.
    http://www.politico.com/story/2014/11/where-did-steyers-strategy-go-wrong-112624.html?hp=r2

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    Brute

    It’s intellectual tribalism and goes on in every field.

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    Sociology is even worse. I flunked a Sociology class in college. Taking it over, and hiding ALL my beliefs, while producing a parody “gush” paper (“Intellectual Journal”) that parroted all the very very far left attudes got me a B+ grade. BTW, in the first go round, I protested my grade. The final exam clearly showed it had been graded one way, then downgraded a couple of grades to D. Even that, when plugged into their advertized formula for calculating the grade with my other ‘points’, did not justify my final (D) grade. The answer from the “Review Committee”? ~”The professor is free to assign any grade they deem appropriate regardless of published materials and to regrade tests as they see fit.”

    So that was when I decided to conduct an experiment. Same person. SAME professor. (Lucky me, in a class of several hundred Smith does not stand out…) and a completely BS “Journal”. Just parrotted tripe, often exagerated for effect. The result? Several notations of “Original Idea!”. And “Great Point!”. Basically, as long as you said White Men Are Evil, Racist, and Hate Women; you get an A. As long as you say “Money needs to be given to anyone other than White Men”, you get an A. As long as you say “Capitolism is Evil and Socialism is Good”; you get an A.

    My final grade showed that thesis is true, as that is what I did in my “journal” and on “exams”…

    I now consider Social Science and Sociology to be defined as the indoctrination and propaganda arms of Socialism. That is what the evidence shows…

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    pat

    ABC is in melt-down over the mid-term election results in the US. Rod Quinn with NY-based Gabriel Fitzgerald on Overnight could barely string together two sentences on the subject. it was all excuses for why the vote was meaningless & cutting back to talking about daylight saving in Australia, China & US!!! incoherent babble.

    but Phillip Adams – who admitted he was bemoaning the mid-term results – was even funnier. CAGW as a ‘CULTURAL INFLUENCE’:

    AUDIO: 6 Nov: ABC Late Night Live: Phillip Adams: Political power of Southern Baptists
    Guest: Robert Wuthnow, Professor of Sociology and the Director of the Centre for the Study of Religion at Princeton University.
    (beginning 26 mins in)
    WUTHNOW: at least for the forseeable future, the Republicans are going to have a strong grip on Texas.
    ADAMS: there may be another dynamic that will help, shall we say, to NORMALISE southern politics. i cannot believe the young members of even the southern baptists, the methodists, or other evangelical groups are entirely immune from the CULTURAL INFLUENCES around them, issues like CLIMATE CHANGE MAY, IN FACT, RADICALISE THEM, AT LEAST SUFFICIENTLY TO UNDERMINE THIS MONOLITHIC RIGHTWING FORCE.
    Wuthnow: Yes, that is absolutely correct…
    http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/latenightlive/southern-baptists-and-us-politics/5871808

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    pat

    Phillip Adams will be pleased about this!

    7 Nov: The Conversation: Our kids need to learn about climate change
    By Libby Tudball, Senior Lecturer, Monash University
    The conclusions published by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) this week provide a wake-up call about the importance of teaching kids about sustainability. The IPCC’s dire warnings are based on new evidence just released on the impact of climate change…
    How to get kids involved
    How to do this was a big question discussed in Hobart this week by over 350 participants in the Australian Association for Environmental Education conference…
    Teachers, school leaders, academics, local council program leaders, members of NGOs and youth organisations discussed action plans including school gardening and food growing, healthy eating, buying locally sourced products and implementing energy awareness programs…
    Greens leader Christine Milne added her voice at the conference, urging more government support for education programs focused on sustainability..
    What do we need to do now?
    Environmental degradation, climate change, species extinction, rising sea levels, excessive or unequal consumption, resource depletion and lack of wellness in our world are local and global problems, so students need to learn what is going on. But we seem to have lost even a veneer of political commitment to sustainability at the federal level….
    http://theconversation.com/our-kids-need-to-learn-about-climate-change-33833

    Twitter on Australian Association for Environmental Education
    https://twitter.com/hashtag/AAEE2014?src=hash

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    pat

    i posted this on WUWT Lewandowsky thread just now, as Kasra seems to be a Lew convert. mind u, i have found no evidence of Kasra being a CAGW sceptic or ever contributing at CAGW sceptic websites over the years:

    6 Nov: Salon.com: I was once a climate change denier
    I’m a scientist now, but the embarrassment lingers. Here’s why I let myself be duped — and how I came to my senses.
    Kasra Hassani, The Tyee
    I, a scientist with a PhD in microbiology and immunology, was a climate change denier. Wait, let me add, I was an effective climate change denier: I would throw on a cloak of anecdotal evidence, biased one-sided skepticism and declare myself a skeptic…
    So what happened to me then? What was the revelation? How did I enter…
    The ‘Tear down the conspiracy wall!’ phase
    I began to actively pursue knowledge on how to discuss climate change with conspiracy theorists (the ones who believe in conspiracies in principle and therefore are more likely to be climate change deniers) and I realized my strong-held beliefs and stubbornness matched the same criteria as the people I was trying to convince. I was a denier myself…
    http://www.salon.com/2014/11/06/i_was_once_a_climate_change_denier_partner/

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      Thanks pat.
      An entire book could be written about the psychological conditions demonstrated by Kasra Hassani.
      How on Earth is it possible for somebody to gain a PhD in microbiology and immunology and yet be so completely ignorant of the scientific method?

      “Good scientists are skeptics, right? I sallied forth and denied every piece of evidence that was presented to me for a relatively long time.”

      “Good scientists are skeptics,…”.
      There’s no question about it. So why express it as a question?

      “I sallied forth and denied every piece of evidence that was presented to me…”.
      One cannot deny evidence unless one can show that the evidence is faulty. So, she sallied forth and showed that every piece of evidence presented to her was faulty. WOW! She deserves more than a PhD, immediate sainthood would not be enough.

      All this after just completing a PhD? A real scientist learns more AFTER they have been granted a PhD, not because of it.

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    J.H.

    “…more than ninety per cent reported themselves to be liberal, and just under four per cent, conservative.”

    The problem with the Americans is that they have hijacked the term “liberal” to label their Socialism with.

    The truth is that they now think that their “Socialism” is liberal thinking….. They become more “truthful” when they label themselves “Progressives”. It is there that their Socialism is naked and unabashed.

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    TRE

    Let me get this straight: A thermometer from the past cannot be trusted…but a flipping TREE RING (!!!!) is gospel???!!!
    My gosh, these people have their snouts so far in the trough, it’s shut off the oxygen to their tiny lizard brains…

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    TRE

    OOPS Posted to the wrong header!!

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