Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Berkeley Study: In Response To Critics

I know this will just create more controversy, but I have an exam to study for and not enough time to write out another diatribe explaining how I find fault with the actual study.

Anyone can call me an unpolished, naive young college student disillusioned by his lack of real-world experience. But can you say the same for National Review columnist Jonah Goldberg? I'm sure every liberal reading will prematurely say "YES" but just wait. Goldberg follows in the footsteps of great conservative intellectual William F Buckley Jr. as editor of the National Review.

And regarding the aforementioned Berkeley study the San Francisco Gate states, "At the National Review Online, columnist Jonah Goldberg termed the research "more bogus than a $6 Rolex."

Now if you will excuse me, I have some studying to do. Look forward to a full examination of the ORIGINAL study which will be forthcoming.

P.S. - all personal beliefs and politics aside, when the San Francisco Gate refers to the article with "Getting in touch with the Mussolini inside: A trip inside the conservative mind is a perilous journey indeed" you can rest assured that the findings pleased their liberal appetites.


PK said...

Your response indicates that you take issue "with the actual study." But it seems that you're rationalizing your initial response by taking your queue from Jonah Goldberg and that he should be trusted because he follows "in the footsteps of (...) William F Buckley Jr." It would be nice to get a link to Goldberg's analysis that leads him to conclude that the research is "more bogus than a $6 Rolex."

One of the big problems with political analysis today, and this is a problem in most cases (including Goldberg, usually) is that there is no longer any analysis, simply opinion. In my view, it is wholly unreasonable to suggest that a study is "bogus" unless there is cogent analysis that demonstrates (i) where errors were made, (ii) how data were corrupted, and/or (iii) when alternative interpretations could also be supported. Assuming that Goldberg (or any other writer/analyst) must have good reasons to believe something is simply not good enough!

I am not an avid reader of Goldberg (I rarely read his columns since I feel they lack substance) and I haven't read his particular column on this issue but it would be nice to actually have actual specific issues to be raised, not simply anecdotal statements that distill down to stating that you don't believe it because you can't imagine that it's true.

I am glad to see that you'll be looking into the study itself and I look forward to seeing your analysis of the actual study. In the meantime, good luck on your midterms.

PS. I was easily able to find the SF Gate article that you refer to and it gives a bit of an indication about the authors themselves, but very little. They mention some of the rebuttal provided by other researchers and discuss some of that. The article isn't as biased as the title, but it is biased and even though the actual quotes are informative, the article is poor.

Anonymous said...

The National Review's Jonah Goldberg has termed the study "more bogus than a $6 Rolex"? And this opinion is supposed to tell us what, exactly?

Just because Goldberg - or any media pundit - gets paid for his opinions it doesn't make them any more right, regardless of whatever footsteps that said media pundit is following (or perceived to be following). So drop the media-personality worship / group-think already, and think for yourself instead.

And as others have noted, it's not a "Berkeley study" - the researchers are from three universities, with the lead author from Stanford. But then, labelling it, say, as a "Stanford Graduate School of Business study" wouldn't fit the propaganda narrative that you are trying to disseminate, now would it.

This isn't a game with teams, where it's all about scoring points for your side, regardless of the truth, Jeremy. Or, at least, it shouldn't be: democracy can only function correctly when the electorate is truthfully informed. It's OK to have and express opinions that differ from those whom you consider to be the leaders and/or talking heads for your 'team' - really.

PK said...

One issue that many have commented on is where the study originated from. Taking a look at the actual article, we can see the following:

"This work first began while John T. Jost was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Maryland at College Park, supported by National Institute of Mental Health Grant R01-MH52578, National Science Foundation Grant SBR-9417422, and a Research Scientist Award KO5-MHO 1213 to Arie W. Kruglanski. Work continued while Jack Glaser was a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Personality and Social Research at the University of California, Berkeley and sponsored by National Institute of Mental Health Grant F32-MH12195 and while Arie W. Kruglanski (supported by National Science Foundation Grant SBR-9022192) and Frank J. Sulloway were fellows at the Center for Advanced Studies of Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. Further financial and administrative support for this project was provided by the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University and the Jackson Library Document Delivery Service."

Support for the study was provided by multiple sources and it does seem as if the bulk of the data analysis was performed at a time when at least most of the researchers were at Stanford in the Center for Advanced Studies of Behavioral Sciences.

Jeremy, any chance to read the article yet? It's quite interesting... I hope the exams are going well. It looks like you've found quite a bit of time to post on numerous topics today so the schedule must not be too bad... Ah, to be a sophomore in college again!