Social science

Latest Social Science: Better Looking People Are Conservative

Featured image Regular readers know that one basic problem with social science is that often it spends time proving what is obvious to any alert eight-year-old, though social scientists sometimes strain to defy common sense. So in the past, we’ve reported on social science studies that prove conservative politicians are better looking than liberal politicians, that conservatives smell better than liberals (it’s called “bathing,” libs), and that conservatives are “better groomed” than »

Social Science: The Boss Hogg Hypothesis Confirmed

Featured image You know how political cartoons and other stylistic portrayals of political corruption often depict the offending office holders as fat? (It’s the only kind of “fat-shaming” still allowed, I think.) Well, some social scientists got to wondering, and came up with the following article—which I swear is for real—published last week in the journal Economics of Transition and Institutional Change: Obesity of politicians and corruption in post‐Soviet countries Pavlo Blavatskyy, »

And Now For . . . Data Feminism?

Featured image Feminists were rightly annoyed a couple decades back when Mattel released a talking Barbie doll who had among its canned sound bites the phrase “Math is hard!” But does it help the cause of gender parity in math and science to propose that there is a distinct feminist perspective on data? This is the question of a recent book from MIT Press (which seems to specialize in bizarre leftist books), »

New Social Science of Note

Featured image I try to keep up with some social science, partly for the amusement value, and partly because social science is sometimes useful for proving the obvious (which is also amusing). But I’ve been falling behind in posting highlights, so it is time to catch up. First up, do you think it is really necessary to prove that good looking people enjoy a lot of advantages in life? Apparently this proposition »

It’s Official: Guitar Players Really Do Get More Chicks

Featured image From the continuing annals of social science: this time the journal Psychology of Music proves the obvious once again (which is what social science is best at when it “proves” anything). Men’s music ability and attractiveness to women in a real-life courtship context Nicolas Guéguen, Université de Bretagne-Sud, France; Sébastien Meineri, Université de Bretagne-Sud, France; Jacques Fischer-Lokou, Université de Paris-Sud, France Abstract This experiment tested the assumption that music plays a »

Found: The Stupidest Political Science Study Ever

Featured image You know how the left is obsessed with proving that Trump’s election is entirely owing to Russian Kallusion. Now we have empirical social science to prove it! At last! From the “peer-reviewed” internet journal First Monday (I’ve never heard of it either) comes this new study from several academics at the University of Tennessee: “Internet Research Agency Twitter Activity Predicted 2016 Election Polls.” The Internet Research Agency (IRA) is the »

You Think What You Eat?

Featured image Back in December I brought you the latest social science findings about the ideological meaning of . . . coffee choices. Sure enough, liberals do drink more lattes than conservatives, in part, the authors of the study speculated, because a preference for latte could somehow be connected to a more cosmopolitan, internationalist outlook, whereas the xenophobia of conservatives inclined them against liking Eurotrash beverages. Whatever. But the joke was on »

Nathan Glazer, RIP

Featured image Sad news today of the passing of the sociologist Nathan Glazer at the age of 95. Glazer was among those liberal social scientists who, starting in the late 1960s, began having serious second thoughts about the liberal policy paradigm. As the New York Times puts it in its obituary notice: Mr. Glazer’s turn to neoconservatism followed an almost paradigmatic path. Throughout the 1950s, and even after he went to work »

Settled Science: There Really Are ‘Latte Liberals’

Featured image I’m sure most readers took note of the hoax identity politics academic journal articles recently, but I have found a real article that you could easily suppose to be a hoax. The article is “The Real Reason Liberals Drink Lattes,” and it appears in PS, which is a secondary journal of the American Political Science Association (APSA). (That’s PS, not BS, you wiseacres out there!) This relevant bit of social »

“Ban the Box” Gets Boxed in Again

Featured image We reported here last year about research showing that a favorite Obama policy initiative known as “Ban the Box” (that is, prohibit employers from inquiring about a person’s criminal history on employment applications) was having the opposite effect, and was increasing discrimination against blacks. Two women economists writing in the Quarterly Journal of Economics concluded: Our results support the concern that BTB policies encourage racial discrimination: the black-white gap in »

Science: The Cultural Politics of Gluten

Featured image And now for something completely different. . . Sometimes science can be positively hilarious, except when it sets up another screen for detecting bigotry and sexism. That’s the case for a brand new study just out from the National Institutes of Health entitled “Too picky for my taste? The effect of the gluten-free dietary restriction on impressions of romantic partners.” Summary: turns out that being gluten-free is just fine if »

Conservatives Pass the Smell Test

Featured image Oh those wacky social scientists. In past years we’ve noted the social “science” findings that conservatives are supposedly paranoid, dumb, authoritarian (though in one celebrated case, the study gots its codes backwards and it was actually liberals who were all of these things), but also that conservatives are better looking than liberals, and even smell better, too. But it turns out—can you believe it?—that conservatives have a better sense of smell »

Is America a Seething Hotbed of Racism and Bigotry?

Featured image The premise of diversity training at places like Google (and the various identity politics departments in universities that churn out endless theories of racism, sexism, etc. that back it up) is that implicit racism, sexism and all-around bigotry is pervasive in American society. Maybe DNC members like Bull Connor no longer turn firehoses on blacks in the South, and maybe Democratic jurists like Roger Taney no longer openly proclaim white »

Silicon Valley’s Next Gender Thoughtcrime

Featured image Power Line can announce that it has identified the next Gender Thoughtcrime offender in Silicon Valley, and it is a doozy. First, here are a few samples from the transgressing article (author ID and publication reference at the end): [O]ver the past 15 years or so, there’s been a sea change as new technologies have generated a growing pile of evidence that there are inherent differences in how men’s and »

Liberals Are For Science—Until They’re Not

Featured image I think it was our pal Charles Kesler who first quipped that “social Darwinism” was the only kind of Darwinism liberals opposed—a line I have deployed to great effect many times. But it appears he may be mistaken about this. It appears that liberals are increasingly upset with evolutionary science as it reveals gender differences, and goodness, some of this science might even show up on a Google search, at »

How Google Has Just Harmed Its Women Employees

Featured image Last week we noted here how the move to “ban the box” of criminal convictions on employment application forms actually increased discrimination against blacks, and with its decision to fire the author of the infamous “diversity memo,” Google has just done its women employees a huge disservice, likely leading to more discrimination against women. David Bernstein of the Scalia Law School at George Mason University offers this shrewd observation: How »

Liberalism Backfires Again, Chapter 14,279

Featured image One thing that is reliable about liberal policy ideas is that they will generate unintended consequences and perverse results, 95 out of 100 times. So of course one might have predicted that the move to “ban the box” asking about criminal convictions on employment application forms would result in increased racial discrimination. And now we have the social science to back up this common sense perception. From the Quarterly Journal »