Social science

This Week in Social Science

Featured image Given how the cultural left dislikes manliness as “toxic masculinity,” maybe we shouldn’t be surprised to find some social science behind wimpy liberalism. Behold: Testosterone Administration Induces A Red Shift in Democrats Paul Zak, Claremont Graduate University Abstract: We tested the fixity of political preferences of 136 healthy males during the 2011 U.S. presidential election season by administering synthetic testosterone or placebo to participants who had identified the strength of »

Re-Imagine Actual Policing

Featured image Nothing so fully exposes the dream world of the left, in which good intentions and sentiments are thought sufficient to make reality bend to their will, than the enthusiasm for “re-imagining policing” that went along with the “Defund the Police” mania post-George Floyd. If we just “re-imagine” something, it will happen! We don’t even need to close our eyes and click our heels! And one of the leading ideas was »

Why Do Democrats Hate Children?

Featured image When Democrats aren’t trying to keep children out of school and (not) learning online, or requiring them to wear masks when they’re (not) learning in crappy union-run public schools, they’re trying to warehouse them in government-run universal child care programs. Universal child care is one of the centerpieces of the Democrats’ BBB Bill (better known as “Biden’s Big Blunder”). Yet the people who scream “follow the science” never seem to »

The “Follow ‘the Science'” Clown Show

Featured image “Follow the science” has become one of the most tiresome clichés of our time. It didn’t begin with the climate hustle, and it won’t end with the government’s COVID power lust, which is doing more than the endless hyperbole of the climatistas to reveal to the public what a clown show “authoritative” science has become. The roots of this pretense stretch back to the Enlightenment and the rise of the narrow empiricism »

The Declining Relevance of Legal Scholarship

Featured image It has been a long-running theme of mine that academic social science, which at its birth promised to bring “scientific” research to bear on solving practical human problems, is increasingly detached from the real world and of almost no use to the larger world. Partly this is because of defects or limitations of positivist social science, the overwhelming leftist bias of most academic social scientists, and the deliberate aloofness of »

Loose Ends (123)

Featured image • First of all, happy Groundhog Day: • Second of all, happy Groundhog Day. • Okay, enough with the jokes. Serious question: Who shot Ashli Babbitt? Usually after a law enforcement involved fatal shooting, we know the name of the officer within a day or two. But the officer who fired the fatal shot at Ashli Babbitt on January 6 has still not been publicly identified, even though news is »

The Geek in Pictures

Featured image I’ve got a large backlog of interesting charts, graphs, and tables that I haven’t had a chance to offer up with analysis or commentary, so today I’m going to do a Friday Afternoon Chart Dump just for everyone’s edification. Most of these I’ll post without comment, because you can figure them out for yourselves. Or think of this perhaps as “The Geek in Pictures.” I’ll show myself out. Two more »

The Biggest Defect of the Left [with comment by Paul]

Featured image When asked to name the single greatest defect of the left, I usually answer quite narrowly: an inability to think in terms of tradeoffs. This is why liberals, owing to a Kantian-inspired disposition that favors intentions above consequences, tend always to utopianism, to the view that we if we just have good will and another tax increase, we can have the best yearbook ever! As Thomas Sowell likes to say, “There »

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 »