Thursday, July 20, 2006

Don't trust social science researchers: A colleague told me once that research shows that one's college experience does not affect political orientation. I told him I was skeptical of this idea since colleges live to crank out fresh liberals. I know most professors put people to sleep, but you mean to tell me four years of indoctrination does not work? Well, let's see what the all-wise, all-knowing GSS says. I looked at the question about your politics ranging from extremely liberal (1) through extremely conservative (7).
Here are the means for freshman through seniors:

Mean "conservatism" score:
Freshman 4.47
Sophomores 3.53
Juniors 3.46
Seniors 3.40

We see here a very clear move left as one accumulates years of college. The freshman average is between moderate (4) and slightly conservative (5), while seniors are between moderate and slightly liberal (3).

I recommend that you folks do as much data analysis of your own as you can because, frankly, I don't trust social science researchers.

Black-white differences in glaucoma

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