I previously posted about the astounding news that English professors are more likely to be left-leaning than otherwise.
There’s been a fair amount of debate and anger about why conservatives are under-represented in academia. Some conservatives have accused universities of unfair hiring practices, while others have suggested that conservative thinkers avoid academia due to an environment that’s hostile to their political opinions.
There’s probably some of that going on, but new research suggests that the main force is more likely something completely different: Personal interests.
Conservatives, as a rule, seem to value a way of life that academia can’t give them. From the paper:
“Conservatives are simultaneously more family oriented, less interested in writing original works, more focused on financial success, less interested in developing a meaningful philosophy of life, and less interested in making a theoretical contribution to science [than liberals].”
The authors of the study, a wife and husband (he’s conservative, she’s liberal), say that these interests more than anything else point to the political make-up of university faculties.