A professor of law and psychology at Yale set out to discredit the Tea Party but was forced to admit he was wrong.
Robby Soave of The Daily Caller has the story.
Prof sets out to prove tea partiers are stupid, admits he was wrong
A Yale University professor conducted a cross-analysis of intelligence and political affiliation, expecting to find that people who identified with the tea party knew less about science than the average person.
Instead, he discovered the opposite: tea party members have higher than average rates of scientific comprehension.
That may come as no surprise to members of the movement, which champions limited government and the Constitution. But what will shock tea partiers is this: Not only did the professor publicize the results, but he readily admitted that he had changed his pre-conceived notions about his political opponents.
Dan Kahan, professor of law and psychology at Yale, took a data point that he described as “scientific comprehension” and cross-referenced it with different political affiliations. He found that in general, Democrats and liberals scored better than Republicans and conservatives. However, when he limited his analysis to people who self-identify with the Tea Party, he found them to be highly knowledgeable about science.
“Identifying with the Tea Party correlates positively … with scores on the science comprehension measure,” he wrote.
Kahan readily admitted that this result contradicted his expectations — he assumed that Tea Party members would score manifestly worst on measures of scientific knowledge.
“I’ve got to confess, though, I found this result surprising,” he wrote. “As I pushed the button to run the analysis on my computer, I fully expected I’d be shown a modest negative correlation between identifying with the Tea Party and science comprehension.”
Kahan also admitted that his pre-conceived notions about the Tea Party were based on what he heard from liberal media sources, such as MSNBC, the Huffington Post and the New York Times.
Prof sets out to prove tea partiers are stupid, admits he was wrong (The Daily Caller)