Systems of (non-)diversity

Abstract

Intrinsic to the social, educational and behavioural sciences is the aim of addressing patterned variation in human thought and action across settings. Surprisingly, however, empirical work in these sciences continues to be limited by a lack of diversity in study populations, research methodology and the researchers themselves. This Perspective analyses these dimensions of diversity as they are situated in and affected by the larger organizational systems for publication, grants and academic advancement. This complex system appears to operate in a mutually reinforcing manner to discourage diversity. Our analysis suggests that diversity goals central to our sciences will require systems-level action rather than a focus on any one component in isolation.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1

    Medin, D. L. & Bang, M. Who’s Asking? Native Science, Western Science and Science Education (MIT Press, 2014).

    Google Scholar 

  2. 2

    Henrich, J., Heine, S. J. & Norenzayan, A. Most people are not WEIRD. Nature 466, 29 (2010).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3

    Arnett, J. J. The neglected 95%, a challenge to psychology’s philosophy of science. Am. Psychol. 64, 571–574 (2008).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4

    Lehman, D. R. & Nisbett, R. E. A longitudinal study of the effects of undergraduate training on reasoning. Dev. Psychol. 26, 952–960 (1990).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5

    Frank, R. H., Gilovich, T. D. & Regan, D. T. Do economists make bad citizens?. J. Econ. Perspect. 10, 187–192 (1996).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6

    Frank, R. H., Gilovich, T. & Regan, D. T. Does studying economics inhibit cooperation?. J. Econ. Perspect. 7, 159–171 (1993).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7

    Wang, L., Malhotra, D. & Murnighan, J. K. Economics education and greed. Acad. Manag. Learn. Edu. 10, 643–660 (2011).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8

    Ojalehto, B. & Medin, D. in Emerging Trends in the Social and Behavioral Sciences: An Interdisciplinary, Searchable, and Linkable Resource (eds Scott, R. & Kosslyn, S. ) (John Wiley and Sons, 2015).

    Google Scholar 

  9. 9

    Carey, S. The Origin of Concepts (Oxford Univ. Press, 2009).

    Google Scholar 

  10. 10

    Gelman, S. A. & Legare, C. H. Concepts and folk theories. Annu. Rev. Anthropol. 40, 379–398 (2011).

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  11. 11

    Shweder, R. A. et al. Likeness and likelihood in everyday thought: magical thinking in judgments about personality [and comments and reply]. Curr. Anthropol. 18, 637–658 (1977).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. 12

    Carey, S. Conceptual Change in Childhood (MIT Press, 1985).

    Google Scholar 

  13. 13

    Medin, D. L., Waxman, S. R., Woodring, J. & Washinawatok, K. Human-centeredness is not a universal feature of young children’s reasoning: culture and experience matter when reasoning about biological entities. Cogn. Dev. 25, 197–207 (2010).

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  14. 14

    Waxman, S., Medin, D. & Ross, N. Folkbiological reasoning from a cross-cultural developmental perspective: early essentialist notions are shaped by cultural beliefs. Dev. Psychol. 43, 294–308 (2007).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. 15

    Herrmann, P., Waxman, S. R. & Medin, D. L. Anthropocentrism is not the first step in children’s reasoning about the natural world. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 107, 9979–9984 (2010).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. 16

    Atran, S. & Medin, D. The Native Mind and the Cultural Construction of Nature (MIT Press, 2008).

    Google Scholar 

  17. 17

    Bang, M., Medin, D. L. & Atran, S. Cultural mosaics and mental models of nature. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 104, 13868–13874 (2007).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  18. 18

    Mullainathan, S. & Shafir, E. Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much (Henry Holt and Company, 2013).

    Google Scholar 

  19. 19

    Shah, A. K., Shafir, E. & Mullainathan, S. Scarcity frames value. Psychol. Sci. 26, 402–412 (2015).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. 20

    Majid, A. & Levinson, S. C. The senses in language and culture. Senses Soc. 6, 5–18 (2011).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. 21

    Wnuk, E. & Majid, A. Revisiting the limits of language: the odor lexicon of Maniq. Cognition 131, 125–138 (2014).

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  22. 22

    Majid, A. & Burenhult, N. Odors are expressible in language, as long as you speak the right language. Cognition 130, 266–270 (2014).

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  23. 23

    Hruschka, D. & Hadley, C. How much do universal anthropometric standards bias the global monitoring of obesity and undernutrition?. Obes. Rev. 17, 1030–1039 (2016).

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  24. 24

    Medin, D. L., Bennis, W. & Chandler, M. Culture and the home-field disadvantage. Perspect. Psychol. Sci. 5, 708–713 (2010).

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  25. 25

    Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America’s Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads (National Academies Press, 2011).

  26. 26

    Gutiérrez, K. D. & Rogoff, B. Cultural ways of learning: individual traits or repertoires of practice. Educ. Researcher 32, 19–25 (2003).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. 27

    Small, M. F. & Hrdy, S. B. Secondary sex ratios by maternal rank, parity, and age in captive rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta). Am. J. Primatol. 11, 359–365 (1986).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. 28

    Graham, S. & Hudley, C. in Handbook of Competence and Motivation (eds Elliot, A. J. & Dweck, C. S. ) 392–413 (Guildford Press, 2005).

    Google Scholar 

  29. 29

    Spencer, S. Race and Ethnicity: Culture, Identity and Representation (Routledge, 2006).

    Google Scholar 

  30. 30

    Crocker, J. & Major, B. Social stigma and self-esteem: the self-protective properties of stigma. Psychol. Rev. 96, 608–630 (1989).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. 31

    Kohlberg, L. The claim to moral adequacy of a highest stage of moral judgment. J. Philos. 70, 630–646 (1973).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. 32

    Kohlberg, L. The Psychology of Moral Development: The Nature and Validity of Moral Stages (Harper & Row, 1984).

    Google Scholar 

  33. 33

    Gilligan, C. In a Different Voice: Psychological Theory and Women’s Development (Harvard Univ. Press, 1982).

    Google Scholar 

  34. 34

    Snarey, J. R. Cross-cultural universality of social-moral development: a critical review of Kohlbergian research. Psychol. Bull. 97, 202–232 (1985).

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  35. 35

    Duarte, J. L. et al. Political diversity will improve social psychological science. Behav. Brain Sci. 38, e130 (2015).

  36. 36

    Mountz, A. et al. For slow scholarship: a feminist politics of resistance through collective action in the neoliberal university. ACME 14, 1235–1259 (2015).

    Google Scholar 

  37. 37

    Payne, P. G. & Wattchow, B. Phenomenological deconstruction, slow pedagogy, and the corporeal turn in wild environmental/outdoor education. Can. J. Environ. Educ. 14, 15–32 (2009).

    Google Scholar 

  38. 38

    Fiedler, K. What constitutes strong psychological science? The (neglected) role of diagnosticity and a priori theorizing. Perspect. Psychol. Sci. 12, 46–61 (2017).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  39. 39

    Neisser, U. in Practical Aspects of Memory (eds Gruneberg, M. M, Morris, P. F. & Sykes, R. N. ) 3–24 (Academic Press, 1978).

    Google Scholar 

  40. 40

    Rozin, P. Social psychology and science: some lessons from Solomon Asch. Pers. Soc. Psychol. Rev. 5, 2–14 (2001).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  41. 41

    Rozin, P. What kind of empirical research should we publish, fund, and reward? A different perspective. Perspect. Psychol. Sci. 4, 435–439 (2009).

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  42. 42

    Lloyd, G. E. R. Cognitive variations: reflections on the unity and diversity of the human mind. (Oxford Univ. Press, 2007).

    Google Scholar 

  43. 43

    Yoshikawa, H., Mistry, R. & Wang, Y. Advancing methods in research on Asian American children and youth. Child Dev. 87, 1033–1050 (2016).

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  44. 44

    Van Bavel, J. J., Mende-Siedlecki, P., Brady, W. J. & Reinero, D. A. Contextual sensitivity in scientific reproducibility. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 113, 6454–6459 (2016).

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  45. 45

    Baumeister, R. F., Vohs, K. D. & Funder, D. C. Psychology as the science of self-reports and finger movements: whatever happened to actual behavior?. Perspect. Psychol. Sci. 2, 396–403 (2007).

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  46. 46

    Hofmann, W., Wisneski, D. C., Brandt, M. J. & Skitka, L. J. Morality in everyday life. Science 345, 1340–1343 (2014).

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  47. 47

    Hofmann, W. & Patel, P. V. SurveySignal: a convenient solution for experience sampling research using participants’ own smartphones. Soc. Sci. Comput. Rev. 33, 235–253 (2015).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  48. 48

    Fischhoff, B. The real world: what good is it?. Organ. Behav. Hum. Decis. Process. 65, 232–248 (1996).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  49. 49

    Bennis, W. M., Medin, D. L. & Bartels, D. M. The costs and benefits of calculation and moral rules. Perspect. Psychol. Sci. 5, 187–202 (2010).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  50. 50

    Lepper, M. & Greene, D. Turning play into work: effects of adult surveillance and extrinsic rewards on children’s intrinsic motivation. J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 31, 479–486 (1975).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  51. 51

    Goswami, I. & Urminsky, O. The dynamic effect of incentives on postreward task engagement. J. Exp. Psychol. Gen. 146, 1–19 (2017).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  52. 52

    Gneezy, U., Meier, S. & Rey-Biel, P. When and why incentives (don’t) work to modify behavior. J. Econ. Perspect. 25, 191–209 (2011).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  53. 53

    Jackson, C. K. A little now for a lot later a look at a texas advanced placement incentive program. J. Hum. Resour. 45, 591–639 (2010).

    Google Scholar 

  54. 54

    Sternberg, R. J. Who are the bright children? The cultural context of being and acting intelligent. Educ. Researcher 36, 148–155 (2007).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  55. 55

    Sternberg, R. J. & The Rainbow Project Collaborators. The Rainbow Project: enhancing the SAT through assessments of analytical, practical, and creative skills. Intelligence 34, 321–350 (2006).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  56. 56

    Sternberg, R. J., Bonney, C. R., Gabora, L. & Merrifield, M. WICS: a model for college and university admissions. Educ. Psychol. 47, 30–41 (2012).

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Douglas Medin.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Medin, D., Ojalehto, B., Marin, A. et al. Systems of (non-)diversity. Nat Hum Behav 1, 0088 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41562-017-0088

Download citation

Further reading