Conservatives continue to claim that major institutions like the media and universities have a liberal bias. Minnesota Republican Michele Bachmann went as far as to introduce a law that would make it illegal for university professors to discriminate against students who hold conservative views.
But a new study shows that this type of bias does not in fact exist. The study looked at both students who held conservative views, who felt that they were treated unfairly by liberal professors, and liberal students who felt that they were treated unfairly by conservative professors. But what they found was really interesting. The students who felt they were being treated unfairly — left or right — were those who are resistant to change in their own lives and attitudes.
In other words, the problem was not the professors, the problem was students who were resistant to new ideas. For example, they looked at classrooms where a student complained about bias, and found that other students with similar political beliefs in the same classroom did not experience bias. Students who did complain about bias were much more likely to have trouble hearing new ideas — even students on the left who complained about bias from conservative faculty.
Since the whole idea of higher education is to learn and critically evaluate new ideas, it is not surprising that a student who is resistant to new ideas might have trouble.