Thursday, July 6, 2017

Ideological predicate assumptions

From Microaggressions? Prejudice remains a huge social evil but evidence for harm caused by microaggression is incoherent, unscientific and weak by Scott O Lilienfeld. A pretty categorical rejection of the ideologically conjured idea of microaggressions from a reasonably sympathetic, but intellectually rigorous, source.
Across college campuses and the corporate landscape, a big idea has taken hold: the notion that microaggressions – subtle but offensive comments or actions directed at minorities or other powerless people – can lower performance, lead to ostracism, increase anxiety, and sometimes cause so much psychological pain that the recipient might even commit suicide. Yet despite the good intentions and passionate embrace of this idea, there is scant real-world evidence that microaggression is a legitimate psychological concept, that it represents unconscious (or implicit) prejudice, that intervention for it works, or even that alleged victims are seriously damaged by these under-the-radar acts. It is entirely possible that future research will alter some of these verdicts. Until the evidence is in, though, I recommend abandoning the term microaggression, which is potentially misleading. In addition, I call for a moratorium on microaggression training programmes and publicly distributed microaggression lists now widespread in the college and business worlds.
There is an editing fix required: "Yet despite the good intentions and passionate embrace of this idea" should actually be "Because of the good intentions and passionate embrace of this idea."

Ideological predicate assumptions are driving the cognitive pollution. Disproving the cognitive pollution won't address the root cause; you have to tackle the ideological predicate assumptions.

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