A Wake Forest University professor equated conservatives to being “guilty, anxious, and unable to handle stress well as children” during a course lecture that has since been removed from YouTube, according to the independent student-run newspaper The Wake Report.
Dr. Mason Garrison, as assistant professor of psychology at the North Carolina school, used the lecture during her Personality Psychology course, according to the Report. She reportedly took down the video and revised the slide after being questioned by the Report and said that she “was unaware that my comments had caused any feelings of marginalization.” (RELATED: Hood College Prof Who Called Conservatives ‘The Enemy’ Alleges Termination Over Viral Video)
Conservatives were also attributed to favoring “in-group loyalty, authority and respect, and purity,” according to a screenshot of the slide, obtained by the Report. Liberals were likened to be “resourceful, independent, self-reliant, and confident as children” while authoritarians were “uncooperative and inflexible, likely to obey commands to harm others, fewer positive emotions, [and] prefer strong leaders.”
“I apologize if my statements were interpreted as negatively characterizing conservative students,” she told the Report.
Garrison cited an American Journal of Political Science article titled “Correlation not Causation: The Relationship between Personality Traits and Political Ideologies” in the speaker notes of the revised presentation, obtained by the Report. It suggests that “personality traits do not cause people to develop political attitudes” but that any correlation is a “generic factor.”
“Our commitment to diversity includes respect, concern, and support for conservative and liberal students alike. Our course evaluations, given to every student in every psychology class, ask explicitly about whether the instructor was respectful of all students,” Christy Buchanan, psychology department chair, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “Sometimes misunderstandings occur in the course of human interactions, including those that occur in the classroom. I trust that both the department’s and Dr. Garrison’s responsiveness to the concerns brought forth in the current situation demonstrates the department values of and commitment to creating a safe and inclusive experience for all students.”
Garrison is a member of the Heterodox Academy, she told the Report. The academy is a nonprofit that aims to “create college classrooms and campuses that welcome diverse people with diverse viewpoints and that equip learners with the habits of heart and mind to engage that diversity in open inquiry and constructive disagreement,” according to its website.
Garrison and Wake Forest University did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
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