Why Diversity Should Matter to Psychological Science

Sellers_bigAt a special event exploring the urgent need for more racial and ethnic diversity in psychological science, APS Fellow Robert M. Sellers analyzed some of the reasons the field is dominated by Western, educated, industrialized, rich, Democrat (WEIRD) individuals. He noted that 60% of US studies and 80% of international studies are conducted on college students and that the vast majority of college students are white — conditions that mean minorities remain underrepresented both in studies and in academia itself. Sellers stressed that it is necessary to reach out to more minorities and intentionally include them in the academic community at all levels of leadership to counter this disparity, but said that psychological scientists must also be careful not to discount underrepresented individuals’ unique viewpoints and experiences: “If we’re only training people to think like us, then we’ve lost our advantage.”

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