Professor Nelson Lund, in a WSJ article, accuses the American Psychological Association and other groups of a liberal bias when they report research that finds no bad effects from child rearing by same-sex couples.
He quotes the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who was also a distinguished social scientist: “Social scientists are frequently caught up in the politics which their work necessary involves.”
Could bias influence research? I think so. In Wendell Berry’s Life Is A Miracle: An Essay Against Modern Superstition, Berry criticizes scientists who believe the mind is just a machine. He calls this the Tarzan Theory of the mind, which holds that a human, raised entirely by apes, “would have a mind nonetheless fully human.” He substitutes what he calls the Adam and Eve formula: mind = brain + body + world + local dwelling place + community.
I am reminded of cultural anthropologists who were studying village life in developing countries. When they returned from their trip, lead researchers told them to be more objective and recommended that they produce films rather than relying on their notes and personal observations. On their next trip, the researchers used cameras, but soon learned that the cameras were not necessarily more objective than individual observations, because the newly uncovered information depended on where they pointed their cameras! And where they pointed their cameras depended on what they believed were the most important things to observe.
For more on this . . . . http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/digital-pandemic/201207/is-science-just-modern-superstition