Accusations of political bias in the mass media, academia, the courts and various other institutions are common in many democracies. However, despite the prevalence of these accusations and the public attention they have received, research on the effects of perceived ideological distance on perceptions of political bias is lacking. Focusing on perceptions of political bias in academia, and drawing on a survey of 1,257 students in social science and law faculties in five Israeli universities, we show that the perceived ideological distance between a student and her set of professors increases perceptions of politically biased behavior of professors, and that the effects of ‘left-wing’ and ‘right-wing’ ideological distances are not symmetric. Possible implications and directions for further research are then suggested.
- Higher education
- Ideological distance
- Motivated reasoning
- Political bias
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science