Commentary: Thoughts on the Princeton Senior Survey’s finding on “Comfort Sharing by Political Views”

June 02, 2023 1 min read

By Michael Camp
Princetonians for Free Speech


Excerpt: Recently members of the senior class at Princeton University were asked to respond to an opinion survey. Among the many questions asked, one was “How would you describe your political persuasions?” Another question asked, “On a scale from one to five, how comfortable do you feel sharing your political views on campus?” Of the total population of 1296 seniors 542 answered both of these questions. The results are shown in [a table in the full article, linked below]: . . .

There is a remarkably clear pattern. If you compare any two political categories, the respondents in the more liberal category are also more comfortable expressing their views. Another way to look at it is that 71% of those in the three most liberal categories rate themselves as 4 or 5 in terms of comfort, while 60% of those in the three most conservative categories rate themselves as 1 or 2. Why is it that liberal students are more comfortable than conservative students in sharing their political views on campus? I can think of three explanations.

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