Study correlates low IQ with racism, conservatism

IQThe Huffington Post headline reads: “Intelligence Study Links Low I.Q. To Prejudice, Racism, Conservatism” and the story says, “The study, published in Psychological Science, showed that people who score low on I.Q. tests in childhood are more likely to develop prejudiced beliefs and socially conservative politics in adulthood.”

The study’s lead author Gordon Hodson said:

Why might less intelligent people be drawn to conservative ideologies? Because such ideologies feature “structure and order” that make it easier to comprehend a complicated world. Unfortunately, many of these features can also contribute to prejudice.

The study, “Bright Minds and Dark Attitudes: Lower Cognitive Ability Predicts Greater Prejudice Through Right-Wing Ideology and Low Intergroup Contact,” was published a few days ago by Psychological Science.

Talk about a political hot potato. And in an election year. Do we really want to say conservatives are dumb and racist? Even if that’s what the study indicates? Are stereotypes bad if they are supported by science? Are they stereotypes at all if science identifies them? Can scientists be politically incorrect? We are, after all, a nation sometimes paralyzed by political correctness.

In the interests of being politically correct, perhaps I’d better just keep my thoughts to myself and suggest you read more about the study (preferably the study itself) before reaching any conclusions. You’re smart enough to do that, aren’t you?



Categories: Politics, Sci/Tech

22 replies

  1. “Why might less intelligent people be drawn to conservative ideologies? Because such ideologies feature “structure and order” that make it easier to comprehend a complicated world. Unfortunately, many of these features can also contribute to prejudice.”

    Makes absolutely perfect sense. Free thinking, rationalization, and problem solving does not come easy to many people. Republicans do have a strong desire for control, therefore it would be easier for the “thinking challenged” to follow and believe those who wish to control.

    • Unfortunately, there will be a lot of generalizing and stereotyping growing from or being reinforced by this. The “class warfare” people will have a field day with it.

    • Taking money from productive people and giving it to unproductive people is a great economic theory with great vision and creativity. If only the conservatives could come up with such a brilliant idea the playing field would be leveled.I guess that’s why the deep thinking needs to be left to the liberals.

  2. If the shoe fits! ;-) They talked about this on Bill Maher’s show last night.

  3. Why does this not surprise me? LOL

    • To me the only real surprise is that someone actually did a scientific study that confirms casual observation. But at the same time, I think of all the intelligent people I know who are staunch conservatives …

  4. Let’s see if I understand this. These articles allege that unintelligent (low IQ) people are more accepting of unfounded allegations which lead to an undeserved bias and bigotry. These articles target people who need to realize that conservatives are not as smart as people who are commonly referred to as liberals.

    People who fear change and the unknown generally are labeled “conservatives.” Sometimes those people have a low IQ and sometimes those people have an inordinately high IQ.

    • The study found a correlation, not necessarily a direct cause and effect, between low IQ in childhood and prejudice, racism, and social conservatism in adulthood. From the Live Science article:

      Hodson was quick to note that the despite the link found between low intelligence and social conservatism, the researchers aren’t implying that all liberals are brilliant and all conservatives stupid. The research is a study of averages over large groups, he said.

      “There are multiple examples of very bright conservatives and not-so-bright liberals, and many examples of very principled conservatives and very intolerant liberals,” Hodson said.

  5. There’s a lot of brain research going on right now in multiple “think tanks” – thanks to imaging and technology advances. It’s important to review the studies, the quality of data, study size, and the PI’s themselves
    Time will tell if this idea proves true…remember the “IQ is determined by race” a while back? And “IQ determined at birth”? (current studies indicate IQ may change and does develop through teen years). And what about the new “people with small skulls and brains were children whose mothers didn’t want them/like them/ nuture them enough”
    The important thing is to find authoritative sources and continue to read , read , read.

    • Yep, yep. This is just another tiny piece of the puzzle, another drop in our bucket of knowledge. Interesting, however, and with a decent sample of 15,000 or so (I think I read that somewhere). Unfortunately, I’m sure the results will be distorted into inaccurate generalizations like “Conservatives are dumb; scientists said so.” We really don’t need that sort of thing right now.

  6. Imalibertarian makes a good point. False comparisons and bad logic abound these days, muddling the thoughts of lefties and righties alike. The cosmology of liberal versus conservative is backward and unproductive.

    It’s a sucker’s game to assume that your opponents must somehow be deficient. That is the fundamental conceit of this two-party “system”, as observed by folks like Huey Long. Politics has long been a game of emotional manipulation as much as reasoned debate. The buffoons and the brilliant are equally vulnerable.

  7. I’d simply like to say say ‘Duh.’ think you pretty much cover that though ;)

Trackbacks

  1. Psychology | Low IQ Leads To Conservatism, Racism, Right Wing Ideologies and Vice Versa « The Age of Blasphemy

Okay, now it's your turn ...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,178 other followers

%d bloggers like this: