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Study correlates low IQ with racism, conservatism

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The 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?

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