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Intelligence Study Links Low I.Q. To Prejudice, Racism, Conservatism Joel Send a noteboard - 03/02/2012 08:58:00 PM
The Huffington Post Rebecca Searles
02/1/2012 8:52 am Updated: 02/1/2012 7:21 pm

Are racists dumb? Do conservatives tend to be less intelligent than liberals? A provocative new study from Brock University in Ontario suggests the answer to both questions may be a qualified yes.

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.

I.Q., or intelligence quotient, is a score determined by standardized tests, but whether the tests truly reveal intelligence remains a topic of hot debate among psychologists.

Dr. Gordon Hodson, a professor of psychology at the university and the study's lead author, said the finding represented evidence of a vicious cycle: People of low intelligence gravitate toward socially conservative ideologies, which stress resistance to change and, in turn, prejudice, he told LiveScience.

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, Dodson said. "Unfortunately, many of these features can also contribute to prejudice," he added.

Dr. Brian Nosek, a University of Virginia psychologist, echoed those sentiments.

"Reality is complicated and messy," he told The Huffington Post in an email. "Ideologies get rid of the messiness and impose a simpler solution. So, it may not be surprising that people with less cognitive capacity will be attracted to simplifying ideologies."

But Nosek said less intelligent types might be attracted to liberal "simplifying ideologies" as well as conservative ones.

In any case, the study has taken the Internet by storm, with some outspoken liberals saying that it validates their suspicions about conservatives and conservatives arguing that the research has been misinterpreted.

What do you think? Do conservatives tend to be less intelligent? Or is this just political opinion masquerading as science?

Note: I take no position either way on this studys proposals or conclusions. Just thought the CMB insufficiently political and confrontational at present, so I am referring (but not generating) subject material to do my part. I think I have a good idea of how this goes but, hey: Surprise me. Have fun; play nicely, if possible. :P
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Intelligence Study Links Low I.Q. To Prejudice, Racism, Conservatism - 03/02/2012 08:58:00 PM 641 Views
I think ... - 03/02/2012 09:28:02 PM 251 Views
I agree. - 03/02/2012 10:48:25 PM 166 Views
Yeah, I am unsure whether to be impressed or disappointed. - 05/02/2012 02:38:05 AM 224 Views
That is a logical and reasonable assessment. - 04/02/2012 08:59:59 PM 177 Views
You think very well. - 05/02/2012 04:12:11 AM 157 Views
note: "social conservatives", not "fiscal conservatives" - 03/02/2012 09:37:18 PM 261 Views
I've wondered: - 03/02/2012 09:55:14 PM 226 Views
It bothers the living fuck out of me - 03/02/2012 10:59:01 PM 215 Views
Just wait ten years - 03/02/2012 11:21:25 PM 180 Views
Oh, I still vote Republican. - 04/02/2012 01:49:43 AM 212 Views
Re: Oh, I still vote Republican. - 04/02/2012 01:15:10 PM 208 Views
Re: Just wait ten years - 04/02/2012 05:16:16 AM 163 Views
By referencing it… - 03/02/2012 10:50:59 PM 180 Views
That's an odd idea. - 03/02/2012 11:10:31 PM 211 Views
It was a mostly facetious comment…. - 03/02/2012 11:49:28 PM 144 Views
Clearly you endorse it. - 05/02/2012 02:23:41 AM 111 Views
Only endorsing its validity, not its soundness. *NM* - 04/02/2012 02:24:24 AM 79 Views
Tempting... - 03/02/2012 11:17:43 PM 194 Views
I expected no less. - 05/02/2012 12:25:14 AM 229 Views
Still fun though - 05/02/2012 01:30:26 AM 192 Views
Well, that is the main thing. - 05/02/2012 02:25:36 AM 197 Views
Well, racists are dumb. What's to discuss? - 04/02/2012 01:23:27 AM 162 Views
I think that generally agreed, though we need a study PROVING what we already know. - 05/02/2012 12:41:26 AM 223 Views
Proving is something you do in maths, not science. - 05/02/2012 09:05:30 AM 121 Views
So the Moon might still be made of green cheese? - 05/02/2012 10:20:57 AM 152 Views
Yes. It is not very likely, though, since no measurement we have done so far indicates that it is so - 05/02/2012 02:28:18 PM 123 Views
Oh, let us not go THERE. - 05/02/2012 02:54:30 PM 236 Views
Bad comparison - 05/02/2012 03:36:12 PM 165 Views
Well, that last part will make sure this gets ugly.... - 04/02/2012 02:05:11 AM 147 Views
Do you not think it's true then? - 04/02/2012 07:32:13 AM 254 Views
Same here *NM* - 04/02/2012 12:13:44 PM 79 Views
Not in my experience. - 04/02/2012 04:17:01 PM 180 Views
Granted, you do move in different circles than I (or Jens, for that matter.) - 04/02/2012 10:24:52 PM 203 Views
Corfirmational bias much? - 04/02/2012 04:25:24 PM 178 Views
I did mention that I didn't care enough to look into it. - 04/02/2012 10:22:09 PM 154 Views
As a few others have noted, it is important to preserve the causality chain. - 05/02/2012 02:35:02 AM 158 Views
I dont see that it matters. - 13/02/2012 01:40:45 AM 128 Views

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