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Study links conservatism, racism and prejudice to low I.Q.

Michael Santo's picture

Those that have said that racists, conservatives and prejudiced people are "dumb" may now have actual science to back them up, according to new research.

A study, newly published in Psychological Science, says that people who score low on I.Q. tests in childhood are more likely to develop prejudiced beliefs and socially conservative politics as they reach adulthood.

The study comes out of Brock University in Ontario, Canada. Lead author and psychology professor at the university, Gordon Hodson said the report's finding showed evident of a cycle among the group represented by this "low IQ" category. These people, the research said, are attracted to socially conservative ideologies because they "stress hierarchy and resistance to change" which can contribute to prejudice.

In essence, Hodson seems to be saying that conservatives are less open-minded. Changes, such as same-sex marriage, interracial couples, etc. etc. are not welcomed. This is the sort of attitude that can be seen by conservatives who shout "I want my America back" forgetting, of course, that it was never their country in the first place. It was instead the country of Native Americans (of course, they probably need a higher IQ to understand that).

It also explains why simplistic ideas, such as a flat tax, which is very regressive, sings out to conservatives. That sort of thing is very simple overally, and the complexities that are hidden, such as why it is regressive and caters to the One Percent are hidden from those who don't take the time --- or have the capability --- to understand them.

The study's results woudl further explain why conservatives have trouble responding to questions such as "If corporations are people then where are their souls," and "if you are a Christian --- as many right-wingers profess to be --- then why is it you would like a person without insurance to die?" (remembering the applause at an earlier GOP debate given that scenario).

It's also true that --- or so it appears --- conservatives have a tendency to believe things they are told without questioning them. This can be seen by the number of conservatives who might see a report on Fox News stating something outlandish --- and believe it. A liberal, instead, will question things and research it, to determine the truth of an issue.

Hodson took a look at actual numbers, meaning IQ, because earlier studies had already found links between low levels of education and higher levels of prejudice.

Naturally, the study does not mean that all liberals are geniuses or that all conservatives are stupid. The research is a study of averages over large groups, Hodson said. The results merely state that the prevalence among certain groups exists, in terms of IQ.

The study, of course, is correlational, not causational. It says there is a correlation between low IQ and racism, prejudice, and conservatism. It does not prove that low IQ causes that.

Brian Nosek, a social and cognitive psychologist at the University of Virginia who was not involved in the study said, . "I think that lower cognitive capacity can lead to multiple simple ways to represent the world, and one of those can be embodied in a right-wing ideology where 'People I don't know are threats' and 'The world is a dangerous place'. ... Another simple way would be to just assume everybody is wonderful."


Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

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