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Friday, January 27, 2012

New research findings on intelligence and socio-political ideology

"Low IQ & Conservative Beliefs Linked to Prejudice" by Stephanie Pappas, (January 26, 2012)

Building on earlier research that has linked lower levels of education and higher levels of prejudice, a new study suggests that "strict right-wing ideology might appeal to those who have trouble grasping the complexity of the world."
"Socially conservative ideologies tend to offer structure and order," [lead researcher Gordon] Hodson said, explaining why these beliefs might draw those with low intelligence. "Unfortunately, many of these features can also contribute to prejudice."
Findings are correlative, not causative, and the claim doesn't seem to be that "all conservatives are stupid," but that there may be a connection between low intelligence and socio-political ideologies that are bad at engaging with unfamiliar people and ideas, and the nuance and complexity that comes with intercultural contact. I'd be interested to read the researchers' presentation of their findings -- the article linked here eventually mentions that they were published in "Psychological Science" on January 5th. I haven't found a way to access that publication yet, but will let you know if I do.

Thanks to M.D. (I found this via her FB).

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