Low IQ & Conservative Beliefs Linked to Prejudice
LLow IQ & Conservative Beliefs Linked to Prejudice ow IQ & Conservative Beliefs Linked to Prejudice
Low IQ & Conservative Beliefs Linked to Prejudice (Part1)
Stefanie Pappas, Live Science Senior Writer
There's no gentle way to put it: People who give in to racism and prejudice may simply be dumb, according to a new study that is bound to stir public controversy.
The research finds that children with low intelligence are more likely to hold prejudiced attitudes as adults. These findings point to a vicious cycle, according to lead researcher Gordon Hodson, a psychologist at Brock University in Ontario. Low-intelligence adults tend to gravitate toward socially conservative ideologies, the study found. Those ideologies, in turn, stress hierarchy and resistance to change, attitudes that can contribute to prejudice, Hodson wrote in an email to LiveScience.
"Prejudice is extremely complex and multifaceted, making it critical that any factors contributing to bias are uncovered and understood," he said.
The findings combine three hot-button topics.
"They've pulled off the trifecta of controversial topics," said Brian Nosek, a social and cognitive psychologist at the University of Virginia who was not involved in the study. "When one selects intelligence, political ideology and racism and looks at any of the relationships between those three variables, it's bound to upset somebody."
Polling data and social and political science research do show that prejudice is more common in those who hold right-wing ideals that those of other political persuasions, Nosek told LiveScience. [7 Thoughts That Are Bad For You]
"The unique contribution here is trying to make some progress on the most challenging aspect of this," Nosek said, referring to the new study. "It's not that a relationship like that exists, but why it exists."
Brains and bias
Earlier studies have found links between low levels of education and higher levels of prejudice, Hodson said, so studying intelligence seemed a logical next step. The researchers turned to two studies of citizens in the United Kingdom, one that has followed babies since their births in March 1958, and another that did the same for babies born in April 1970. The children in the studies had their intelligence assessed at age 10 or 11; as adults ages 30 or 33, their levels of social conservatism and racism were measured. [Life's Extremes: Democrat vs. Republican]
In the first study, verbal and nonverbal intelligence was measured using tests that asked people to find similarities and differences between words, shapes and symbols. The second study measured cognitive abilities in four ways, including number recall, shape-drawing tasks, defining words and identifying patterns and similarities among words. Average IQ is set at 100.
Social conservatives were defined as people who agreed with a laundry list of statements such as "Family life suffers if mum is working full-time," and "Schools should teach children to obey authority." Attitudes toward other races were captured by measuring agreement with statements such as "I wouldn't mind working with people from other races." (These questions measured overt prejudiced attitudes, but most people, no matter how egalitarian, do hold unconscious racial biases; Hodson's work can't speak to this "underground" racism.)
As suspected, low intelligence in childhood corresponded with racism in adulthood. But the factor that explained the relationship between these two variables was political: When researchers included social conservatism in the analysis, those ideologies accounted for much of the link between brains and bias.
People with lower cognitive abilities also had less contact with people of other races.
"This finding is consistent with recent research demonstrating that intergroup contact is mentally challenging and cognitively draining, and consistent with findings that contact reduces prejudice," said Hodson, who along with his colleagues published these results online Jan. 5 in the journal Psychological Science.
A study of averages
Hodson was quick to note that the despite the link found between low intelligence andsocial 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.
Nosek gave another example to illustrate the dangers of taking the findings too literally.
"We can say definitively men are taller than women on average," he said. "But you can't say if you take a random man and you take a random woman that the man is going to be taller. There's plenty of overlap."
Nonetheless, there is reason to believe 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," Hodson said, explaining why these beliefs might draw those with low intelligence. "Unfortunately, many of these features can also contribute to prejudice."
In another study, this one in the United States, Hodson and Busseri compared 254 people with the same amount of education but different levels of ability in abstract reasoning. They found that what applies to racism may also apply to homophobia. People who were poorer at abstract reasoning were more likely to exhibit prejudice against gays. As in the U.K. citizens, a lack of contact with gays and more acceptance of right-wing authoritarianism explained the link.
There is no stupider creature on earth than a poor Republican. Such a person would stand in line to be sodomized and then thank their assailant afterward.
Low IQ & Conservative Beliefs Linked to Prejudice (Part 2)
Hodson and Busseri's explanation of their findings is reasonable, Nosek said, but it is correlational. That means the researchers didn't conclusively prove that the low intelligence caused the later prejudice. To do that, you'd have to somehow randomly assign otherwise identical people to be smart or dumb, liberal or conservative. Those sorts of studies obviously aren't possible.
The researchers controlled for factors such as education and socioeconomic status, making their case stronger, Nosek said. But there are other possible explanations that fit the data. For example, Nosek said, a study of left-wing liberals with stereotypically na´ve views like "every kid is a genius in his or her own way," might find that people who hold these attitudes are also less bright. In other words, it might not be a particular ideology that is linked to stupidity, but extremist views in general.
"My speculation is that it's not as simple as their model presents it," Nosek 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."
Prejudice is of particular interest because understanding the roots of racism and bias could help eliminate them, Hodson said. For example, he said, many anti-prejudice programs encourage participants to see things from another group's point of view. That mental exercise may be too taxing for people of low IQ.
"There may be cognitive limits in the ability to take the perspective of others, particularly foreigners," Hodson said. "Much of the present research literature suggests that our prejudices are primarily emotional in origin rather than cognitive. These two pieces of information suggest that it might be particularly fruitful for researchers to consider strategies to change feelings toward outgroups," rather than thoughts.
You can follow LiveScience senior writer Stephanie Pappas on Twitter @sipappas. Follow LiveScience for the latest in science news and discoveries on Twitter @livescience and onFacebook.
There is no stupider creature on earth than a poor Republican. Such a person would stand in line to be sodomized and then thank their assailant afterward.
Interesting but probly baloney anyhow.
Racizm kan be good.
Prejudice kan be good.
Low IQ and education are probly different.
So, interesting, but probly baloney.
Psychology and psychiatry aint science. They shood be science -- they kan be science-- but they aint.
But for sure konservativs are shite -- that aint baloney.
Well them republicins and tea partyers is about the most ignornt people around.
There's no gentle way to put it:.....
I BET THERE IZ A GENTLE WAY. ANYHOW WHY BE GENTLE????
People who give in to racism and prejudice may simply be dumb......
INTELLIGENT PEOPLE DONT GIV IN TO IT???????
...children with low intelligence are more likely to hold prejudiced attitudes as adults.....
EVEN IF THEY HAV HIGH INTELLIGENCE WHEN ADULT?????????
These findings point to a vicious cycle.....
Low-intelligence adults tend to gravitate toward socially conservative ideologies......
KOMPARED TO OTHER (NON GRAVITATIONAL) FORCES.
WHAT ARE NON-SOCIALLY CONSERVATIV IDEALOGIES.
SOME SCIENTISTS SAY THAT GRAVITY IZ A REPULSIV FORCE -- IN WHICH CASE THEY MIGHT SAY THAT LOW IQ ADULTS GRAVITATE AWAY FROM HI IQ ADULTS (OR PRAPS AWAY FROM SOCIALLY LIBERAL IDEOLOGIES).
EINSTEIN MIGHT SAY THAT ALL IDEOLOGIES SIMPLY BEND TIME-SPACE.
DO ANY STUDYS SHOW THAT SOCIALLY CONSERVATIV IDEOLOGIES GRAVITATE TOWARDS LOW IQ ADULTS.
SKOOLKIDS MIGHT SAY THAT LOW IQ ADULTS AND SOCIALLY CONSERVATIV IDEOLOGIES GRAVITATE TOWARDS EECH OTHER.
AND IF LOW IQ ADULTS HAV MASS THEN THEY WOULD MORE LIKELY GRAVITATE TOWARDS OTHER LOW IQ ADULTS.
SOCIALLY CONSERVATIV IDEOLOGIES (HAVING NO MASS) ARE UNLIKELY TO GRAVITATE TOWARDS OTHER SOCIALLY CONSERVATIV IDEOLOGIES.
Those ideologies, in turn, stress hierarchy and resistance to change.....
WHAT ABOUT WHEN OUT OF TURN.
LIBERALS DONT STRESS HIERARCHY????????
IN LIBERAL SOCIETYS CONSERVATIVS WANT CHANGE, THEY DONT REZIST CHANGE.
.....attitudes that can contribute to prejudice....
WHAT ATTITUDES DONT KONTRIBUTE TO PREJUDICE??????
"Prejudice is extremely complex and multifaceted, making it critical that any factors contributing to bias are uncovered and understood,"
HOW WOULD UNDERSTANDING BIAS HELP US TO UNDERSTAND PREJUDICE?????
PRAPS PSYCHOLOGYSTS WOULD GET BETTER REZULTS IF THEY EXAMIN WHAT HAPPENS WHEN U ACCELERATE A LOW IQ ADULT TO VERY HIGH SPEED AND SMASH IT HEAD-ON INTO ANOTHER LOW IQ (HIGH SPEED) ADULT GOING THE OTHER WAY????
Last edited by cushioncrawler; 04-24-2013 at 09:29 AM.
Max, Max, Max.... neither racism nor predjudice is ever good, Max. I don't know how anyone could believe such a thing.
Originally Posted by cushioncrawler
Also, the word, 'Science' describes the nature of study, and any study which uses theoretical models and data from experiments or observation, determines what is or isn't Science, not the subject.
Of course we can all just take tha path of least resistance, and just call everything baloney. Thank goodness Scientists aren't generally of that sort of personality. And speaking of personality, what study focuses on the causes, impacts and results of individual personality among people? Do you think that ones personality is just baloney as regards ones experience of life, ones values, decisionsm with no overall impact of personality over the course of everyones life? To suggest that psychology and psychiatry can be, should be, could be Science, but are not, is a huge contradiction my firiend.
Racizm iz probly good -- likewize prejudice.
Ignorance aint good.
Lemmesee -- selfishness kan be good, but iz mostly bad. Lazyness kan be good, but often bad. Ignorance iz muchly lazyness. Lazyness iz mostly selfishness.
So, where are we, where are we going with this -- lost my train of thort -- duzzenmadder.
Anyhow all shellfish are selfish.
Gday Gayle -- good to seeya again.
I once went to a 2-day lecture by a psychologyst. He told us that no-one haz a personality. Or, putting it another way, everyone haz N number of personalitys, where N iz the number of people that u hav intercourse with.
Schizophrenix hav N + 1 personalitys.
But, i bet, if i googled, i would soon find a real study by a real scientist that showed that humans (and other intelligent life-forms) depend on prejudice for day to day survival.
Me myself i am racist. I like the different races. If i were king i would encourage racial purity -- but not in a biased way -- ie not like the KKK, or the Black Brotherhood (iz there any such thing)(praps i am thinking of the Black Panthers).
Unfortunately the word science nowadays allso deskribes non-science. Modern (non)science iz (or soon will be) on the noze -- it iz the epitome of prejudice and selfishness and lazyness. So, psuedo-sciences, like psychiatry, hav zero chance [with all due respekt to psychiatrysts who play a cue-sport and are doing very good work in their field].
Einsteinian relativity (SR and GR) and The Big Bang, and The Standard SubAtomic Particle Model, etc etc will soon be shown to be (and hav allready been shown to be) fakes and frauds and a pox on real science. [Read cahill and ranzan and crowther].
Paraphrazing Planck -- Science advances one funeral at a time.
The high-profile cases are prompting psychologists to do some soul-searching about the incentive structure in their field.
The push to publish can lead to several questionable practices.
Outright fraud is probably rare. But "adventurous research strategies" are probably common, Nosek told LiveScience. [The 10 Most Destructive Human Behaviors]
Because psychologists are so motivated to get flashy findings published, they can use reasoning that may seem perfectly logical to them and, say, throw out research subjects who don't fit with their findings. But this subtle self-delusion can result in scientists seeing an effect where none exists, Zwaan told LiveScience.
Another way to skew the results is to change the experimental procedure or research question after the study has already begun. These changes may seem harmless to the researcher, but from a statistical standpoint, they make it much more likely that psychologists see an underlying effect where none exists, Zwaan said.
For instance, if scientists set up an experiment to find out if stress is linked to risk of cancer, and during the study they notice stressed people seem to get less sleep, they might switch their question to study sleep. The problem is the experiment wasn't set up to account for confounding factors associated with sleep, among other things.
Fight fire with psychology
In response, psychologists are trying to flip the incentives by using their knowledge of transparency, accountability and personal gain.
For instance, right now there's no incentive for researchers to share their data, and a 2006 study found that of 141 researchers who had previously agreed to share their data, only 38 did so when asked.
But Nosek and his colleagues hope to encourage such sharing by making it standard practice. They are developing a project called the Open Science Framework, and one goal is to encourage researchers to publicly post their data and to have journals require such transparency in their published studies. That should make researchers less likely to tweak their data.
"We know that behavior changes as a function of accountability, and the best way to increase accountability is to create transparency," Nosek said.
One journal, Social Psychology, is dangling the lure of guaranteed publication to motivate replication studies. Researchers send proposals for replication studies to the journal, and if they're approved, the authors are guaranteed publication in advance. That would encourage less fiddling with the protocol after the fact.
And the Laura and John Arnold Foundation now offers grant money specifically for replication studies, Nosek said.