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Thread: Low IQ & Conservative Beliefs Linked to Prejudice

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    Low IQ & Conservative Beliefs Linked to Prejudice


    Low IQ & Conservative Beliefs Linked to Prejudice



    A new study finds links between low intelligence and racism, prejudice and homophobia.
    CREDIT: ArTono, Shutterstock
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    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.
    Controversy ahead


    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 and social 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. [5 Myths About Gay People Debunked]
    Simple viewpoints
    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 naïve 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.


    http://www.livescience.com/18132-intelligence-social-conservatism-racism.html
    Seems to be the latest ploy in attempts to pathologize (and stereotype!) people that hold right wing or conservative views, since the very 1930s. This was always fueled by unskilled White workers making more openly racist remarks, simply because they had to deal with the problem of non-Whites at their workplace, while Mr. Professors has got an airconditoned office job with the absence of that kind of people.
    But let's see, if we can find out more.
    "And God proclaims as a first principle to the rulers, and above all else, that there is nothing which they should so anxiously guard, or of which they are to be such good guardians, as of the purity of the race. They should observe what elements mingle in their offspring;..." Plato Politeia

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    Reminds me of this article. But basically one can simply state that the preference for progressive policies among the more intelligent has more to do with what they are being taught on universities combined with little direct exposure to the downsides of said policies then with them being more intelligent.
    The sense of honor is of so fine and delicate a nature that
    it is only to be met with in minds which are naturally noble or
    cultivated by good examples and a refined education.
    - Sir Richard Steele

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    Quote Originally Posted by GroeneWolf View Post
    Reminds me of this article. But basically one can simply state that the preference for progressive policies among the more intelligent has more to do with what they are being taught on universities combined with little direct exposure to the downsides of said policies then with them being more intelligent.
    Your exactly right. If universities taught the truth, this article would be completely different. Many high-IQ people are liberal, yes, but it's because just about all universities are liberal dominated. If they taught about say, things we talk about at Skadi, it would be the other way around: low-IQ people would be more likely to be liberal.

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    Some background on the author of that study is pretty revealing.
    Gordon Hodson
    Professor, Ph.D. (Western)



    How reliable is research by someone that seems to have difficulties washing his hair?
    My primary research interests examine intergroup processes related to prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination. In particular, I am interested in: (a) subtle expressions of prejudice, such as aversive racism; (b) individual differences in prejudice, such as social dominance orientation and right-wing authoritarianism; (c) resistance to immigrants and immigration; (d) perceived group threat; (e) intergroup emotions, such as disgust and anxiety; (e) outgroup dehumanization; and (f) the benefits of intergroup contact and cross-group friendship for prejudice reduction.

    Most recently, my research addresses the contextual and personality factors involved in the attenuation of intergroup conflict, such as encouraging common ingroup categorization, perpective-taking, and empathy. I am testing the benefits of increasing positive intergroup contact and using intergroup friendships to reduce bias in a variety of settings, among other topics.
    http://hodson.socialpsychology.org/
    And here is a list of his publications:
    RESEARCH INTERESTS

    - intergroup relations, prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination

    - personality and individual differences
    - immigration and intergroup threat
    - intergroup contact, intergroup friendships, and emotions (e.g., disgust, anxiety, empathy)
    My primary research interests examine intergroup processes related to prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination. This overall focus can be broken down into several key areas of investigation. First, how has contemporary prejudice transformed itself from overt and direct bias to more subtle and indicrect forms? How can these subtle biases be detected and combated among otherwise well-meaning individuals? Second, to what extent do personality constructs such as authoritarianism and social dominance predict and shape the expression of prejudice and discrimination? Third, how does the perception of intergroup threat posed by immigrants, refugees, and outgroups generally exacerbate negative intergroup outcomes? What social and personal factors trigger intergroup anxiety, and what are its consequences?
    Most recently, my research addresses the contextual and personality factors involved in the attenuation of intergroup conflict, such as encouraging common ingroup categorization and identification. Specifically, I am testing the benefits of increasing positive intergroup contact and using intergroup friendships to reduce bias in a variety of settings.
    SELECTED PUBLICATIONS:
    Choma, B.L., Hodson, G., & Costello, K. (in press). Intergroup disgust sensitivity as a predictor of Islamophobia: The modulating effect of fear. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.
    Hodson, G., & Busseri, M.A. (in press). Bright minds and dark attitudes: Lower cognitive ability predicts greater prejudice through right-wing ideology and low intergroup contact. Psychological Science.
    MacInnis, C.C., & Hodson, G. (in press). "Where the rubber hits the road" en route to intergroup harmony: Examining contact intentions and contact behavior under meta-stereotype threat. British Journal of Social Psychology.
    Bastian, B., Costello, K., Loughnan, S., & Hodson, G. (in press). When closing the human-animal divide expands moral concern: The importance of framing. Social Psychological and Personality Science.
    Hodson, G. (2011). Do ideologically intolerant people benefit from intergroup contact? Current Directions in Psychological Science, 20, 154-159.
    Costello, K., & Hodson, G. (2011). Social dominance-based threat reactions to immigrants in need of assistance.European Journal of Social Psychology, 41, 220-231.
    Hodson, G., Rush, J., & MacInnis, C.C. (2010). A "joke is just a joke" (except when it isn't): Cavalier humor beliefs facilitate the expression of group dominance motives. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 99, 660-682.
    Hodson, G., MacInnis, C.C., & Rush, J. (2010). Prejudice-relevant correlates of humor temperaments and humor styles. Personality and Individual Differences, 49, 546-549.
    Costello, K., & Hodson, G. (2010). Exploring the roots of dehumanization: The role of animal-human similarity in promoting immigrant humanization. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, 13, 3-22.
    Hodson, G., Choma, B.L., & Costello, K. (2009). Experiencing Alien-Nation: Effects of a simulation intervention on attitudes toward homosexuals. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45, 974-978.
    Hodson, G., Harry, H., & Mitchell, A. (2009). Independent benefits of contact and friendship on attitudes toward homosexuals among authoritarians and highly identified heterosexuals. European Journal of Social Psychology35, 509-525.
    Hodson, G. (2009). The puzzling person-situation schism in prejudice research. Journal of Research in Personality, 43, 247-248.
    Hodson, G., Hogg, S.M., & MacInnis, C.C. (2009). The role of "dark personalities" (narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy), Big Five personality factors, and ideology in explaining prejudice. Journal of Research in Personality, 43, 686-690 .
    Hodson, G. (2008). Interracial prison contact: The pros for (socially dominant) cons. British Journal of Social Psychology, 47, 325-351.
    Esses, V.M., Veenviet, S., Hodson, G., & Mihic, L. (2008). Justice, morality,, and the dehumanization of refugees.Social Justice Research, 21, 4-25.
    Hodson, G., & Costello, K. (2007). Interpersonal disgust, ideological orientations, and dehumanization as predictors of intergroup attitudes. Psychological Science, 18, 691-698.
    Hodson, G., Esses, V.M., & Dovidio, J.F. (2006). Perceptions of threat, national representation, and support for policies and procedures to protect the national group. In P.R. Kimmel & C.E. Stout (Eds.), Collateral damage: The psychological consequences of America's war on terrorism (pp. 109-129). Westport, CT, USA: Praeger Press.
    Esses, V.M., & Hodson, G. (2006). The role of lay perceptions of ethnic prejudice in the maintenance and perpetuation of ethnic bias. Journal of Social Issues, 62, 453-468.
    Hodson, G., Hooper, H., Dovidio, J.F., & Gaertner, S.L. (2005). Aversive racism in Britain: Legal decisions and the use of inadmissible evidence. European Journal of Social Psychology, 35, 437-448 .
    Hodson, G., & Olson, J.M. (2005). Testing the generality of the name letter effect: Name initials and everyday attitudes. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 31, 1099-1111.
    Esses, V.M., Jackson, L.M., Dovidio, J.F., & Hodson, G. (2005). Instrumental relations among groups: Group competition, conflict, and prejudice. In J.F. Dovidio, P. Glick, & L.A. Rudman (Eds), On the nature of prejudice: Fifty years after Allport (pp. 227-243). Malden, MA, USA: Blackwell Publishing.
    Hodson, G., Dovidio, J.F., & Gaertner, S.L. (2004). The aversive form of racism. In J.L. Lau (Ed.), The psychology of prejudice and discrimination (Vol 1., pp. 119-135). Westport, CT: Praeger Press.
    Hodson, G., & Esses, V.M. (2005). Lay perceptions of ethnic prejudice: Causes, solutions, and individual differences. European Journal of Social Psychology, 35, 329-344.
    Hodson, G., Dovidio, J.F., & Esses, V.M. (2003). Ingroup identification as a moderator of positive-negative asymmetry in social discrimination. European Journal of Social Psychology, 33, 215-233.
    Hodson, G., Dovidio, J.F., & Gaertner, S.L. (2002). Processes in racial discrimination: Differential weighting of conflicting information. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 28, 460-471.
    Hodson, G., & Esses, V.M. (2002). Distancing oneself from negative attributes and the personal/group discrimination discrepancy. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 38, 500-507.
    Dovidio, J.F., Gaertner, S.L., Kawakami, K., & Hodson, G. (2002). Why can't we just get along? Interpersonal biases and interracial distrust. Cultural Diversity and Ethnicity Minority Psychology, 8, 88-102.
    Hodson, G., & Sorrentino, R.M. (2001). Just who favors the in-group? Personality differences in reactions to uncertainty in the minimal group paradigm. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice, 5, 92-101.
    http://www.brocku.ca/psychology/people/hodson.htm
    Now chew a bit on this:
    "...My primary research interests examine intergroup processes related to prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination. This overall focus can be broken down into several key areas of investigation. First, how has contemporary prejudice transformed itself from overt and direct bias to more subtle and indicrect forms? How can these subtle biases be detected and combated among otherwise well-meaning individuals?..."

    Now tell me is this a social scienctis or rather a social activist with a degree?
    "And God proclaims as a first principle to the rulers, and above all else, that there is nothing which they should so anxiously guard, or of which they are to be such good guardians, as of the purity of the race. They should observe what elements mingle in their offspring;..." Plato Politeia

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    I wonder if the same correlation would have been found had the research been carried out 60 years ago. I somehow doubt it.

    One point to consider is the fact that we do not live in an environment of laissez-faire when it comes to ideas and opinions, there is a clear slant to the ideas and opinions which are communicated via mass media and in the public arena. The people who will take advantage of (or be taken advantage of) these sources for ideas and opinions might very well be of a relatively higher IQ, whilst those with a lower IQ might lack the motivation to consume more media than that which is provided by simple tabloids. Thus the two groups are not exposed to the uniform media climate in the same way or to the same extent.

    If a person of a relatively high IQ grows up and only reads papers of a certain ideological viewpoint, will this then have an impact on what that person considers to be facts and what that person considers as falsehoods? If so, are those notions based on an intellectually sound basis, or are they tainted by the bias which defines the sources of that information?

    As most human beings will be aware of it is possible to describe the same event and the same facts in several different ways. When it comes to social issues, issues which relate to society at large, there is alot of room for diverging interpretations, judgements and descriptions. But in the media climate that we have in Europe there is a very limited range of perspectives to be found. This means that alternative view points and perspectives will not be found even by an avid reader of the news.

    Thus I wonder how these biased and restricted sources of information and ideas impacts the reader, which we suppose to be of a relatively high IQ. How exactly does the brain process the input provided by these sources. If the person makes use of several different sources of information, but they all say the same thing, will this then be interpreted by the brain as "fact"? The fact that they all say the same thing suggests the existence of a consensus, of established truths and facts which can be trusted by the individual reader as worthy of agreement, but is that a reasonable conclusion to make? Maybe from the viewpoint of the individual, since he or she knows of no other information which challenges them or provides an alternative take, therefor it is reasonable to accept the information as having weight behind it in the absence of those challenging or alternative views.

    As a neutral () observer however this conclusion does not seem reasonable. There is a definitive lack of diversity of perspectives in the current media climate, and this has an effect not just for the unintelligent, but perhaps even more so for the intelligent among us. They are force fed ideological truths via a barrage of uniform media sources which all say the same thing whilst not allowing room for conflicting views or alternative perspectives. This inevitably leads to an intellectual desert which isn't conducive to understanding or for making one's mind up based on an independent review of all the available facts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KingOvGermania View Post
    Your exactly right. If universities taught the truth, this article would be completely different. Many high-IQ people are liberal, yes, but it's because just about all universities are liberal dominated. If they taught about say, things we talk about at Skadi, it would be the other way around: low-IQ people would be more likely to be liberal.
    I dont think so. The "low-IQs" would still be like this:
    "Low-intelligence adults tend to gravitate toward socially conservative ideologies, the study found. Those ideologies, in turn, stress hierarchy and resistance to change".

    It's a desire for some sort of stability and social security, structures with which they can deal and orientate themselves in. Hence "liberalism", the not only "right", but actually demand that individuals find their way themselves in a multitude of possibilities, which low-IQs cannot even grasp, let alone pick opportunities from for themselves, would certainly not be what they opt for if they would find themselves in an ordered environment.


    It would be way more interesting to do a study on what the "liberals" do in reality, not what they "think" or "believe". Because the truth is, while they preach tolerance and openness and multikult, they send their children to private schools with small classes with almost no non-natives, because the public schools are overrun with foreigners which lower the quality of education. Their friends are almost exclusively of the same background as they themselves, they do sports in "elite" clubs with almost no non-natives, etc. At best, they have non-native collegues in their workplace. They move out from the districts with high numbers of non-native inhabitans and move into the richer, nicer, calmer surburbs. They're not only not "exposed" to the downsides of what they preach and say to believe in, but instinctively, they seek out social environments where they are spared from the results of their ideologies.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nosek
    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'
    They have my number down. This quirk of mine is probably a result of previous conditioning and is more emotional than cognitive. But they seem to totally dismiss the very real and cognitive threat of multiculturalism to societies: a very real connection of race to violent crime and IQ, the fact that multiculturalism has been the death of every society that tried it in the past, and we are watching our potential extinction creep up upon us with foreigners starting to outnumber us in our own lands, not to mention the rest of the world. Plus, they're simply not my people. They don't look, think, act, smell, or feel like my people. I wouldn't want to take one as a wife, so why would I want them in my country, which is supposed to be an extension of my family? I would rather have a bunch of pretty and smart people who looked like me and shared the same culture, instead of ugly and dumb people with whom I have nothing in common.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hodson
    Much of the present research literature suggests that our prejudices are primarily emotional in origin rather than cognitive.
    I formed a lot of my prejudices before coming under mentioned conditioned outlook on life, and therefore my claimed observational prejudices were not jaded by emotion. If anything, a 'hostile world' outlook made me more observational and cautious. Someone might argue that I only paid attention to occurrences that reinforced my prejudices: well, there were way too many occurrences which reinforced my prejudices for there to not be strong correlations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GroeneWolf View Post
    Reminds me of this article. But basically one can simply state that the preference for progressive policies among the more intelligent has more to do with what they are being taught on universities combined with little direct exposure to the downsides of said policies then with them being more intelligent.
    At the very least the inteligent, college educated know what to say or express outloud, regardless if they actually believe it.

    There has been a longterm campaign among the media (since at least the end of WWII) to equate racialist & conservative principals with ignorance, violence & blue collar or white trash economic status. "All in the Family" is a good example of this along with all the stereotypical dumb, fat, foaming-at-the-mouth, rednecks that have become typical stock characters for any film dealing with race relations in the South.

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    Ah yes, this is so 'controversial' and 'groundbreaking'. There's never been a study on this before

    Interestingly, though, it only tells us what we really ought to know already: 'racism' when mediated by conservatism correlates with low intelligence. Bill O'Reilly and other neocons in the US, and Daily Mail readers in Britain, aren't smart at all. This we already know. They're also not real racists -- they certainly have the tendencies in them, but they just aren't smart enough to be able to question society's most inviolable values and principles.

    Liberals aren't smart either, and certainly aren't anywhere close to being perceivers of some higher truth thanks to a glowing intellect, but they are more intelligent than neocons. The mistake commonly made here is in assuming there's something inherently intelligent about liberal views. Purported understanding of reality comes in tiers, and there's no fluent continuity between those tiers. Someone on the second to lowest tier doesn't necessarily understand more about reality than someone on the lowest. Before a certain level of intelligence, it's all stumbling in the dark. And this is why no matter how intelligent liberals and conservatives are or aren't relative to each other, they're both utterly moronic to someone standing on a yet higher tier of understanding.

    But to me, conservatism and liberalism are first and foremost personality types. Very little higher thought goes into either view. Maybe intellect is so wound with character that a correlation between ideology and intelligence may be found even in this early association, but we also need to take into account the social and political milieus of the educated and, by extension, the relatively intelligent. I'd also argue that this study is largely US-specific. Ability to think outside the box is, IMO, the most important element of intelligence. The US and Britain alone have such a large established base of both conservatives and liberals that it can be rightly said that members of either ideology can arrive at their positions without ever having to think laterally for an instant. In nations that are overwhelmingly liberal, what conservatives can be found are of course going to be much more intelligent either than the liberals who form the political norm of their countries or their American and British counterparts.

    -- This shouldn't be taken as an attack on Skadi's self-identified conservatives, but on the typical conservatives of Britain and America, whom no conservative member on Skadi resembles.

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