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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


    Low IQ & Conservative Beliefs Linked to Prejudice
    Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience Senior Writer | January 26, 2012 10:29am ET

    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 nave 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 on Facebook.

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    Veteran Member cpicturetaker12's Avatar
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    Several 'takes' on this study. It's kinda of a stew of probabilities and stats. But the premise is correct. Lower IQ people do appear to have more prejudice and are driven more by FEAR.

    1--Yes, more red state citizens have lower IQ's. Not all red states but lower IQ's in red states. Conversely BLUE states have higher IQs. It is true and it is MEASURABLE. More high School diplomas, # of AB high school students, higher SATS, higher GREs, number of college and graduate college degrees, number of technical and high skilled degrees, etc. (I'll throw in better EARLY childhood education access and quality--that's my assumption).
    2--More red states have higher poverty levels. Easily measurable. Even though the results as to cause are a little less specific. (Nature or nurture?) YOUNGER mothers, bad prenatal care, DIET, environmental chemicals, lower quality schools go real far to bring down IQs. Lower IQ people marry lower IQ people.
    3--Red states who seem to have more emphasis on the male model of power (loosely defined) who tend to relegate women to lesser positions of power, education, earlier motherhood, lower education. I'll even throw in a dose of evangelical religions adding to this mix. (Conjecture on my part).

    NOW FOR some PHYSIOLOGY...(This is very interesting)....

    Here's What Science Says About the Brains of Democrats and Republicans


    Author: Dylan Goldstein

    Back in 1796, George Washington offered the nation some unheeded words of advice: beware of political parties. Despite this recommendation, two forces emerged in America and today the Republican and Democratic parties dominate the political scene, forming a deep partisan divide. But what does this divide say about their supporters? Why do some of us identify as conservatives, and others as liberals? According to some neuroscientists, the answer lies partially in the make up of our brains.

    What are the brain differences?
    In their search to unlock the mystery surrounding the political brain, researchers are discovering basic structural differences between conservatives and liberals. While it is generally difficult to make a direct link between brain differences and complex behaviors in social or political contexts, these findings give scientists some hints as to how biology may inspire political identity.

    First, let's take a look at the liberal brain. Studies have found that, on average, the brains of liberals have greater volume in a region known as the
    anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). This area has been linked to several functions, including conflict detection, which enables us to regulate our behavior by identifying discrepancies between instinctual, habit-driven impulses and our actual intentions. So whether you're swerving to dodge a deer that's abruptly run onto the road, or halting before eating that one rotten grape from the fruit bowl, you can thank your ACC for its conflict detection capabilities.

    Beyond its greater size, the ACC of the liberal brain also fires more frequently while detecting these differences between instinct and intention. In a political context, this may enable liberals to approach policy issues with greater sensitivity to when their habitual tendencies are ill suited for addressing the issue at hand.

    The conservative brain, on the other hand, has greater volume in a region called the amygdala, an almond-shaped structure implicated in emotional and fear-based learning. In one study, researchers found that when conservatives hear shocking noise stimuli, such as a blast of white noise, they exhibit more fearful instinctual reactions as measured by blink response, an indicator of amygdala activity. These findings have led some to speculate that larger and more sensitive amygdalae in conservatives may cause them to be more driven by fear and emotional rewards.

    In another study, researchers investigated the emotional differences between the two groups and found that when faced with risky decision-making, the amygdalae of Republicans fire at a greater rate than those of Democrats. This suggests that Republicans might be relatively more influenced by emotions in their decision-making process. What's more, a study found that conservatives were aroused to a greater extent than liberals when shown disturbing images, such as those depicting infested wounds. Simply put, it appears that the conservative brain is more sensitive to stimuli that carry emotional weight.

    If my political affiliation is hard-wired, can I still switch it?
    Well, in short, of course you can switch affiliations. However, people rarely do so, and it does appear that there are some neural obstacles to crossing the aisle. When it comes to politics, people tend to have pretty strong opinions, and aren't always so receptive to conflicting ideologies.



    https://braindecoder.com/post/politi...nce-1282982492
    Last edited by cpicturetaker12; 8th February 2017 at 08:03 PM.
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    So people who think two men can have sex together are more intelligent? People who think gender is anything you want it to be are intelligent.
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    Veteran Member Canada - Geography game Champion, Geography Champion mtm1963's Avatar
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    Stay away, stay far away!!

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    Veteran Member MaryAnne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by THOR View Post
    So people who think two men can have sex together are more intelligent? People who think gender is anything you want it to be are intelligent.
    I think this thread was about the brain, not sexual organs, but you just revealed fear. Something the Conservative brain seems to be ruled by!

    Thank you,Thor for proving the point in your post!
    Thanks from Friday13, OHjulie, April15 and 4 others

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    Veteran Member MaryAnne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtm1963 View Post
    Stay away, stay far away!!
    You scared,too?LOL

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    Veteran Member TNVolunteer73's Avatar
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    The big left lie, I cannot believe you are so uninformed and bigoted that you promote it.

    Conservatives are Bigoted. then why do Conservatives elect these people to be leaders of the Conservative Movement.

    it is Democrats that call Blacks to stupid to make it on their own. To Stupid to make it in GOOD SCHOOLS so the put the WORST SCHOOLS in Minority populated Areas not Conservatives

    Leaders in the Consrevative movement







    http://daily.swarthmore.edu/wp-conte...02/Rubio10.jpg

    lot of Black and Brown elected to lead the Conservative movement.

    But then again, This is type of OP I expect from Bigots and Fake news mongers
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    Veteran Member MaryAnne's Avatar
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    Gee whiz. Three people. They may be exceptions from the usual Con mind. That happens, you know.
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    Veteran Member Canada - Geography game Champion, Geography Champion mtm1963's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaryAnne View Post
    You scared,too?LOL
    So called studies that examine someone's political beliefs left or right are bull shit.

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    Galactic Ruler Spookycolt's Avatar
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    They reference a study then do not provide a link for it?

    I cannot find this study anywhere so I am calling Fake News on this one.

    Anyone can write a blog and say, "according to a new study".
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