Intelligence Study Links Low I.Q. To Prejudice, Racism, Conservatism

Intelligence Study Links Low I.Q. To Prejudice, Racism, Conservatism

Jun 14


By Rebecca Searles
The Huffington Post
February 4, 2012

Original Link

Are racists dumb? Do conservatives tend to be less intelligent than liberals? A provocative new study from Brock University in Ontario suggests the answer to both questions may be a qualified yes.

The study, published in Psychological Science, showed that people who score low on I.Q. tests in childhood are more likely to develop prejudiced beliefs and socially conservative politics in adulthood.

I.Q., or intelligence quotient, is a score determined by standardized tests, but whether the tests truly reveal intelligence remains a topic of hot debate among psychologists.

Dr. Gordon Hodson, a professor of psychology at the university and the study’s lead author, said the finding represented evidence of a vicious cycle: People of low intelligence gravitate toward socially conservative ideologies, which stress resistance to change and, in turn, prejudice, he told LiveScience.

Why might less intelligent people be drawn to conservative ideologies? Because such ideologies feature “structure and order” that make it easier to comprehend a complicated world, Dodson said. “Unfortunately, many of these features can also contribute to prejudice,” he added.

Dr. Brian Nosek, a University of Virginia psychologist, echoed those sentiments.

“Reality is complicated and messy,” he told The Huffington Post in an email. “Ideologies get rid of the messiness and impose a simpler solution. So, it may not be surprising that people with less cognitive capacity will be attracted to simplifying ideologies.”

But Nosek said less intelligent types might be attracted to liberal “simplifying ideologies” as well as conservative ones.

In any case, the study has taken the Internet by storm, with some outspoken liberals saying that it validates their suspicions about conservatives and conservatives arguing that the research has been misinterpreted.



  1. Studies like this and anything that reinforces the differences in us are so contra-spiritual in my opinion.
    Right after 9-11-2001 we came together as a group because we had a common enemy. I was hoping that the “gift” in this massive tragedy would be the coming together for us as a people so that we could evolve. Instead, we bought in to the political agenda and divided even more vehemently than before.And all this was hidden behind “political correctness” that put a gag on some people and taught us to have “high tolerance for inappropriate behavior.” What is going on here? When are we going to step outside the box” and look at the “big picture?” And instead of pointing out differences — let’s start point out how we are all alike and want peace and love to heal us.

  2. Ron C

    The so-called “left/right paradigm” is a false dichotomy. Both political parties are the same in that they are authoritarian and in favor of an ever growing Federal Government – particularly the Executive Branch – have no regard for the Constitution, and are addicted to an endless supply of “money” via our corrupt monetary policy (the Federal Reserve and central banks, fractional reserve banking and fiat currency).

    That said, there is nothing at all “conservative” about the party that currently likes to call itself “conservative”. A true conservative would espouse next to nothing of what today’s crop of self-styled “conservatives” espouse.

    That said, let me also express utter disgust for the so-called “progressives”. Progressivism (or, as I call it, “modern American liberalism”) is a morally, intellectually and spiritually bankrupt train of thought that – by definition – is authoritarian, statist and has no regard whatsoever for the individual (that’s being redundant). Progressivism is regressive and one has to be utterly brain dead to buy into its philosophy that *government* and endless spending is somehow the solution to all the problems created by an already bloated government and all its overspending.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.