Low IQ and Conservatives

Mrs. - posted on 02/05/2012 ( 34 moms have responded )

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/27...



No doubt some of you might of heard of the new study out of Brock U, here in Canada. Here's the HP article on it:



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.



What do you think? Do conservatives tend to be less intelligent? Or is this just political opinion masquerading as science?

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[deleted account]

Conservative does not equal Republican, but sometimes they are (incorrectly) considered synonymous.



Conservatives generally resist change. They resist any more than bare minimal government interference. They tend to believe that people should not ask for help and should do what it takes to take care of themselves. Their morals are often, but not always, guided by religion.



Liberals generally are more open to change. They support and gravitate towards government regulation and social programs. They feel that a community's citizens should distribute wealth equally (or somewhat equally) in order to provide for those who do not provide for themselves--everyone is responsible for not only themselves, but others as well. Their morals are also often guided by religion, but more often are guided by the Golden Rule type theology.



I can see how people of lower IQ could gravitate towards conservative ideas because the ideas are older, they don't change often, and thus have already been explained and understood.

Liberal ideas are almost always developing and changing due to their acceptance of change. They must be more creative, and figure out ways to explain and back up their newer ideas.





On a side note: He did not say "I'm not concerned about poor people because they have their own safety net." He said, "I am not concerned about the extremely poor people because we already have safety nets in place for them." Which is true--There are a plethora of welfare systems in place to help the very poor: Medicaid, EBT, Section 8, utility assistance, TANF, SSI, housing assistance, WIC, to name only a few. The middle class, however, have no assistance and many are living at a lower quality than those extremely poor individuals because their jobs prohibit them from qualifying for assistance. He was trying to say that we need to focus more on our deteriorating middle class, because if we don't, we will loose the middle class and those safety nets that are keeping the very poor afloat will be over burdened.



That said, I don't support that candidate, but I have gotten annoyed by the way that quote has been pulled out of context and totally warped.

Isobel - posted on 02/07/2012

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Harper wasn't ousted because the liberals and the NDP didn't form a coalition government...which they should have, because when you think about it 60% of Canadian voters did not vote for the Conservative party...we voted either left, or lefter...but because they were broken up-the right won :(

Jodi - posted on 02/06/2012

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Kelly, in my area, people who are republican call themselves conservative and call the dems liberals. In my area, there is no differentiation between what it actually means to be a conservative and what it actually means to be a republican. There is no differentiation between being liberal and being democratic. That may not be the case for the rest of the country...I do know that there is a difference, but when the repubs around me are all claiming to be conservative and calling any repubs anywhere conservatives, then it becomes so. I've also heard a lot on the news referring to the republican party as the conservative party rather than republican. Sorry if I caused confusion, I was using language that would be completely appropriate and correct in my area.

Jodi - posted on 02/06/2012

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Tracey, that's a really interesting stat. I do think it shows a little of both. I mean, you have to be at least somewhat intelligent to get in...but you also have to have the means.



In talking on facebook with a few people about this, I think I believe it is not necessarily conservatives that are less intelligent, it is intolerant (racist) people that are less intelligent. I know it's not common, but there are libs who are racist/intolerant, and there are conservatives who are incredibly tolerant. Unfortunately, many intolerant people fall to the right side of the political spectrum.

Johnny - posted on 02/06/2012

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I'm pretty sure that regardless of what any politicians say, their actual stance on the issue is based on the opinions of their biggest financial contributor.

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♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 02/07/2012

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Same with the Canadian public Janice since their voting system is set up like a pyramid scheme. This was said by a friend of mine in QC though, I didn't come up with it myself.



For a perfect example just look at the emergancy referendum Canada had last year to try and get rid of Harper. Each area elects people within the party and whichever party gets the most vote in each area that's the party the premier is. Which ever party has the most premiers (governors for us Americans) that's which party the Prime Minister is from. So Harper wasn't ousted.



Don't even get me started on BC's Premier Christy Clark. Over the summer here in BC we had a vote on whether to keep or toss the HST that the former premier Gordon Campbell had hoisted on the province after the Olympics and after promising that he wouldn't give BC a new tax. He didn't even inform people on what he was doing, he just up and did it. But that's another topic on why DH doesn't like the Liberal party. Anywho, DH, his dad and a bunch of other people in BC voted to strike down the HST (after having to deal with missing paperwork on the mail in ballots for the HST which my FIL had issues with) but Christy Clark is taking some time to actually remove the HST so BC will go back to the GST and PST.



Oh FYI: HST= Harmonized Sales Tax

GST= General Sales Tax

PST= Provincial Sales Tax



Just in case non Canadians don't know that.

Isobel - posted on 02/07/2012

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yes we have a conservative party, but a) in Canada "conservative" means "our plan is to crawl up into America's ass and stay there comfortably", and b) I'm pretty sure you guys would still think that guy is a commie pinko ;), and that our left parties should be executed on sight lol

Janice - posted on 02/07/2012

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I second that Johnny!

Its a major problem! We may vote politicians in but it is the companies and millionaires that call the shots when the representatives vote on policies. Which is why the American public is screwed.

Mrs. - posted on 02/06/2012

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I tend to hope Romney's stance changing means that he is actually more moderate than what the far right Republican base is and he's trying to pander to them.



If the Demos screw the pooch, it is my hope that Romney would just end up being as moderate as Obama. That might be deluded, but that is how I hug myself to sleep on the issue.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 02/06/2012

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Laura, agreed, just look at Romney, the only thing he hasn't changed his stance on is his hair cut and bad fashion sense.



Perry couldn't even tell that Canada was a foreign country.

Merry - posted on 02/06/2012

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Haha sometimes I think the politician is unsure of what they stand for!

Mrs. - posted on 02/06/2012

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Sometimes I think that even the people who are in the campaigns are ignorant of what the politician's stance is.

Merry - posted on 02/06/2012

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Yeah it was tough though. It was my first election and I didn't want to vote ignorantly.



But I do agree, many young adults don't even vote.

Many more just vote for the one their peers thinks is cool.

Honestly most people I talked to said they wouldn't vote for McCain cuz he was too old. So they voted for Obama just for his age :-/

Mrs. - posted on 02/06/2012

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It is difficult, I personally believe Obama is very moderate and somewhat conservative in some areas. I think that is why he appealed to me.



I was raised in a rampant Demo household, however, I do have some issues, like the death penalty, in which I would vote conservatively...and not down the party line.



Laura, I don't think you are alone in living in a nation in which politics is EVERYWHERE but not really knowing what the parties stand for. I think you are in the majority on that one. Where you are in the minority is that you actually put some work into finding out where the parties stand, I think most people don't know, they just vote by "he seems like a nice guy" or "she's a woman and I like that".

[deleted account]

I am much like you, Laura, in that I agree with many of the ideals of both parties. I think most Americans do.



I had forgotten about the Liberal and Conservative parties in Canada, and this study is Canadian, so I suppose differentiating between Republican and Conservative and Democratic and Liberal is really a moot point. I know that in parts of America, they are becoming synonymous, but the should not be.



I do consider myself a republican, but I am not a conservative. I do not always vote republican, but I do tend to agree with them on the issues that are most important to me. That said, I agree with the Democratic party on a lot of issues too, and strongly disagree with the Republican party on a lot of issues. In fact, if you were counting issues, I would probably agree with the Democratic party more often, but those issue are less important to me than the few big issues that I truly care about.





Again, he was not saying that he didn't care about the poor, he was saying that he did not see the need to focus on implementing new programs to help them because we already have programs in place. You really have to look at the entire interview, not just the one sentence taken completely out of context. If he didn't care about them, he would be talking about cutting those programs out in order to give benefits to working middle class, but that is not what he aims to do. He is proposing ideas that keep the middle class from slipping below poverty. That's not a bad thing.

Janice - posted on 02/06/2012

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"It sucks that , in the states, you have to pick a side, even if your beliefs (conservative, moderate or liberal..or anarchy, who knows?) don't fit snug to either side."



Yes, Rebecca, exactly! I hate the ass-nine system.

Merry - posted on 02/06/2012

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Rebecca I'm totally a politics virgin and I'm sure my knowledge on this stuff is horrid :)

I never liked learning about government.

But I do agree that there's no way our country can be split neatly into two parties. It's absurd actually.

When I was trying to decide who to vote for last presidential election I looked up the differences between the democrats and republicans and while I found myself quite mixed in opinions I was able to make a decision as to who to vote for but it was barely more then a tosss up.

There's so much I agree with in both parties

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 02/06/2012

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Rebecca, what I like about Canadian politics is that no one gives a rat's butt about religion. No one is screaming about who is and isn't a constition loving conservative or a true conservative. Seriously why do we as Americans need to care about that stuff?



To me a Conservative is a conservative thinking person not necessarily a Republican/Tea Party Member. To my husband it means a member of a Canadian political party.

Mrs. - posted on 02/06/2012

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I originally used "conservative" because I thought it was a general term for those who have leanings to the right. I also said that because I wanted it to be applicable to everyone. Most English speaking countries that make up the folks on CoM, have some version of a conservative right leaning party in their country.



It kind of makes me giggle a bit when my fellow Americans say, "When you say conservative, do you mean Republican?'..it's so American-centric.



I kinda love the variety of parties that get taken seriously in Canada. It doesn't, I think, lead to the same black and white mentality of the left and right in the US. It sucks that , in the states, you have to pick a side, even if your beliefs (conservative, moderate or liberal..or anarchy, who knows?) don't fit snug to either side.



I'm pretty sure conservative can safely be applied to the more right of the Republican party that are currently in the driver's seat, if the last few months of debates are any indicator.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 02/06/2012

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Kelly no matter how you slices it saying that you don't care about poor people (despite how the level of poorness) is still not something that helps your chances of becoming the new president of the US. Reguardless of having 'safety nets' which the current Republican candidates are eager to mess with the fact still remains that poor and extremely poor people are still American citizens. I've been in a few homes where people live below the poverty line and I can honestly tell you they don't live better than my middle class parents.



Some Conservative US politicians do seem to embrace change if it is guided by their supposed moral compass. There are a few states in the southern US who have already made laws to dictate what determines marriage and who has the permission to marry. There has also been a push by some conservatives to change the Constitution to fit their idea of marriage and religion.



Here in Canada Conservative is literally the name of one of 2 parties (the other coincidentally is Liberal) that hold a majority in Parliment. In Canada the Conservative party has a main focus on economy, job creation and (in DH's opinion) screwing over the working people. There is no focus on religious idealogy in a sense of personal issues because in Canada using religion in politics is political suicide.



The Canadian Liberal party (which includes BC Premier Christy Clark who is stalling to remove the HST which was voted down last year) is also focused on business and job creation. There are slight differences. DH (who is an New Democratic Party supporter and therefore slightly biased) says they're the lesser of the two evils.



And since I mentioned it the NDP (in DH's opinion) is more concerned with job creation, but is also focused on families and increasing minimum wage.

Jodi - posted on 02/06/2012

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Laura, let me clarify a few points. It's kind of standard these days in the States that conservative is synonymous with republican and liberal is synonymous with democrat. I am certainly not saying all racists are conservative and I'm definately not saying all conservatives are racist. I'm saying the majority of racists are *also* conservative. But I know many conservatives whoa er not racist, just as I know a liberal who is incredibly racist. There's always exceptions, but from my experience, most racists happen to be conservatives.

Merry - posted on 02/06/2012

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Wow I never thought of that Janice.

I've dealt with my dad for so long obviously and he's just always been so hard to understand.

He's so hurtful and he doesn't even realize it half the time.

Maybe I should look up signs of aspergers in adults and see how he fits....

Janice - posted on 02/06/2012

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Laura typically republicans are conservative while democrats are liberal but there is a lot of wiggle room there. Also most republicans are Christians,they often go hand in hand but not always.

Janice - posted on 02/06/2012

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Laura I think in today's world your dad would be diagnosed with Aspegers - very smart but inept socially. Just throwing that out there.



But as others said those with lower IQs are more likely to have racist or sexist views. But IQ tests are just standardized tests they are not the end all, be all to whether or not someone is smart or if they can function in the real world.

Merry - posted on 02/06/2012

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I see, well I do think radical religious people are awful.

They make normal courteous religious people look bad by association.

Are all conservatives religious?



All my family and my in laws are conservatives. Some stronger then others.

I feel very undecided but I have voted democrat before and I'd do it again if I thought that candidate was the better choice.

My extremely republican brother and brother in law sometimes get on my nerves. They don't seem to even see the other side of the coin. And they always choose the republicans just because they're republicans.



Is conservative equivalent of republican?

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 02/06/2012

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Laura, I'm not seeing that. I believe what Jodi was saying is that racists are less intelligent and that there are racists in both sides. I hope that helped.



To me a conservative is someone who cites religion as a reason to do something or not do something. For example down in the States Republicans (who are now traditionally conservative and poor Abe Lincoln is probably rolling in his grave) are saying they want a Constitutional ban on same sex marriage citing that it violates the institution which is 'traditionally' between a man and a woman. I'm not familiar with conservative politics in Canada yet, but what I've experianced in the US Conservative politics have more to do with traditional family vaules, upholding certain parts of the constitution (not the part about the separation of Church and State though) and questioning everyone's religious beliefs (not that every conservative does that.)

Merry - posted on 02/06/2012

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I think I must have a low IQ as I love the simple answers to complex problems. I don't like unanswered questions and I like the answers to all make sense.

Does low IQ really mean anything though?

My dad has a very high IQ and he's barely able to communicate effectively, he can't grasp social manners well' he was very controlling and abusive to us kids, his rules apwere always sock plea and he had a hard time understanding our emotions.

He's a brilliant man on the computer though, as I said very smart.

But he's a horrible dad. Did us lots of damage.

Merry - posted on 02/06/2012

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First I must clarify, are you saying racists are conservatives?



I think this is total crap. Most everyone I know is conservative and I certainly don't see an simple dull thoughts out of them.



Maybe I'm not clear on what conservative means though, do you mean republicans?

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 02/06/2012

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Ok first off I can't wait to tell DH about how moderates and liberals are smarter than Conservatives- especially since our PM is a Conservative- according to a study in Canada. Too bad he's taking a nap.



I do agree with Johnny because right now I'm ashamed to call myself American given the recent comments from the current Republican presidential candidates. Seriously who in their damn correct mind says 'I'm not concerned about poor people because they have their own safety net'? Are you kidding me?!



I will state though that I do have a few friends who are conservative yet very intelligent. One of them is the husband of another friend of mine who runs his own company back in New York. His MIL teases him that if they haven't converted his Right wing brain yet after marrying into a liberal family they never will. He offers intelligent debate (something DH really enjoyed) and does listen respectfully to the other side. Something both sides can be found guilty of not doing.

Janice - posted on 02/06/2012

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I definitely can see how those with lower mental capacity would identify with "simplified ideologies". There are extremists on both sides but currently there are more on the conservative side. I don't think all conservatives are less intelligent. There are certainly those who are smart enough to look at issues and decide they are conservative. But I also think there are those who have conservative beliefs because that's just the way they were raised and challenging those ideas is too stressful for their "small minds." I'm sure there are liberals like that too. Liberals are going to take this and run with it; which I am okay with because many conservative views piss me off. ;)

Tracey - posted on 02/06/2012

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38% of UK Conservative MPs went to the top 2 universities compared to 28% of Lib Dems and 20% of Labour MPS. Don't know if this proves intelligence or opportunity though?

Jodi - posted on 02/06/2012

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You can bet your arse this is going to my facebook where I have several conservative (read extremist right wing tea-partiers) family members! I agree with Johnny though, when you get into the extreme of things, you'll find idiots on both sides.



I do feel though that, even if not less intelligent, my conservative "friends" come across as less intelligent in their refusal to back up their claims, to recognize scientific fact/data that differs from their opinion and in general pluggin their ears while singing "I can't hear you" to anything that might possibly differ from their view.



So, I guess that I could see it. I think there are some highly intelligent people on the right wing side, but I think many of them are not. The ones I know...fall in the "are not" club.

Johnny - posted on 02/05/2012

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I think that people who frequently choose simple solutions to complex problems probably do have a lower IQ. Even though I consider myself leaning to the left of the spectrum, I have observed that both sides of the coin have their idiot extremists. And for some reason they are always the loudest. Which seems to end up with the dumbasses running the show :(



I will say though, that in the current American political dialogue, the simpletons do seem to be falling disproportionately to the right.

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