Posted Today, 01:43 AM
Right-wingers are less intelligent than left wingers, says study
Children with low intelligence grow up to be prejudiced
Right-wing views make the less intelligent feel 'safe'
Analysis of more than 15,000 people
By Rob Waugh
Last updated at 8:21 PM on 2nd February 2012
Right-wingers tend to be less intelligent than left-wingers, and people with low childhood intelligence tend to grow up to have racist and anti-gay views, says a controversial new study.
Conservative politics work almost as a 'gateway' into prejudice against others, say the Canadian academics.
The paper analysed large UK studies which compared childhood intelligence with political views in adulthood across more than 15,000 people.
The authors claim that people with low intelligence gravitate towards right-wing views because they make them feel safe.
The survey, which compared childhood intelligence with political views, is bad news for David Cameron, the Conservative Party Prime Minister but should give a lift to Labour Party leader, Ed Miliband, pictured in Question Time today
Crucially, people's educational level is not what determines whether they are racist or not - it's innate intelligence, according to the academics.
Social status also appears to play no part.
The study, published in Psychological Science, claims that right-wing ideology forms a 'pathway' for people with low reasoning ability to become prejudiced against groups such as other races and gay people.
'Cognitive abilities are critical in forming impressions of other people and in being open minded,' say the researchers.
'Individuals with lower cognitive abilities may gravitate towards more socially conservative right-wing ideologies that maintain the status quo.
'It provides a sense of order.'
The study used information from two UK studies from 1958 and 1970 , where several thousand children were assessed for intelligence at age 10 and 11, and then asked political questions aged 33.
The 1958 National Child Development involved 4,267 men and 4,537 women born in 1958.
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'Individuals with lower abilities may gravitate towards right-wing ideologies that maintain the status quo.
It provides a sense of order,' say the academics
The British Cohort Study involved 3,412 men and 3,658 women born in 1970.
It's the first time the data from these studies has been used in this way.
In adulthood, the children were asked whether they agreed with statements such as, 'I wouldn't mind working with people from other races,' and 'I wouldn't mind if a family of a different race moved next door.'
They were also asked whether they agreed with statements about typically right-wing and socially conservative politics such as, 'Give law breakers stiffer sentences,' and 'Schools should teach children to obey authority.'
The researchers also compared their results against a 1986 American study which included tests of cognitive ability and questions assessing prejudice against homosexuals.
The authors claim that there is a strong correlation between low intelligence both as a child and an adult, and right-wing politics.
The authors also claim that conservative politics is part of a complex relationship that leads people to become prejudices.
'Conservative ideology represents a critical pathway through which childhood intelligence predicts racism in adulthood,' says the paper.
'In psychological terms, the relation between intelligence and prejudice may stem from the propensity of individuals with lower cognitive ability to endorse more right wing conservative ideologies because such ideologies offer a psychological sense of stability and order.'
'Clearly, however, all socially conservative people are not prejudiced, and all prejudiced persons are not conservative.'
Read More: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencete...#ixzz1lHJhA79G
Right-wingers are less intelligent than left wingers, says study. Watch
- Thread Starter
Last edited by IRSP044; 03-02-2012 at 02:55.
- 03-02-2012 02:20
- 03-02-2012 02:53
.... Saw it was the daily mail
- 03-02-2012 03:03
- 03-02-2012 03:05
The DM probably got confused between their lefts and rights again, giving creedence to the study.
- Thread Starter
- 03-02-2012 03:21
Im no DM reader but, I would say the articles true.
- 03-02-2012 03:32
Political beliefs are a spectrum. So one is either leaning to the left or right. As a right winger wouldn't publish research about themselves being stupider I can only assume that the authors are left wingers. Therefore this study is biased (duh).
Furthermore if right wingers are less intelligent then how do you explain the Nazi scientists? They were pretty good. I know plenty right wing people who are infact extremely smart. Conversely I know many left wing people who are exceedingly smart. Intelligence has nothing to do with political beliefs. It is more to do with how you were brought up, who you associate with and how your brain works etc.
- 03-02-2012 03:35
Those Canadian scientists must be exceptionally naive to talk of innate intelligence, as their are so many different varieties of intelligence, and all of these are influenced by upbringing.
And what the hell are conservative politics anyway. For one person it might mean capitalism, for another it might mean 'no more blacks allowed', and for another it might mean 'no abortion after 8 weeks'.
Really the 'study' is too vague, uneducated and silly to have any real merit, academic or 'popular'.
- 03-02-2012 04:27
The study is obviously a flawed one, but it does raise a valid point - but I don't think the findings suggest what people, or the researchers themselves, suggest they do. I would certainly agree that if one isn't as comparatively intelligent, one is more inclined to agree with right-wing opinions - you only need to look at the right-wing popular press, or talk to random people on the street about issues such as immigration, for example, and I think you would notice a trend suggesting that the less intellectual one is, the more likely one is to buy into a right-wing opinion.
I don't think it's at all fair to say this suggests right-wingers are stupid, though. The fact of the matter is most people do not have any great understanding of politics, economics or complex social issues - they only know what they experience and are exposed to through the media. As a rule of thumb, right-wing philosophies and ideas tend to be easier to present in a simplistic fashion than those of the left-wing, and so they are naturally more appealing to persons who aren't accustomed to dealing with complex intellectual challenges. Take the deficit, for example - when arguing between a right-wing austerity driven approach or a left wing Keynesian driven approach, which sounds better?
A person of lass then average intelligence would almost certainly say the austerity driven approach, simply because on paper, it sounds like the most sensible. You cut spending, the deficit goes down. The Keynesian approach is much harder to explain and when simplified, the idea of spending money to reduce the deficit sounds ludicrous to a lot of people. More intellectual individuals can decide between the two approaches on their own academic and economic merits - I'm sure most intelligent, committed right-wingers don't believe in austerity to solve our economic problems just because of a simplistic idea like that; they probably have a solid understanding of economic theory and have chosen the one they believe is more accurate. Any intellectual right-winger, on the other hand, can understand the principles behind the Keynesian approach - they might not think that it works in the real world, but they'll be able to grasp why left-wingers think it should.
It's the same with immigration. Take a group of young, poorly educated, medium to long-term unemployed, working class men. Automatically, we know from our political culture that their natural constituency ought to be the Labour Party - but a good number in that group have very strong right-wing views on immigration (the whole "immigrants coming to our country and stealing our jobs" idea). They come to that opinion based on what they see around them and what the simplistic popular press tells them; they probably haven't give much thought to the complicated economic benefits and the economic consequences of immigration. Again, in contrast, a dedicated and educated right-winger with anti-immigration opinions is more likely to hold them because they've taken the time to familiarise themselves with both sides of the argument, and find the detailed socio-economic evidence and the right-wing explanation for it more convincing.
TL;DR: I suppose what I'm saying is that I think the study is right in suggesting less intellectual people are more inclined to support right-wing views purely due to the simplistic way they can be reached, but that doens't mean left-wingers are any more intelligent, nor does it compromise the integrity of the beliefs and philosophies of educated right-wingers. The study is definitely flawed, but I think it has hit onto an interesting point - more than anything, I think it's just more proof that we need to do more to educate the wider public on the details of politics and basic economic theory.
Those are just my thoughts, anyway.
there's too much loveOffline5ReputationRep:
- 03-02-2012 04:37
Are the daily mail trying to alientate their entire customer base?
Or do they presume they're too stupid to realise what's being said?
- 03-02-2012 04:45
'Left wing' and 'right wing' are arbitrary mish-mashes of unrelated ideas, and that racists and bigots lack intelligence is discernable without in-depth study.
- 03-02-2012 05:06
I though conservatism was about being individualistic, not prejudice. I certainly do think it would be constructive for schools to teach their pupils to obey authority because I spent so much time doing nothing while some arrogant, ignorant, selfish so-and-so would keep laughing at the teacher and wasting time saying the teacher couldn't make him do anything.
- 03-02-2012 06:25
Hahaha. This reminds me of my sociology teacher. He calls people who watch Fox News/vote for lower taxes/are religious/etc (generally conservatives) stupid people.
- 03-02-2012 06:38
1) I do not think intelligence can really be measured as such tbh
2) much as I disagree with the Right, I wouldn't call most of them stupid (some of them most definitely are, but so are some other Leftists (sadly)), I would argue some of them have questionable morales but you don't have to be an idiot to be depraved (probably helps though )
- Political Ambassador
- 03-02-2012 10:00
- 03-02-2012 10:04
theres a wide gap between racist/sexist and a politically correct pussy.
lol and 1 has appeared with the neg...TSR doesnt disapointLast edited by int92; 03-02-2012 at 11:22.
- 03-02-2012 10:28
Wow, that survey has conclusive evidence written all over it (nice for them to mention the sheer extent of intelligence difference).
There are also many surveys that link intelligence to being less worldly. So does this mean left-wing don't have any real world common sense?
- 03-02-2012 12:31
How can this surprise anyone? It is widely known that left wing/green voters come from a higher educational background and thus have a higher income than say the working class.
But, one can question whether it is the case of a lower IQ or simply less education resulting in more narrow minded views.
Just because it's the view of some scientists doesn't make it true. That is why it's called research and not fact. Don't believe in everything you read especially if you read it in Daily Fail.
- 03-02-2012 13:27
The daily mail published this?
Have I woken up in an alternate universe?
- 03-02-2012 19:08
The views referred to in the study seem to be authoritarian rather than right wing; they are all based on the idea that people can, or should, be controlled.
- 03-02-2012 19:22
Political beliefs don't determind intelligence or vice versa, I don't care what anyone/study says.