Science Shows Stupid Conservatives Likely To Be Prejudiced

It’s all true! So sweet! Before you start arguing, let me bask in the glory of being able to write that headline and have it be a simple statement of fact rather than inflammatory baiting. Ahhhh … so nice!

Ok, here’s the story.An article on Livescience cites several studies that tested for intelligence and political beliefs and found that low intelligence and conservative political beliefs corresponded with a tendency to hold prejudicial beliefs.

These studies have found a correlation between these three things, not proven causation. But saying that a correlation exists is not meaningless. If you find the window broken and a newspaper lying on the ground every afternoon right about the time the paper boy comes by, you have not PROVEN that the paper boy is breaking your windows by throwing the paper, but you’ll probably think he IS doing so nonetheless.

And this looks like a pretty strong correlation.

The study does not prove that every conservative is stupid or prejudiced, of course. Individual conservatives can be smarter than individual liberals, or less prejudiced, conceivably. I believe it COULD happen under all the right circumstances, kind of a Moronic Convergence thing.

I would add as another element of the link, not causation but more correlation, the fact that so much of the Republican agenda is, well, stupid.

Grown, presumably educated men are being forced to appear on camera and deny that they believe in evolution. Many conservatives stick to abstinence only sex education even though ALL the numbers say it’s a ridiculously ineffective approach to sex education. In a time when taxes on the rich are at historic lows and the budget deficit is at historic highs, they are having to defend tax breaks for the rich (oh, excuse me … “job creators”). In the aftermath of a stock market crash engineered by investment banks and real estate financiers gone wild, they are having to oppose regulating the stock market.

The Republicans are also promoting prejudice toward gays, with things like the Defense of Marriage Act, opposing giving people who love each other the simple right to marry simply because they are both of the same gender. Straight up bigotry, people.

Frankly, the Repubican conservative agenda is riddled with stupidity and bigotry. And now we know why, ultimately.

Yup, and since the US has had, and continues to produce, so many children with low intelligence, the Republicans will continue to win elections.

Kind of funny when you think of it. Your interpretation of this study suggests you can essentially predict future Republican victories based on the ineptitude of today’s students.

Maybe this is what No Child Left Behind was really designed to achieve.

I hold it as an article of faith that all US children are above average!

Doesn’t balance out, we’d need at least six Minnesotas to one Oklahoma. And they breed! One would think that one dose of snotty sleeved, scabby kneed, crumb snatching chaos generators would be enough. But they do it again! Go figure.

Only half of them are. :wink:

Before this falls into yet another partisan bitchfest, correlation does not imply causation. It’s that simple.

“The research finds that children with low intelligence are more likely to hold prejudiced attitudes as adults.”

It did not find that they WILL hold those attitudes, or that intelligent children WILL NOT hold those attitudes. Only that they will be more likely. As a result, if we take a dumb child, we can not say “he will be a racist” and given a racist we can not say “he was a dumb child.”

People that eat a lot are more likely to be over weight. That does not mean that when presented with an over weight person that they over eat. Or that a skinny person does not over eat.

It means that there is correlation, not causation.

More importantly, there are a multitude of other factors involved. Ingesting arsenic will cause death, causation. But there are a lot of ways of causing death. Knowing someone ingested arsenic means knowing they died. But knowing someone died does not mean they ingested arsenic.

As you said, there are a lot of ways for a window to break. Knowing that a news paper can break a window does allow you to conclude that a broken window was caused by a newspaper.

What I can tell you is that like Bricker’s failed study about economics, this study will bring out the best of individual biases like jagermeister brings out the best of a frat boy.

But the other half are Special.

I was going to respond to the thread, but I’m too stupid to know what it’s about.

That’s what TV commentators are for.

Well, as I have seen evidence that IQ testing is not really that impressive I have to say this is also an study that one should take with a grain of salt. It is not good enough to make one decide to make changes or to deal with the people affected in intrusive ways.

Of course, as they clarify, this is not about setting policy, but why prejudice comes later.

This seems to be very similar to the Monkey Sphere. There is a limit to how big one’s tribe can get and it depends on how much your brain can process and remember social interactions. To me it is more likely that it is the lack of contact with other cultures, particularly in communities with less minorities, that can stunt that development and increase the chances of prejudice in the future. It is more likely to happen when parents are very strict or conservative.

IMHO there are different kinds of IQ, what I would like to see if the researchers concentrated on the social ones.

So, you believe it be true, even though you have not proven it. If only we had a word to describe that sort of thought process.

How did you determine the strength of this correlation?

From the article, a point that will most likely be lost on readers:
“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.

Which is to say, there is a correlation between low intelligence and intolerance among liberals. That correlation is as they found less strong than the one between those attitudes and conservatives.

My more importantly, note this choice words:
“Nonetheless, there is reason to believe that strict right-wing ideology might appeal to those who have trouble grasping the complexity of the world.”

Personally, I think you’ll find strict ideology of any form linked to people with trouble grasping the complexity of the world. This board has been a testament to the trouble both hardline liberals and hardline conservatives struggle with economics and social policy.

What a shock that science found a link between low intelligence and people that have trouble grasping the complexity of the world.

Aye – but IRL it does not appear to work out so symmetrically.

Also, let’s not go overboard with the whole “science” thing. This is one paper, and it was based on data from Britain, not the US. (There was some secondary data form the US on thoughts about homosexuality, but that’s a different can of worms than race.) That’s not how “science” works. Even the article has several paragraphs that talk about the limits of this study, so let’s just say it’s an interesting data point that likely has some validity, but clearly doesn’t paint the full picture of what’s going on.

I would not be surprised if it were possible to concoct another such study that showed stupid liberals were like to be be “x”, where “x” is something negative. That’s in the article, too.

Nor I, if “x” means “broke.”

Unfortunately it appears your bias just proved you wrong. Consider the stupidity of the more extreme liberals on this message board. It’s one thing to know a minimum wage can be a good thing, it’s another to understand the complexities of trying to dictate the intricacies of employee compensation.

This board is also full of left-wing individuals that view conservative thought as: *Modern conservativism is based on false assumptions, bad data, ignoble motives and a willingness to sacrifice any semblence of ethics in order to achieve prosperity for themselves and people like them, at the expense of people outside their tribe. *

That in itself is a prejudice and intolerance.

Are you lumping yourself into the “hardline conservatives” group?

As a very liberal person, studies like this make for headlines that cause me to chuckle. But, frankly, that’s about all it’s good for. I mean, it’s interesting in a way, but it doesn’t mean much in the real world.

Sounds like an accurate description to me. There would be some similar way of describing liberals, or any other people who ascribe to any ideology (I call them ideots).

This study suggests a correlation between low intelligence (measured in children) and later social conservativism and racist beliefs. It says nothing about how how high intelligence correlates with those two attributes. So, if it holds water, we can infer that “racism” is more likely for dopey kids who tend toward conservative beliefs. It doesn’t, however, say how much more likely:

I assume that means that there is NOT a strong link between low intelligence, social liberalism and racism. The article also quotes a scientist commenting on the study:

IOW, stupidity may well lead to certain “flavors” of idiotic thinking, depending upon one’s political leanings. Stupid conservatives have a higher probability (how much higher, it doesn’t say) of being racists, if this study holds water. That’s one of that brigade’s flavors of stupidity. Liberal stupidity may take another typical form. It does NOT means all conservatives are racist, or all conservatives are stupid (or that all liberals are smart and without bias), however much that thought makes the OP want to do a happy dance.