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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Science Proves Conservatives Are Dumb

Posted by on Thu, Jan 26, 2012 at 4:01 PM

Slog tipper Merry says, "Not to get all imperial on ya or anything, but... THIS MUST BE POSTED TO SLOG!" It's a study about how racism and conservatism are tied to stupidity:

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.

As proof of this study, I offer this campaign ad for Florida Republican Mark Oxner, which Wonkette posted earlier today, which is really the Gone with the Wind of stupidity:

 

Comments (47) RSS

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Will in Seattle 1
Science also proves that women get dumber when dumb men join the group working on a task.

Translation: If you are a smart liberal woman, stay out of truck stop bars.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on January 26, 2012 at 4:06 PM · Report this
2
This ad really is remarkably stupid.
Posted by Clayton on January 26, 2012 at 4:09 PM · Report this
kim in portland 3
Some conservatives have very high IQs, but value their pocketbooks above anything else.
Posted by kim in portland http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2010/11/fast-paced_video_provides_a_fu.html on January 26, 2012 at 4:12 PM · Report this
Zebes 4
I liked the Guy Fawkes mask. Are outspoken "Anonymous" kiddies now recognizable enough that they can be wielded by conservative demagogues as a symbol of society's decline alongside solar panels and health care?
Posted by Zebes http://www.badrap.org/rescue/index.html on January 26, 2012 at 4:13 PM · Report this
Vince 5
This thing looks and sounds racist to me. Anyone else pick that up?
Posted by Vince on January 26, 2012 at 4:18 PM · Report this
Hernandez 6
@3 The so-called fiscal conservatives, as opposed to social conservatives discussed in this article. I completely agree.
Posted by Hernandez http://hernandezlist.blogspot.com on January 26, 2012 at 4:19 PM · Report this
dnt trust me 7
@5 No, but I'll try harder. I've learned that the harder you keep looking for something, you're bound to find it, or at least imagine it.
Posted by dnt trust me on January 26, 2012 at 4:35 PM · Report this
balderdash 8
Hold on, hold on... less intelligent people gravitate toward simpler, more straightforward black-and-white ideologies, while spurning positions or solutions of more sophistication or nuance? So, in other words... people who have a hard time with general reasoning avoid complexity?

I mean, I guess I'm glad there's decent data to back up the absolute "no fucking duh" of this situation, but... no fucking duh.

But seriously, I think the important part of that study isn't "conservatives are dumb," but rather the emphasis on the vicious cycle and on the effects of upbringing and social reinforcement. Future conservatives are really just as much victims of destructive ideologies as are the people they'll later victimize.

Not that they'd understand why I say that.
Posted by balderdash http://introverse.blogspot.com on January 26, 2012 at 4:38 PM · Report this
9
Dog whistle politics aside, calling any group dumb does not win them over to your side. I won't even get into the implications of judging intelligence via IQ test. Those who differ from your average slogger along metrics of fiscal policy, racially based opinions, and our beloved objective measurement of intellect simply do not focus on the same things. Everyone involved here is simply trying to live the best way they know how.

I won't argue against the sad truth of ignorance begetting ignorance, though, and it is interesting to see what the other half thinks a viral video is.
Posted by elle macfearson http://zombo.com on January 26, 2012 at 4:41 PM · Report this
10
I haven't read the study but I don't see why stupid folks would be intrinsically reactionary. Low intelligence people aren't critical thinkers, and aren't as well educated; therefore, they tend to regurgitate dominant popular discourse. If public discourse were controlled by progressives, low intelligence types would uncritically mouth that too.
Posted by anon1256 on January 26, 2012 at 4:42 PM · Report this
11
Yes, yes, yes... conservatives are dumb. This is news to zero people. Progressives can go on being haughty about their advanced IQs and failing to convince anyone of anything in the process with empirical certitude now. Hooray!

What might be interesting is how this research compliments research on extremism in general. What about the innumerable morons with leftist slants? In particular the offensively stupid liberal extremists that make up the largest component of what's left of the Occupy Seattle contingent.
Posted by pheeeew!crack!boom! on January 26, 2012 at 4:43 PM · Report this
12
Logic proves that Paul Constant is dumb.

In particular, "Low-intelligence adults tend to gravitate toward socially conservative ideologies" does not imply that "Conservatives Are Dumb", because

Pr(Conservative | Low intelligence) != P(Low intelligence | Conservative)
Posted by Ancient Sumerian on January 26, 2012 at 4:47 PM · Report this
13
Prejudice against "stupid" people is still prejudice. Even if they are stupid.
Posted by S'burney on January 26, 2012 at 4:58 PM · Report this
kim in portland 14
@6 I know fiscal conservatives with high IQs who choose to also be social conservatives if it supports their pocketbooks. They don't want to support the lazy and presumed illegal (till proven otherwise) with the fruits of their hard work. Avarice is their god.
Posted by kim in portland http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2010/11/fast-paced_video_provides_a_fu.html on January 26, 2012 at 4:58 PM · Report this
sirkowski 15
I hope Andrew Sullivan sees this.
Posted by sirkowski http://www.missdynamite.com on January 26, 2012 at 5:02 PM · Report this
16
while it's true that most social conservatives are the enemy; a significant chunk of them routinely vote democrat. so don't shoot yourself in the foot.
Posted by rickkkk on January 26, 2012 at 5:27 PM · Report this
cressona 17
"I'm Mark Oxner, and I approved this message."

I just want to know who the hell approved Mark Oxner's hair.
Posted by cressona on January 26, 2012 at 5:29 PM · Report this
18
I think the big challenge is to shape the popular narrative to a 'smart is cool/american' I hoped that would happen with the dotcom, rap music and the rise of the quarterback in football. Sadly the few highschool friends I have who identify as republican are still working their under the table manual labor jobs hating all smart people.
For the dumb I think it's better to show then how intellect and success have a strong connection. From there they can discover the gray area of a life exiamined.
Posted by CbytheSea on January 26, 2012 at 5:45 PM · Report this
merry 19
@ 15 - I hope EVERYONE IN THE WORLD SEES THIS!

Sorry, didn't mean to shout... I've had a lot of caffeine today...

Posted by merry on January 26, 2012 at 5:58 PM · Report this
thatsnotright 20
You have to be either stupid or brain-washed to consistently vote contrary to your own self-interest.
Posted by thatsnotright on January 26, 2012 at 6:35 PM · Report this
devinderry 21
i made the mistake of linking the article on FB. mishugas like that i did not need.
Posted by devinderry on January 26, 2012 at 6:37 PM · Report this
Phoebe in Wallingford 22
Does Paul Constant even read the articles he links to?
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.
Posted by Phoebe in Wallingford on January 26, 2012 at 7:45 PM · Report this
dirac 23
What @10 said.

This is an article about a study. That Livescience article doesn't seem to link back to an abstract or anything. If I search for the authors I find that it's "in press." I'd like to know the methodology here.

There's plenty of people here who are probably otherwise smart people who are fine with increasingly authoritarian policies if it's done by their guy. That's not dumb but it sure shows an allegiance to hierarchy and a resistance to change/dissent.
Posted by dirac on January 26, 2012 at 8:32 PM · Report this
24
for those wanting to read the whole article. while we're talking about intelligence, we may as well exercise our brains and get the whole picture of what the study entailed.

http://www.livescience.com/18132-intelli…

Posted by thegreatselenie on January 26, 2012 at 10:15 PM · Report this
Posted by thegreatselenie on January 26, 2012 at 10:19 PM · Report this
26
I guess you haven't tried to have nuanced discussion with a progressive/leftist/communist about anything contrary to their belief system.

Leftists think they are so smart...and then the Khmer Rouge/VC's/KGB/Peta/ shows up and ruins it for everyone.

Posted by bornhere on January 27, 2012 at 12:01 AM · Report this
27
This goes remarkably well with Rick Santorum's comments from Wednesday:

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-5…
Posted by Approaching 40 in LA on January 27, 2012 at 7:23 AM · Report this
ScienceNerd 28
I read the whole thing yesterday, and 22 is correct. The story seems to say that conservatives are dumb, until near the end.

Then it actually says that people who are on either extreme are less intelligent.

It appears that it is easier to have an all or nothing viewpoint if you are incapable of understanding any other viewpoint than your own.
Posted by ScienceNerd http://stanichium.tumblr.com/ on January 27, 2012 at 7:34 AM · Report this
--MC 29
What in the HELL was that ad? It looked like the "Floop's Fooglies" show as seen in "Spy Kids".
Posted by --MC on January 27, 2012 at 7:52 AM · Report this
30
@28

Actually, the publication itself doesn't discuss the link between extreme POVs and intelligence. An outside commenter quoted in the popularized article speculates that it may also be a matter of extreme point of views. Note that he'd first have to define 'extremist' (is attacking Iraq, extremist?)
Posted by anon1256 on January 27, 2012 at 8:48 AM · Report this
aardvark 31
Social Conservatives are dumb. No question. The conflation with fiscal conservatives is unfortunate. Social conservatism just needs to go away from the political sphere.
Posted by aardvark on January 27, 2012 at 10:27 AM · Report this
32
This still doesn't explain why so many dudes are smart enough to master UNIX and yet believe that Ron Paul is a political savant.
Posted by Proteus on January 27, 2012 at 11:14 AM · Report this
Irena 33
Wait -- if prejudice and bias are linked to low intelligence, then is it not a mark of low intelligence to pre-judge conservatives as "dumb" based on a generalized study?

The researchers point out that "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". So if you think of yourself as intelligent, doesn't it follow that you would welcome opportunities to try to understand where conservatives are coming from, rather than branding them as "dumb"?

Not saying we shouldn't call out particular conservatives for what looks like stupid behaviour or policies, but we certainly are not showing off our intelligence if we extrapolate from that that they're all just stupid. And it really doesn't help build the bridges that really need to be built in order to solve this country's most pressing problems.
Posted by Irena on January 27, 2012 at 11:49 AM · Report this
Irena 34
@1: Will, that is actually pretty interesting. Do you have a link or reference?
Posted by Irena on January 27, 2012 at 11:54 AM · Report this
35
Yes, in my life I've seen many dumb conservatives. Most are either stupid or unable to accept reality. You can see that in this thread also.
Posted by Ksec on February 1, 2012 at 6:51 PM · Report this
36
Here is the problem:

If just just say, "AHA! I knew it!", we are missing the bigger picture of the failure of education, equality, etc. to do one of the very important things we have been led to believe America is all about.

Those people aren't stupid, they're ignorant. Also, their mothers probably had a very, very poor diet, and their families are ignorant, as well. Again, all things that our great and fabulous country was supposed to mend.

But, and we need to understand this very much, we are all ignorant about a lot of things. To close our minds to those ignorances (what buying the latest technological gadget, for example) do to the environment, to people in third world countries who have to make them, etc. etc.
Degrees of ignorance. Humans really aren't the brightest animals, all the way around.
Posted by Marie Laveau on February 2, 2012 at 5:24 AM · Report this
37
Here is the problem: To just say, "AHA! I knew it!", is to miss the point that these people aren't necessarily stupid, just ignorant.

By leaving it at the "Aha!" stage we are leaving behind a part of the human picture that is us, and affects us. Wasn't America supposed to be about helping raise each other up? And when we leave someone down, we are all a little lower.

And, yes, there is a certain group that uses all these other ignorant groups to prop them up, politically.

So, should we try to improve their mothers' diets during pregnancy? Yes. Should we wonder why the educational system failed them? Yes.

We are all ignorant about something. For example, when we buy the latest technological gadget, are we ignorant about what we are doing to the planet, and what our brothers and sisters in third world countries have to go through to get us those useless gadgets?

We're all in this together, folks. Better wake up to it, or suffer the consequences.
Posted by Marie Laveau on February 2, 2012 at 5:33 AM · Report this
38
Saying that this study "proves conservatives are dumb" seems indicative of an intellect far weaker than that of the average conservative.

The size of the difference between liberals' and conservatives' cognitive abilities is generally small. For instance, the meta-analysis repeatedly cited in this paper as demonstrating a "reliable negative relation between cognitive ability and right-wing ideologies" only found effects which ranged from virtually 0 (e.g. for "cognitive complexity") to small (e.g. for "intelligence" and "cognitive ability"). To give you a sense of what I mean by "small", the size of the "effect" of ideology on cognitive ability was approximately the equivolent of about 3 or 4 points on a standard I.Q. test, or a little over 20 points on a single section of the SAT. There is nothing at all in the data presented in the current study that suggests that the intellectual differences between libs and cons is any bigger. So, Stephanie Pappas' use of the terms "Low IQ" and "dumb" are terribly misleading in the context of a comparison between people of different political ideologies.
Posted by ianw19 on February 2, 2012 at 1:36 PM · Report this
39
Saying that this study "proves conservatives are dumb" seems indicative of an intellect far weaker than that of the average conservative.

The size of the difference between liberals' and conservatives' cognitive abilities is generally small. For instance, the meta-analysis repeatedly cited in this paper as demonstrating a "reliable negative relation between cognitive ability and right-wing ideologies" only found effects which ranged from virtually 0 (e.g. for "cognitive complexity") to small (e.g. for "intelligence" and "cognitive ability"). To give you a sense of what I mean by "small", the size of the "effect" of ideology on cognitive ability was approximately the equivolent of about 3 or 4 points on a standard I.Q. test, or a little over 20 points on a single section of the SAT. There is nothing at all in the data presented in the current study that suggests that the intellectual differences between libs and cons is any bigger. So, Stephanie Pappas' use of the terms "Low IQ" and "dumb" are terribly misleading in the context of a comparison between people of different political ideologies.
Posted by ianw19 on February 2, 2012 at 1:39 PM · Report this
40
Republicans are more scientifically literate than Democrats or independents are
http://anepigone.blogspot.com/2011/03/re…

Republicans are more intelligent than Democrats on some 20 issues (the exception being evolution). There will be a brighter tomorrow, but only if responsible journalists shine the light of truth.
J, Ph.D., MPH
Posted by JK-phd on February 2, 2012 at 4:00 PM · Report this
41
Every Republican I know, with very many of them calling themselves "Independent" now, what with the bitter taste in people's mouths the world over after 8 years of George Dubya, surely one of the dumbest men ever in the white house and a living expose of what Republicans now stand for, is a racist and really only cares about themselves. And I know a lot of them. They're not all stupid, but they're all racist and mean at heart. A lot of it is upbringing, but I was raised in Red Neck land and saw the big light. The idea that Republicans are more intelligent than Democrats in any way is clearly goofy if you don't see everything through some weird Republican filter.
Posted by Rick in Denver on February 3, 2012 at 12:28 PM · Report this
42
Americans have been brain washed into being liberal for over half a century:
1985 interview with ex -KGB agent reveals succesful psychological warfare heavily financed by Soviets

http://www.crossroad.to/Quotes/brainwash…

Videos in above link:

Yuri Bezmonov on demoralization:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlpODYhnP…

Bezmonov on Marxists, useful idiots :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=GB&hl=en…

Bezmonov on American mass media :
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/k6KUDv1…

Bezmonov on KGB interest in yoga, brainwashing :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=GB&hl=en…


http://theconservativetreehouse.com/2011…

http://www.rense.com/general32/americ.ht…

http://raymondpronk.wordpress.com/2009/0…

http://www.crossroad.to/Quotes/globalism…

Full video :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gnpCqsXE…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zfq6URia1…



Posted by crusader on March 6, 2012 at 7:12 AM · Report this
43
The issue is not intelligence. Plenty of Conservatives are extremely well educated. The
point seems to center around what drives the person. As has been suggested, Conservatives
are more motivated by fear than ambition.
Having been born into a very conservative family I can relate to some of the characteristics.
Posted by kienhoa on April 10, 2012 at 10:05 PM · Report this
44
The issue is not intelligence. Plenty of Conservatives are extremely well educated. The
point seems to center around what drives the person. As has been suggested, Conservatives
are more motivated by fear than ambition.
Having been born into a very conservative family I can relate to some of the characteristics.
Posted by kienhoa on April 10, 2012 at 10:10 PM · Report this
45
Vince said: "This thing looks and sounds racist to me. Anyone else pick that up?"

Can't be racist Vince -- most black people are politically liberal.
Posted by KMCopeland on July 20, 2012 at 7:18 PM · Report this
46
Vince said: "This thing looks and sounds racist to me. Anyone else pick that up?"

I don't see how it could be. Blacks are, as a group, overwhelmingly liberal.
Posted by KMCopeland on July 20, 2012 at 7:21 PM · Report this
47
Listen Crusader, trying to pass off liberal thought as mere brainwashing is a dead giveaway that you've found more than one liberal position appealing. When you try that hard to dismiss something -- something besides disagreement is usually afoot.
Posted by KMCopeland on July 20, 2012 at 7:23 PM · Report this

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