Low IQ Linked to Racism, Conservatism, Study Claims

'Sense of order' appeals to those with lower intelligence, researchers say
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 26, 2012 3:13 PM CST
Low IQ Linked to Racism, Conservatism, Study Claims
Ku Klux Klan members march in Pulaski, Tennessee in 2009.   (Getty Images)

Children with low IQs are more likely to embrace conservative ideologies and to be prejudiced against gays and people of other races as they get older, according to research certain to spark a few heated conversations. The researchers say people with lower intelligence tend to be attracted to the structure and authoritarianism of right-wing ideologies, LiveScience reports. Social conservatives were defined as people who agreed with statements like "Give law breakers stiffer sentences" and "Schools should teach children to obey authority."

The researchers stress that the findings are averages from large groups and they're not trying to imply that all conservatives are stupid. “There are multiple examples of very bright conservatives and not-so-bright liberals, and many examples of very principled conservatives and very intolerant liberals," the lead researcher, a psychologist, says. Other psychologists not involved with the study say the model used was too simple, and it may be the case that people with low IQs are attracted to extremist views in general. (Read more conservatives stories.)

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