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Study suggests morons favor conservativism and racism

curious to know how some here feel about this and whether the psychological framework of the study invalidates its findings.

Lower Cognitive Ability Predicts Greater Prejudice Through Right-Wing Ideology and Low Intergroup Contact

Despite their important implications for interpersonal behaviors and relations, cognitive abilities have been largely ignored as explanations of prejudice. We proposed and tested mediation models in which lower cognitive ability predicts greater prejudice, an effect mediated through the endorsement of right-wing ideologies (social conservatism, right-wing authoritarianism) and low levels of contact with out-groups. In an analysis of two large-scale, nationally representative United Kingdom data sets (N = 15,874), we found that lower general intelligence (g) in childhood predicts greater racism in adulthood, and this effect was largely mediated via conservative ideology. A secondary analysis of a U.S. data set confirmed a predictive effect of poor abstract-reasoning skills on antihomosexual prejudice, a relation partially mediated by both authoritarianism and low levels of intergroup contact. All analyses controlled for education and socioeconomic status. Our results suggest that cognitive abilities play a critical, albeit underappreciated, role in prejudice. Consequently, we recommend a heightened focus on cognitive ability in research on prejudice and a better integration of cognitive ability into prejudice models.

some definitions to keep in mind:

Social conservatism

In both the NCDS* and the BCS*, socially conservative ideology was assessed in terms of respect for and submission to authority (7 items in the NCDS and 10 items in the BCS; e.g., “Give law breakers stiffer sentences” and “Schools should teach children to obey authority”) and support for conventional (i.e., unequal) sex roles (6 items in both studies; e.g., “Family life suffers if mum is working full-time”); scale reliabilities ranged from .63 to .68 (Deary et al., 2008; Schoon et al., 2010). These measures tap socially conservative values, including desire for law and order, punitive reactions toward wrongdoers, adherence to social conventions or traditions, and social control. Without reference to racial out-groups, these items reflect ideological orientations rooted in resistance to change and a desire to maintain existing social stratifications, making them ideal for our purposes.


Attitudes toward racial out-groups were assessed in the NCDS and the BCS with the same five items (e.g., “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”; αs = .82; Deary et al., 2008; Schoon et al., 2010). Items were reverse-scored; higher scores indicate a generalized antipathy toward racial out-groups, rather than antipathy toward a specific racial group.


We used two large-scale U.K. data sets to test our hypothesized mediation model: the 1958 National Child Development Study (NCDS) and the 1970 British Cohort Study (BCS). In the NCDS, all participants (4,267 men and 4,537 women) were born in the same week in March 1958; in the BCS, all participants (3,412 men and 3,658 women) were born in the same week in April 1970. Cognitive abilities were assessed with standardized measures when NCDS participants were 11 years old and BCS participants were 10 years old, and socially conservative ideology and racism were assessed at ages 33 and 30, respectively. In both studies, thousands of men and women completed relevant measures; both data sets are regarded as excellent sources of representative data


There. I always said I was a moron.
Well, retarded, anyway.

Linear/binary analysis, especially when deliberately robbed of context and history, is a clear hallmark of the political agenda toolkit.

Yes (good) / No (evil):

“I wouldn’t mind working with people from other races”


a. Having already done so, I would like to continue working with people of other races. Why?
b. Having already done so, I would no longer like to work with people of other races. Why?
c. Having never done so, I would like to work with people of other races. Why?
d. Having never done so, I would not like to work with people of other races. Why?

Next, find some common ground among the various answers given for Why? for a more constructive view.

Then, we have the omitted, likely because it is problematic for the political agenda, answer e. Working with people of other races is meaningless to me

Imagine the survey came out "racist conservative people smarter"

I can not imagine that being published or forwarding any potential career opportunities. It is like telling your professor what she wants to hear - easy A grade.

Question: What's 2+2?

A. 71
B. 4
D. 22
E. All of the above.

Only total fuckin' idiots picked C, "therefore" all racists are idiots.

$1,000,000 of future grant money pouring in in 3...2..1...

Study revealing how poorly conceived and executed this study was in: 4.7 years.

Number of original readers who will tune in for that: 11

Then, we have the omitted, likely because it is problematic for the political agenda, answer e. Working with people of other races is meaningless to me

Which, given the nature of the study, is in and of itself reducible to racism/bigotry/primitive deep south conservative jesus luvin' idealism.  And obviously this study has everything to do with trying to establish a link between undesirable behavior of any kind with undesirable people.  In actuality studies of this sort don't hold up to the kind of scrutiny you proposed - which is something of a shock given the love affair the so-called liberal side has with grey areas.  A vast number of the greatest minds civilization has produced, and I'm talking exclusively about the most politically correct historical touchstones, have exhibited tendencies that could be viewed as racist by any modern liberal metric.  The aggressive cosmopolitan mindset doesn't accept the "that's what it was like back then" disclaimer, so upon closer scrutiny, any of the most revered figures you could think of could be quickly discredited and replaced by more acceptable (i.e. less European male) figures.  That process doesn't rely on any cognitive behavioral study to assess the diminishing returns of a former hero, instead he is disqualified from the hall of fame for turning out to be just another old fashioned bigot.  The academic realm isn't quite as comfortable with that process (yet).  I highly doubt the folks responsible for this study would attempt to question the cognitive ability of Michelangelo even though the modern progressive view is that he was a sexist and possibly a misogynist.  The research is very carefully tailored to form a somewhat truistic judgement about lesser members of the community, people who are likely to exhibit sub par traits no matter the focus. 

Obviously there are flaws in this study (and all the ones listed are legitimate), but the idea that racist morons are conservative shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. Quick, guess the political affiliation of a sexually degenerate loser!

There are shitheads all over the right. Instead of being reactionary, just accept it for what it is and move on. If your argument for conservatism is contingent on denying the existence of racist cousin fuckers, rethink your position.

Part of the problem is that science generally, but exponentially more so with the social sciences, has tons of studies conducted that are just shit. Most of them aren't even meant for people to really see. They are for peer review to find practical ways of refining ideas and methodology. Media outlets love to pick them up, though. Of course, by definition, journalists have no fucking clue what any of the information means, so you have a compounding effect.

The other half of this study is the "homosexuals favor liberalism and ass-rape" study.

Which, given the nature of the study, is in and of itself reducible to racism/bigotry/primitive deep south conservative jesus luvin' idealism.

It's defensible on colorblind, race doesn't exist grounds. That forces the valuation process back onto the inquisitor and his motives for asking. Which is it this week; we're all the same because race is just a social construct or is race real and we demonstrate enlightenment through our outgroup affinities? “I wouldn’t mind working with people from other races” starts to be revealed as the loaded question it is.