Anorak | Right-wingers are more stupid than left-wingers, say researchers

Right-wingers are more stupid than left-wingers, say researchers

by | 3rd, February 2012

RIGHT-wingers are more stupid than left-wingers. Well, so says the survey featured by the…Daily Mail.

Canadian academics (ergo: left wingers?) at Brock University in Ontario, Canada, looked at data and found:

“Cognitive abilities are critical in forming impressions of other people and in being open minded. 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.

The British Cohort Study involved 3,412 men and 3,658 women born in 1970.

We learn that in “adulthood”, the children were asked to repsond to the lines:

“I wouldn’t mind working with people from other races”; “I wouldn’t mind if a family of a different race moved next door”; “Give law breakers stiffer sentences”; “Schools should teach children to obey authority.”

Presumably, they all then grew up to vote New Labour.

The paper then argues:

“Conservative ideology represents a critical pathway through which childhood intelligence predicts racism in adulthood. 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.”

The left-wing nods. Yeah, it says, all right-wingers are neo-Nazis. Stalin was right!

Previously you may have read in that magazine:

Why Are Conservatives Happier Than Liberals?
Jaime L. Napier and
John T. Jost
+ Author Affiliations
New York University
Jaime L. Napier, Department of Psychology, New York University, 6 Washington Place, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10003–6634, e-mail:

In this research, we drew on system-justification theory and the notion that conservative ideology serves a palliative function to explain why conservatives are happier than liberals. Specifically, in three studies using nationally representative data from the United States and nine additional countries, we found that right-wing (vs. left-wing) orientation is indeed associated with greater subjective well-being and that the relation between political orientation and subjective well-being is mediated by the rationalization of inequality. In our third study, we found that increasing economic inequality (as measured by the Gini index) from 1974 to 2004 has exacerbated the happiness gap between liberals and conservatives, apparently because conservatives (more than liberals) possess an ideological buffer against the negative hedonic effects of economic inequality.

Bright Children Become Enlightened Adults
Ian J. Deary1,
G. David Batty2 and
Catharine R. Gale3
+ Author Affiliations
1Department of Psychology, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom
2Medical Research Council Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, Glasgow, United Kingdom
3Medical Research Council Epidemiology Resource Centre, University of Southampton, United Kingdom
Address correspondence to Ian J. Deary, Department of Psychology, University of Edinburgh, 7 George Square, Edinburgh EH8 9JZ, United Kingdom, e-mail:

We examined the prospective association between general intelligence (g) at age 10 and liberal and antitraditional social attitudes at age 30 in a large (N = 7,070), representative sample of the British population born in 1970. Statistical analyses identified a general latent trait underlying attitudes that are antiracist, proworking women, socially liberal, and trusting in the democratic political system. There was a strong association between higher g at age 10 and more liberal and antitraditional attitudes at age 30; this association was mediated partly via educational qualifications, but not at all via occupational social class. Very similar results were obtained for men and women. People in less professional occupations—and whose parents had been in less professional occupations—were less trusting of the democratic political system. This study confirms social attitudes as a major, novel field of adult human activity that is related to childhood intelligence differences.

Do right-wingers believe research paper more than those favouring the elft? Discuss (then apply for research grant to the usual address)…

Posted: 3rd, February 2012 | In: Politicians Comments (4) | TrackBack | Permalink