An article published at Psychology Today by Goal Auzeen Saedi, Ph.D. of Millennial Media writes about the correlation between far right-wing conservatism, low intelligence and racism.
“Hodson and Busseri (2012) found in a correlational study that lower intelligence in childhood is predictive of greater racism in adulthood, with this effect being mediated (partially explained) through conservative ideology. They also found poor abstract reasoning skills were related to homophobic attitudes which was mediated through authoritarianism and low levels of intergroup contact.”
We checked the study Hodson and Busseri study, and the abstract certainly does say,
“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.”
A January 2012 article in the Journal Live Science also cites the Hodsdon-Busseri study,
“There’s no gentle way to put it: People who give in to racism and prejudice may simply be dumb…Low-intelligence adults tend to gravitate toward socially conservative ideologies. Those ideologies, in turn, stress hierarchy and resistance to change, attitudes that can contribute to prejudice.”
Indeed, University of Washington Political Science Professor Christopher Parker, author of the new book Change They Can’t Believe In: The Tea Party and Reactionary Politics in America agrees.
Professor Parker, interviewed by Chris Matthews says,
“What we’ve found out, we’ve come up with something that we called Reactionary Conservatism. What that means is, where as a regular conservative or a more mainstream conservative recognizes change is necessary to avoid revolutionary change, a reactionary conservative actually wants to go back in time. In the book we tie the Tea Party to the Know Nothing party of the 1850s, the Clan of the 1920s, the John Birch Society of the late 1950s and 1960s. It’s the same belief system, Chris, this idea that they’re scared of losing the America that they know and love to these other groups of people.”
Americans Against the Tea Party reported on this very subject when a white, racist TEApublican CPAC attendee suggested that slavery wasn’t so bad, and that blacks should be thankful they were given food and shelter while they were slaves.
Here’s the interview of Professor Parker by Chris Matthews
So the next time you’re criticized for pointing out that conservative TEAvangelicals, TEApublicans and Libertarian-types are unintelligent, racist sociopaths – you can say, “It’s a scientific fact.” Of course they don’t believe in science either.
And just for good measure: