High IQ people are prejudiced too
The findings below are reminiscent of Yancey's work. He looked at findings which showed conservatives to be more prejudiced and bigoted. He showed that, using similar research methods, you could show liberals to be prejudiced and bigoted too. The difference was the target. Conservatives tended to have dim views of homosexuals and blacks whereas liberals foamed at the mouth about Christians and conservatives
There is currently a small correlation between IQ and expressed liberalism. High IQ people are quick to pick up on that the dominant political ideas are and to go along with such ideas for the sake of social acceptance. Around the mid-20th century, when conservative ideas were dominant, high IQ people tended towards conservatism. See here
It has long been believed that people with a low IQ are more likely to be prejudiced, including anti-gay attitudes and racism. But new research suggests there may be more to the story.
The researchers looked at data from a survey which asked people to rate their feelings toward 24 different groups.
The survey also gauged participants' IQs using a measure of vocabulary that is linked with overall intelligence. As with previous studies, the results showed that people with low IQ showed more prejudice.
However, the researchers also found that people with higher IQs also showed prejudice. What differed between the groups was who they showed prejudice towards.
The new study, which is published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, suggests that people with lower IQs tend to dislike minorities they perceive as liberal.
In contrast with this, the researchers suggest that people higher on the IQ scale are more prejudiced towards conservative groups, such as religious fundamentalists.
Speaking to Live Science, Dr Mark Brandt, a psychologist at Tilburg University in Holland, who co-led the study, said: 'Because our study finds this on both ends of the cognitive ability continuum, it suggests this isn't just something that's unique to people with low cognitive ability.
'The simplest explanation for this result is that both people with high and low cognitive ability seem to express prejudice towards people they disagree with.'
The researchers looked at data from the 2012 American National Election Studies survey to explore the prejudice that participants may have had.
As with previous studies, the results showed that people with low IQ showed more prejudice. However, the researchers also found that people with higher IQs also showed prejudice.
What differed between the groups was who they showed prejudice towards.
Low-IQ people tended to dislike groups that are perceived as liberal and that people have little choice about whether they join – such as blacks, Asian Americans, Hispanics, and gay people.
In contrast with this, higher-IQ people tended to dislike groups that are perceived as conservative and that people have a choice about whether they join – such as businesses, the military, and Christian fundamentalists.
The results came as a surprise to the researchers, as liberal people tend to be more open to experience.
Dr Brandt said: 'Even people who are open to new ideas show this link between perceiving somebody as having different attitudes than them and expressing prejudice. 'It's kind of depressingly robust.'
The researchers also looked at what is behind the tendency to dislike people you disagree with. They found that the strongest factor seems to be that people dislike other people who they perceive to have different moral values than they do.
Dr Brandt added: 'We want to be at a place where we can say, 'Yep, I disagree with you, but that doesn't mean I dislike you, necessarily.' 'But that seems to be something that's relatively rare.'