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Conservative Beliefs, Low IQ, Linked to Racism

baby racism

A new study finds that stupidity is the one constant factor behind racism. The report from Brock University in Ontario also said that people with low intelligence tend to gravitate toward socially conservative ideologies.

Gordon Hodson, the lead researcher, said that children with low intelligence demonstrated the same prejudiced attitudes as low intelligence adults. This causes a vicious cycle where hatred literally breeds hatred.

Hodson said that his research is attempting to find out why people are racist. Hodson said:

“Prejudice is extremely complex and multifaceted, making it critical that any factors contributing to bias are uncovered and understood.”

The study, of course, will cause some controversy. Brian Nosek, a social and cognitive psychologist at the University of Virginia, told Live Science:

“They’ve pulled off the trifecta of controversial topics. When one selects intelligence, political ideology and racism and looks at any of the relationships between those three variables, it’s bound to upset somebody.”

Nosek says that several studies have connected right-wing ideals with racism, but why the relationship exists is still a bit of a mystery. Hodson believes that the question of intelligence could connect all three together.

Hodson did say, however, that his study does not conclude that all conservatives are ignorant racists. Hodson said:

“There are multiple examples of very bright conservatives and not-so-bright liberals, and many examples of very principled conservatives and very intolerant liberals.”

According to the study, people with low IQs may be drawn toward conservative beliefs because they offer structure. Hodson said that people who have a hard time understanding the the complexities of the world find comfort in a simple believe system. Hodson said:

“Socially conservative ideologies tend to offer structure and order. Unfortunately, many of these features can also contribute to prejudice.”

What do you think? Is racism tied to intelligence? Are conservative people more likely to be prejudiced?

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46 Responses to “Conservative Beliefs, Low IQ, Linked to Racism”

  1. Dave Marston

    This BS is laughed at in non-white countries.

    Africa for the Africans, Asia for the Asians, white countries for EVERYBODY!

  2. Leah Wood

    THIS article is "stupid." Sloppy research is "stupid." Seeking (and publicizing) correlations between factors without considering all of the many many other factors at play- that's "stupid." People with low intelligence are NOT "stupid." Many of them have an intellectual disability. And in my experiences, I was not working with group of racists. Now one quality that arises in some people with intellectual disability is a tendency to have egocentric thoughts and motivations. That is different from racism. And through good teaching, you can provide people with intellectual disability all of the tools they need to develop appropriate social skills, including empathy and compassion for others. I'm pretty sure being a Republican isn't their only avenue for structure and order. I "get" what the article was suggesting, but their delivery was sloppy, incredibly overall generalized, and ultimately stupid. The take home message was: "People with low IQ are likely to be racist." Wow, Newsweek. Way to stigmatize a group of people who really don't need any more challenges than they already have.

  3. Carrie Hale

    They needed a study to show that racist people are unintelligent? Hope they didn't spend too much money on it. They could have just paid me $100 bucks and I would have told them that.

  4. Barbara Gibson McKay

    They need to cite their sources so people of intelligence can read and analyze the research and verify its validity. I can say that research supports anything I want to say, but without valid, verifiable citations, no one should believe me!

  5. George Saint-George

    IQ is a theory not a scientific fact. The same IQ theory says that certain races have lower intelligence than other races. IQ is a means of creating something worse than racism – Scientific racism.

  6. Josh Badour

    you only view the abstract unless you're a member of Sage journals. It's a new paper so likely only available in scholarly journals with a subscription.

  7. Barbara Gibson McKay

    Josh Badour – Thanks, Josh. I do have access to Sage journals. If the unknown author(s) had cited their sources, anyone could read the abstract, and those with access could read the research.

  8. Michele Ari

    It is my understanding that Hitler had a high IQ. In fact, I just Googled it and it said it was around 145. That's high. So according to your article he wasn't racist? This is an opinion-based article for the post part though I only have guesses as to the agenda.

  9. PGies Chan

    I say this a lot about studies that are obvious (for example eating protein keeps you full. eating carbs keeps you hungry)

    However the silver lining is now you have science backing up your intuition. that is the news :)

  10. PGies Chan

    the article indicates it's not a definite causal mechanism. For example men are overall taller than women, but if you grabbed a random male and a random female sometimes you will see contradictory examples. it still doesn't disprove the original premise

  11. Crystal Stephens

    I lived in Tennessee…Henry County to be exact and yes….they are stupid and racist and have no desire to learn or even evolve. They live in the past and anything outside of their little world is of no concern to any of them. Intelligence is looked down upon and even shunned. They absolutely hate the poor, elderly and disabled. They have no programs to help the low income and they are always talking about revolution, everyone has rebel flags and they even listen to racist music. All businesses have their tv channel set on Fox News. They all think Obama is the antichrist mostly because their preachers told them so. You really want to do study in stupidity and racism…go to Henry County, TN.

  12. Steve Williams

    Do people like this conduct and publish studies such as the one listed above for a reason? Is he looking for his fifteen minutes of fame? Perhaps he's trying to find some way to rationalize his beliefs in a believable manner, or give credence to like-minded individuals so that they have an official study to cite when trying to support their dogma?

    I sense that he has taken the opportunity, while enacting the persona of the kettle, to accuse the pot of having a charred arse.

  13. Elizabeth Levesque

    Often, when I read an opinion piece like this, being passed off as rock hard solid scientific evidence, I am tempted to ask, who is the lead researcher? Here is Gordon Hodson of Brock University revealing his achilles heel:

    "My primary research interests examine intergroup processes related to prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination. This overall focus can be broken down into several key areas of investigation. First, how has contemporary prejudice transformed itself from overt and direct bias to more subtle and indicrect forms? How can these subtle biases be detected and combated among otherwise well-meaning individuals? Second, to what extent do personality constructs such as authoritarianism and social dominance predict and shape the expression of prejudice and discrimination? Third, how does the perception of intergroup threat posed by immigrants, refugees, and outgroups generally exacerbate negative intergroup outcomes? What social and personal factors trigger intergroup anxiety, and what are its consequences?

    Most recently, my research addresses the contextual and personality factors involved in the attenuation of intergroup conflict, such as encouraging common ingroup categorization and identification. Specifically, I am testing the benefits of increasing positive intergroup contact and using intergroup friendships to reduce bias in a variety of settings."

    I think Professor Hodson should look into his own "subtle biases", his own "personality construct", his own "socially dominant " position at the university, and his own expressions of "prejudice and discrimination" coming from his own presuppositions as a Liberal academic. This is personal prejudice and bigotry masquerading as scientific fact. A liberal professor of psychology reports that children with low IQ's breed prejudice and hatred akin to socially conservative adults? This bias report is an affront to special needs children everywhere. I suppose my niece who has Down Syndrome will soon be joining the KKK?

    A child's IQ grows over many years and prejudice is learned in the home, at school, in religious institutions and in society at large. Every person alive has some sort of prejudice toward some person or group. Your personal bias and prejudice toward conservatives is all over this piece. I think you have seriously "outed" yourself without knowing it.

    Liz Levesque, MA.

  14. Jonathan Smith

    That is completely false. IQ is not a theory, it's a score derived from a series of test as a measure of intelligence. IQ says nothing about race, it shows that Socioeconomic factors are highly correlated with intelligence. You sound like one of those religious whack jobs that completely lies about science, claims science is a religion, and has no background in science. – a Psychology Major

  15. Jonathan Smith

    Do you know what correlation is? Just because there is a correlation between low IQ and poverty doesn't GUARANTEE that you are in poverty if you have a low IQ, nor does it GUARANTEE that you have a low IQ if you are in poverty. Plus, I highly doubt those celebrity IQ scores promulgated on the internet are the slightest bit accurate. Also, Hitler was known to have admired and have been friends with many Jews before rising to power. He cared more about a quick rise to power than he hated jews.

  16. Mirlene Radcliffe

    While this article "sounds" nice, I have to really wonder about it. Are they seriously wondering WHAT causes racism? Are certain groups NOT portrayed poorly in the media or constantly depicted in a negative light? I don't know. I think racism is a whole lot deeper than that and really is baked into the fabric of America. The immigrants suffered persecution at some point until they were accepted… blacks on the other hand have NEVER fully been accepted as "humans" in my book. They are often depicted as different, dangerous, bad, etc… until we attack THAT line of thinking, we will always have racists. This article puts a nice touchy feely spin to racism without really offering any answers to how to combat it IN AMERICA. Blacks are an EASY target b/c of the color of their skin so racism against them is definitely something they cannot escape from. The fact that they are "different" is visually apparent.

  17. Mirlene Radcliffe

    That may be true Jonathan but depending on HOW the test is administered, it could be biased against certain races.

  18. George Saint-George

    IQ is a "science" that was greatly advanced for the Nazi agenda. Notice I placed the term science in quotes. Scientists used it for genetic engineering and confined thousands to the gas chambers simply because they had low IQ scores. Not only Jews were killed in concentration camps… so were people with low IQ's. As for psychology that "science" only exists to make doctors rich and institutionalize those whom you deem to be intellectually inferior.

  19. George Saint-George

    Jonathan Smith you freely call people a "religious whack job" ? there's an educated term that shows the true colors of a someone with a Psychology major.

  20. Mirlene Radcliffe

    I TOTALLY agree George. I really believe that this article is just a means of "justifying" the start of social bias AGAINST those with conservative views… such as judeo christians… those who may go against the views and agendas that popular society might be trying to advance. Just my guess. They utilized this argument (as you mentioned) AGAINST Jews, blacks and other groups of people that popular society wanted to demonize. I'm sorry… I don't trust this science… sounds like how they used religion as well. I'm NOT knocking religion but I certainly know how certain tools are used to control the masses.

  21. Mirlene Radcliffe

    ^^^ It is just my guess…

    * sorry for the incomplete sentence *

  22. Mirlene Radcliffe

    Darn! It looks like my original answer was removed by me accidentally. My take on this is in line with George Saint-George's take. For centuries, this IQ argument has been used to argue against a certain group of people. It was used against the jews and blacks alike. I view the IQ argument as the same that I would the religion argument. Both have been utilized to control the masses. Like George, I don't really believe it's a "science" so to speak and there are different types of IQ that aren't taken into consideration in the IQ test as well (emotional IQ being one of them).

  23. Mirlene Radcliffe

    I agree with what George is saying. For a long time we have used IQ as well as religion to discriminate against certain groups of people. The IQ argument was used against the Jews and blacks among other things. This "science" is really not a science where what is being measured is absolutely quantifiable. More times than not, the IQ measurement does not take certain elements of IQ into consideration. One of those elements is one's emotional IQ.

  24. Jonathan Smith

    Mirlene Radcliffe Races actually don't even exist. It was science, specifically anthropology, that has taught us this. Yes, how the test is administered is important, but also the interpretation of the results. If a moron, like George here, reads the results he might see one race being superior than another. If I, on the other hand, read the results I would be able to show how socio-economic background has impacted the scores. Data interpretation is more important than the data itself. This would be the opposite of the Nazi agenda George the Moron would like us to think IQ is.

  25. Jonathan Smith

    Mirlene Radcliffe If you don't believe IQ takes into account emotional intelligence than I have to conclude you don't know about modern IQ testing. There isn't just a single test for intelligence. What you are referring to is likely general IQ, but there are tests that take into account other types of IQ, such as spatital IQ, emotional IQ, and many more. The only people using IQ to discriminate are those who can't properly interpret the data. If you think IQ is not a science then you don't understand science. Reading the wikipedia entry on IQ would solve most of this confusion on the topic.

  26. Jonathan Smith

    George Saint-George Yes, I freely call you that. It wasn't scientists or atheists that flew planes into buildings on 9/11. It's religious whack jobs that are anti-science and anti-intellectual. It's the same whack jobs that lie about and misrepresent what science is, like you are trying to do here. The Nazis where Christian so by your logic all Christians must be bad. I mean, you did say that IQ scores are invalid because Nazis used them.

  27. Mirlene Radcliffe

    Jonathan Smith Hmmm…I may stand corrected as I am really responding to the IQ tests used to discriminate back in the day. It sounds like they have improved on the tests as of late. As far as races not existing I DO believe that we are of the HUMAN race but there are differences within that human race which can cause enough of a difference to even warrant medicines tried on one race to be of no effect in another… but I digress. Good points made on both counts (Jonathan and George). I'll continue to study the subject. :)

  28. Var Enyo

    Live in a county like that. Funny thing is that they can be standing in line for their food stamps and complaining about their taxes and the poor. Other than that, they are afraid some other group is getting something they aren't.

  29. Rene Reuter

    Jonathan Smith your so funny because your the kind of people there talking about your dumb as a rock or do you just smoke it .

  30. Anthony Romeo

    The study doesn't claim ALL of any group is anything. The car is red but not all red things are cars. Hitler was a genius and an evil racist but he was a rare exception. If you don't believe the statistics see for yourselves. Find bigotted, intolerant people and you will come to see that 99 out of 100 will be Republican, conservative, tea partiers.

  31. Tommy Holland

    Crystal, I'm from Tipton County, TN. I totally agree with you. Conservatives/racists are just plain and stupid- it really IS that simple.

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