Conservative Beliefs, Low IQ, Linked to Racism

Dan Evon - Author
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Sep. 16 2013, Updated 6:55 a.m. ET

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:

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

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

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“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.”

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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:

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

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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:

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

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

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