There’s no gentle way to put it: People who give in to racism and prejudice may simply be dumb, according to a new study that is bound to stir public controversy.
The research finds that children with low intelligence are more likely to hold prejudiced attitudes as adults. These findings point to a vicious cycle, according to lead researcher Gordon Hodson, a psychologist at Brock University in Ontario. Low-intelligence adults tend to gravitate toward socially conservative ideologies, the study found. Those ideologies, in turn, stress hierarchy and resistance to change, attitudes that can contribute to prejudice, Hodson wrote in an email to LiveScience.
“Prejudice is extremely complex and multifaceted, making it critical that any factors contributing to bias are uncovered and understood,” he said.
Polling data and social and political science research do show that prejudice is more common in those who hold right-wing ideals that those of other political persuasions, Nosek told LiveScience.
Whose right wing?
For explanation, read our tag line above:
Helping to Conserve American Libertarian Values and Reestablish Common Sense in Government Since March 2009
JBH is a very, very intelligent guy, and managed to condense a lot into very little with just that line. Conservatism is about conserving American values. The original American values are the virtues of freedom – those that are now more recognized as libertarian. These virtues are those of liberty and freedom. On a micro scale, it allows the individual citizen his own selfish freedoms, and on the macro scale, it allows large numbers of individual citizens to cooperate and work towards their own interests, and through individual cooperation, they enrich the whole – but still maintain that the most important person is you. And me. And her. And him. There is no collective, there are a myriad of individuals. American conservative/libertarian/classic liberal virtues are one and the same – they favor the individual freedom first and foremost, with a government dictated by the Constitution, not the other way around.
Those ideals of the American revolutionaries were to throw off the shackles of the king and allow free men to live free. Note that George Washington among those revolutionaries was asked to be a king and declined, as that would’ve defeated the point of the revolution.
“Resistance to change” is a hallmark of conservative ideologies everywhere. But Europe’s conservatives were preserving a monarchy and their royal priviledges. America’s conservatives are preserving the Constitution and individual freedom. Resisting change to a revolutionary document that provides for the freedom of all is noble, and conservative. Embracing changes that begin to bind the citizen to the shackles of government and fetter their enterprises with regulation and control their speech and freedom with laws that exist for the ruling class is considered “liberal” in the US.
Or do we mean Canadian right-wing, as it was Ontarians who did the study? Are we talking old-school loyalists who want to go back to British rule? Or are we talking francophones who believe in their own superiority?
Earlier studies have found links between low levels of education and higher levels of prejudice, Hodson said, so studying intelligence seemed a logical next step. The researchers turned to two studies of citizens in the United Kingdom, one that has followed babies since their births in March 1958, and another that did the same for babies born in April 1970. The children in the studies had their intelligence assessed at age 10 or 11; as adults ages 30 or 33, their levels of social conservatism and racism were measured.
Hmmm… So what does that say about dropout rates?
- White 5.2
- Black 9.3
- Hispanic 17.6
- Asian/PacIsland 3.4
- Amerind/Alaskan 13.2
Over at HotAir, again:
But… but… wait a minute here! I thought IQ tests were useless and reflected environmental effects at a far greater level of impact than any inherent capacity to acquire and retain knowledge? I’m almost sure I read that in Gods and Guns Monthly or something. But, as Fausta points out, James Taranto beat me to the punch.
So IQ tests are racist, except when they’re used to “prove” that people with “socially conservative ideologies” are racist and intellectually inferior.
TheRoot.com has an article arguing that the Republican presidential candidates are racist. It’s about as uninteresting an argument as you can find–but the headline is revealing: “Colorblind Racism: The New Norm.” That Orwellian term, “colorblind racism,” is the pithiest summation we’ve ever encountered of the absurdity of contemporary left-liberal racial dogma.
It also turns out to be a product of academia: The idea of “colorblind racism” was hatched by Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, a professor of sociology at Duke University, a decade ago. Here’s a paper on the subject from the journal Critical Sociology.
Taranto goes on to posit that some of these completely unbiased, intellectually curious academic institutions may have something of a vested interest in proving their point. You see, as the economy continues to falter and conservative, austerity leaning measures begin to take hold and spread at both the state and federal levels, the wellspring of cash which fuels the universities begins to dry up as well. And not to cast aspersions on anyone’s intellectual honesty here, but coming up with a result that casts doubt on the people threatening to dry up your grant money might not be the worst outcome in the world.
I am reminded of the IQ testing done by the Observers in the MST3K episode “The Undead”:
Not to sound like Tom Cruise, but don’t psychologists spit out some crap on occasion that should be easy to ignore as the crap it is? Heck, it took until 1974 to say gay people aren’t crazy.
To make one more point, conservative talk host Dennis Prager has a line he repeats fairly often: “Generalizations are the mother of wisdom.” Basically, if it walks like a duck, looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck.
Generalizations are how some people get through life. It’s how most people get through life. If you see this guy:
How about this guy?
No, they’re both, in 1940s terminology, crumbs.
Or else that’s the so-called “color-blind racism” alluded to earlier. Stop judging people.
There’s the moral to every ugly-duckling and underdog story we’re supposed to learn “don’t judge a book by it’s cover”. Sure, that’s true. But look at this book:
People who have lower socioeconomic status tend to view things more as they are, not how they’d wish them to be. They view people how they are, not how they wish them to be. They live in a world where generalizations are used a lot, because they make sense. Because in general, things are how they seem. “Git-r-dun” and “Compton” are exactly how they seem. No need to say “he was a victim, too“. That’s absurd. And if an intelligence test or series of psychological screenings is engineered by the shrink to prove that prejudice, which is often there for a reason, is a bad thing, then they can maneuver their study however they like to prove it, regardless of what history and historical outcomes have shown is beneficial to individuals.
Evan Sayet explains in his grand unified theorem of modern liberalism that a lot of what the modern liberal does is fight against discrimination – as in discriminating between two ideas or pieces of data or information. Sometimes that results in discriminating between people – and there are socioeconomic and historical bases from which to make some decisions in a snap judgement, especially for people with specific life experience they’ve gone through. Someone who’s had more time dealing with people because they’ve been working longer, rather than hanging out at a university, will make certain distinctions. Someone who’s dealt with crime first hand will recognize people more likely to be involved in it. They’ll rely on rules of thumb and generalizations because those are behaviors that lead to success – i.e., not being a crime victim. Sometimes the socioeconomic makeup of reality doesn’t jive with what academics would like to see in their utopia.
And of course there are exceptions. Intelligence is knowing that there are.
Consider the following?
Same age group, same ethnicity. Different clothing and gender and the second group suddenly appears different. Maybe some of those are important features when making decisions, whether it be walking down the street, as an employer, or as a parent when your offspring brings one home.
Anyhow, the whole “conservative=closed-minded=dumb” is a pretty simple claim to make, backed up by not asserting what conservative even means, what “intelligent” truly is, what education means vs indoctrination, and is mostly just a conflicting series of nonsense designed to generate interest in an academic’s paper.
Thomas Sowell mentioned in one of his columns that when we say something’s meaningless, we say “that’s academic”. Often the case.