This seems to be the compelling result of several tests that took place over the course of several years and it has been bound to stir some spirits. This new study has been linked with others that concluded that low levels of education are linked with high levels of prejudice and poor cognitive abilities and this one right now established the link between intelligence and the obvious predisposition towards racism, homophobia and intolerance. Shortly, conservative views are held by those with low levels of intelligence and education.
There have been two studies that measured the impact of the levels of intelligence in one’s world views. The test subjects were adults with ages ranging from 30 to 33, born in different social environments and they have had they verbal and nonverbal intelligence measured in the first test, which required them to find similarities between various shapes, words and symbols. After that, the second study measured their cognitive abilities, as well as providing a set of questions that had to be answered. It turned out that those who were the most conservatives responded affirmative at questions such as: “Family life suffers if mum is working full-time”, “Schools should teach children to obey authority” and “I would mind working with people from other races”. The results of the tests, corroborated with their social lives, revealed that poor levels of education in the childhood provoke racist and homophobic views in the future adult. Also, people having lower cognitive abilities have been showed to have less contact with people from other races and are consistently reluctant to change their beliefs.
However, Gordon Hodson from Brock University of Ontario said that taking the results too literally would not be consistent with how reality works: “There are multiple examples of very bright conservatives and not-so-bright liberals, and many examples of very principled conservatives and very intolerant liberals. We can say definitively men are taller than women on average, but you can’t say if you take a random man and you take a random woman that the man is going to be taller. There’s plenty of overlap”. In fact, the reality is that any simple view of the world is dangerous and inconsistent with reality. Brian Nosek, a psychologist at the University of Virginia declared that: “I think that lower cognitive capacity can lead to multiple simple ways to represent the world, and one of those can be embodied in a right-wing ideology where ‘People I don’t know are threats’ and ‘The world is a dangerous place’. Another simple way would be to just assume everybody is wonderful.”
This being said, there have been developed many anti-prejudice programs that encourage conservatives to adopt others’ points of view, but they didn’t work that great after all. It looks like the low IQ rates of conservatives really affected the goal of the test, because they found it difficult to manifest empathy and understanding.