Liberals have always agreed that conservatives suffer from a low IQ, and Donald Trump and his supporters have certainly cemented that belief. However, does science (the thing conservatives don’t believe in) come to that same agreement? Opinion is one thing. Facts are what matter.
Science does, in fact, prove that Republicans suffer from a lower IQ. The “Bright Minds and Dark Attitudes” study found that a person’s intelligence as a child could predict conservative and racist ideas as an adult.
The study, conducted at Brock University and published in Psychological Science, found:
‘Lower intelligence in childhood is predictive of greater racism in adulthood, with this effect being mediated (partially explained) through conservative ideology. They also found poor abstract reasoning skills were related to homophobic attitudes which was mediated through authoritarianism and low levels of intergroup contact.’
In plain speak, this means that because people with low IQs have poor reasoning skills, conservative ideas and beliefs are easier for them to comprehend. According to the lead author of the study, Dr. Gordon Hodson, conservative ideologies “feature ‘structure and order’ that make it easier to comprehend a complicated world.”
Another psychologist, Dr. Brian Nosek, agreed with the sentiment in an email to The Huffington Post, saying, “Ideologies get rid of the messiness and impose a simpler solution. So, it may not be surprising that people with less cognitive capacity will be attracted to simplifying ideologies.”
A shining example of the conservative thought process is the birther movement that surrounded Obama’s first term in the White House. Obama humored the movement and produced his birth certificate, clearly proving he was born in Hawaii. However, a recent NBC News/SurveyMonkey poll revealed 41 percent of Republicans disagreed that Obama was born in the U.S. and only 27 percent agreed. Furthermore, 31 percent had doubts about his citizenship.
Need more evidence? A survey conducted at Fairleigh Dickinson University revealed that Fox News viewers were less informed than MSNBC viewers, NPR listeners, and even “The Daily Show” viewers.
In case someone wants to argue that these studies are biased and psychology is a bunch of hoodoo, one study found that the physiology of the brain can be factored into the equation. In “Political Orientations Are Correlated with Brain Structure in Young Adults,” MRI scans were performed and found that conservative test subjects had a larger amygdala than liberals. The scans also revealed that liberal subjects had more gray matter in the anterior cingulate cortex. The amygdala plays a major role in emotional reactions such as fear and anxiety, while the anterior cingulate cortex aids in coping with complexity.
So there is actually a tangible, physical, biological characteristic that can explain the idiocy that is the conservative train of thought. Conservatives can’t argue with that, but they will. Because they suffer from low intelligence, and we have proof of that now.