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New Study: Conservatives Might Have Lower IQs

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Wow! Talk about right on the money!  A recent study by University of Arkansas psychologist Scott Eidelman makes that suggestion. So, without further ado, let’s examine Eidelman’s methodology and interpretations, as well as some practical applications of higher IQ liberal policies.

Definition of Intelligence Quotient (IQ):

The Intelligence Quotient, a measure of one’s intelligence, is often abbreviated as IQ. The question, then, is: What is intelligence? It is the ability to learn, or understand, or to deal with new or trying situations. It is also the skilled use of reason.

Some components of intelligence, measured by IQ, include:

  • Reason is a term that refers to the capacity human beings have to make sense of things, to establish and verify facts, and to change or justify practices, institutions, and beliefs. Reason is closely identified with the ability to self-consciously change beliefs, attitudes, traditions, and institutions, and therefore with the capacity for freedom and self-determination.  (Note: here is where all the Kool Aid drinkers have a problem)
  • Learning is acquiring new, or modifying existing, knowledge, behaviors, skills, values, or preferences and may involve synthesizing different types of information.
  • Abstractions may be formed by reducing the information content of a concept or an observable phenomenon, typically to retain only information which is relevant for a particular purpose.
  • Problem solving is a mental process which is the concluding part of the larger problem process that includes problem finding and problem shaping where problem is defined as a state of desire for the reaching of a definite goal from a present condition that either is not directly moving toward the goal, is far from it or needs more complex logic for finding a missing description of conditions or steps toward the goal.

Eidelman Study

Research by University of Arkansas psychologist Scott Eidelman provides evidence that, when under time pressure or otherwise cognitively impaired, people are more likely to express conservative views. As any statistician (I am one) can tell you, “Correlation does not imply causation.” There is, for example, a high correlation between whales born each year and the Dow-Jones average on December 31 of that year. Does anyone believe one causes the other, or interpret study results to suggest causation? But Eidelman, not being a statistician, chooses to interpret his study results as liberals having a higher IQ, even in the face of much contradictory evidence. And, of course, the MSM reports his findings and interpretation, again in the face of much contradictory evidence.

What, exactly, did Eidelman’s study find:

  • Study 1, alcohol intoxication was measured among bar patrons; as blood alcohol level increased, so did political conservatism (controlling for sex, education, and political identification).
  • Study 2, participants under cognitive load reported more conservative attitudes than their no-load counterparts.
  • Study 3, time pressure increased participants’ endorsement of conservative terms.
  • Study 4, participants considering political terms in a cursory manner endorsed conservative terms more than those asked to cogitate; an indicator of effortful thought (recognition memory) partially mediated the relationship between processing effort and conservatism.

Together these data suggest that political conservatism may be a process consequence of low-effort thought; when effortful, deliberate thought is disengaged, endorsement of conservative ideology increases. That’s fine if Eidelman wishes to interpret his findings that way. But remember, “Correlation does not imply causation.” There has to be some evidence to back up the interpretation.

Next, we get to the hurdle of generalization. Any study, to be worthy of recognition (beyond the MSM), must be generalizable to the entire population. So if conservatives are drunk, and/or under cognitive load, and/or under time pressure, and/or considering political terms, then the results of these studies may be applicable. Any other conditions could negate or inhibit the results. But listeners to Rush Limbaugh are under all of these conditions, so the findings must be applicable.

Higher IQ Liberal Policies

If you spend more money than you earn, you will be in debt. That didn’t take much brain power, so I must be a conservative. Liberals will use a lot of brain power to argue that all you have to do to get more money to take care of a deficit is to print more pieces of paper or enter a few more zeros into a computer. I wish I had thought of that. Since I’m obviously less intelligent than a free-spending liberal, please explain to me why the fiscal mess our nation and the rest of the world is in is a good thing? Why are the people in Greece and Spain (and previously in England) rioting? I guess it takes being a liberal to know, since we conservatives are just too stupid, and have too low an IQ to know.

Lower IQ conservatives believe that the best way to grow an economy is to remove as many obstacles so that people will have incentives to work in order to make a profit. High IQ liberals believe that the best way to grow the economy is to tax the most productive members of a society and give the money taken from these people to people who are less productive, even though they can offer no evidence that their policies work. Since this methodology has never worked in any country in which it has been tried (the former Soviet Union, North Korea, Cuba), continuing to do something that does not work in the real world is the work of someone with a low IQ. Einstein (Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results) called it insanity. But because liberals with higher IQs propose and repeat and repeat such nonsense, it must be the smart thing to do.

It doesn’t take much brain power to conclude that if you pay people to do something, they’ll do more of that thing to get more money. If you pay people not to work or you pay women to have babies out of wedlock, you are going to get more people who don’t work and more women who have babies. So if you want to get people to look for jobs and women not to have babies outside of marriage, you stop paying them. Contrary to all the bad effects of people not working and women having babies so they can get paid more money, liberals continue to support paying people not to work and women to keep having babies. And all it took were higher IQ liberals to come up with that policy. Wow!

Have you all you higher IQ liberals noticed that I am making fun of you?

I now turn this forum over higher IQ liberals (y’all know who y’all are) for specific examples of (1) how I am wrong, and (2) how liberal policies have, in the long run, benefited mankind.

But that’s just my opinion.

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  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    A lot of fallacious thinking here, Warren.

    Firstly, and this is the biggie, at no point does Eidelman state or even imply that the results of his study mean that conservatives have lower IQs. It is you who have decided that his term “low-effort thought” means “lack of intelligence”.

    Secondly, you can’t just parrot “correlation does not equal causation” and think it invalidates Eidelman’s conclusions. No-one thinks whale births are connected to the markets and it’s unlikely anyone not vying for an Ig Nobel Prize would ever try to demonstrate causation (unless the whales turn out to all have investment portfolios and are saving to get their calves into a good pod).

    But when someone hypothesizes a link between cognitive impairment and conservative views, and comes up with supporting evidence, the burden is on you to show why Eidelman is wrong. If it isn’t cognitive impairment, what is it?

    Let’s see, what else do we have here? Ah yes:

    “High IQ liberals believe that the best way to grow the economy is to tax the most productive members of a society and give the money taken from these people to people who are less productive…”

    Tell you what, why don’t you run that assessment by the guy who fixes your car. He’s hard-working and highly productive, but he’s never going to get rich at what he does. Perhaps, if you’re lucky, he might liberally punch you in the nose.

    “…, even though they can offer no evidence that their policies work.”

    I think I’ll leave this one for Glenn to provide copious examples and for you to pretend he didn’t.

    But, if you think conservative tax policy works so much better

    “Since this methodology has never worked in any country in which it has been tried (the former Soviet Union, North Korea, Cuba), continuing to do something that does not work in the real world is the work of someone with a low IQ.”

    Yep, it’s confirmed. You have odd ideas about both how taxation works, and how communism works.

    “Einstein (Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results) called it insanity.”

    Insanity and low intelligence are not the same thing. Many insane people are highly intelligent; I am also confident that the great majority of stupid people are completely sane.

    “I now turn this forum over higher IQ liberals […] for specific examples of […] how liberal policies have, in the long run, benefited mankind.”

    Oh, I don’t know – how about the emancipation of slaves? The Civil Rights Act? Women’s suffrage? The interstate highway system? The GI bill? Health and safety legislation? Not having to work 100-hour weeks and send your kids to work in factories? Should I go on?

    (Incidentally, there is an embedded video on that Ig Nobel page that might interest you.)

  • scott

    whoever wrote this biased bit of nonsense is completely clueless.

    the researchers *never* say anything about intelligence or IQ. low-effort thought has nothing to do with intelligence.

    the researchers never say conservatives use low-effort thought. to the contrary, they say reaching this conclusion is a logical fallacy.

    the researchers never claim that their correlational study proves causation. however, they do control for reverse causation and several third variables.

    because the first study is correlational, the authors do 3 full experiments where cause and effect can be clearly established.

    actually read the article, do your homework, and know what you are talking about before spreading these untruths

  • http://cinemasentries.com/ El Bicho

    “actually read the article, do your homework, and know what you are talking about before spreading these untruths”

    this must be the first time Scott has seen Warren’s “work”.

  • http://rwno.limewebs.com Warren Beatty

    Re: commen # 1, Dr. Dreadful, you say, “But when someone hypothesizes a link between cognitive impairment and conservative views, and comes up with supporting evidence, the burden is on you to show why Eidelman is wrong.” Have you ever heard of “generalization?” Further, do you understand the term ” hypothesizes?” Let’s make this discussion personal: I hypothesize that you are stupid, that you have no idea about what you are saying. I have, based on your previous comments, supporting evidence. Now, according to your argument, it is your responsibility to show why I am wrong.

    You say, “Firstly, and this is the biggie, at no point does Eidelman state or even imply that the results of his study mean that conservatives have lower IQs. It is you who have decided that his term “low-effort thought” means “lack of intelligence”. All I can do is slowly shake my head in disbelief and refer you to my response to Scott below.

    You continue, “Secondly, you can’t just parrot “correlation does not equal causation” and think it invalidates Eidelman’s conclusions.” Let’s see… I never said Eidelman’s results were invalid. I said that hew chose to interpret his results in a certain way in the face of evidence to the contrary.

    You continue, “Tell you what, why don’t you run that assessment by the guy who fixes your car. He’s hard-working and highly productive, but he’s never going to get rich at what he does. Perhaps, if you’re lucky, he might liberally punch you in the nose,” in response to “High IQ liberals believe that the best way to grow the economy is to tax the most productive members of a society and give the money taken from these people to people who are less productive…” Don’t look now, but you just made/reinforced my point.

    You continue, “Oh, I don’t know – how about the emancipation of slaves? The Civil Rights Act? Women’s suffrage? The interstate highway system? The GI bill? Health and safety legislation? Not having to work 100-hour weeks and send your kids to work in factories? Should I go on?” Yes, please do, because ALL of the ideas you cited were proposed by conservatives.

    And I anxiously await Glenn’s insight about the former Soviet Union, North Korea, and Cuba regarding taxation policies.

    Re: comment # 2, Scott, I think that Gordon Hodson, a psychologist at Brock University in Ontario, will be interested in your comment. Low-intelligence adults tend to gravitate toward socially conservative ideologies.

    And Satoshi Kanazawa, an evolutionary psychologist at the London School of Economics and Political Science, will also be interested in your comment. His study showed that more intelligent children may be more likely to grow up to be liberals. Key word here: may

    And here’s another study, this one by Jacob Hirsh. Conservatives tend to be higher in a personality trait called orderliness and lower in openness. This means that they’re more concerned about a sense of order and tradition, expressing a deep psychological motive to preserve the current social structure. Hirsh’s work contributes to accumulating evidence suggesting political behaviour is motivated by underlying psychological needs.

    While you are correct that the author said low-effort rather than low IQ, just what does a “personality trait called orderliness” mean? Let’s see… maintaining orderliness doesn’t take much effort. Does that mean it’s “low effort?” At least that’s my interpretation, and mine is just as valid as yours.

    Are you contending that all of them know not of what they interpret. Either way, yes or no, you make my point.

    You say, “the researchers never say conservatives use low-effort thought. to the contrary, they say reaching this conclusion is a logical fallacy.” Huh? The authors test the hypothesis that low-effort thought promotes political conservatism.

    You continue, ” he researchers never claim that their correlational study proves causation.” Do you know what the word “promotes” means? “however, they do control for reverse causation and several third variables. because the first study is correlational, the authors do 3 full experiments where cause and effect can be clearly established.” As for “controlling variables,” they do not change – that’s all. They may or may not assist with interpretation. Again, key word: may. But interpretation doesn’t necessarily mean causality. And doing three more experiments doesn’t establish cause and effect. Most people (liberals as well as conservatives) don’t make a habit of operating under conditions of cognitive load, time pressure, or considering political terms in a cursory manner. If you ever meet all of these conditions (individually or collectively) I will agree with you.

    As I have said before, statistics is a body of knowledge that MUST be accepted as such. You cannot just pick out one or two points to support your theories or interpretations. And, as I have said before, statistics don’t prove anything. All they can ever do is assist with interpretation.

    In the face of contrary evidence, if you are not willing to change your interpretation,you can change or select your data and/or out-shout people who point out contrary evidence. These are favorite ploys of the global warming crowd.

    BTW Scott, can I ask you from what university did you receive your Ph.D. in Statistics? Mine is from The Florida State University.

    But enough making fun of you.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Warren –

    Yeah, REALLY STUPID liberal economics is SO bad. That’s why the states with the longest life expectancy, the highest level of education, the lowest teen pregnancy rate, the lowest birth mortality rate, the lowest poverty rate, and the lowest violent crime rates are generally blue states, because it takes REALLY STUPID liberals to make life better for the people.

    And REALLY STUPID liberal economics is why almost without exception, the first-world nations are ALL socialized democracies, because it takes REALLY STUPID liberals to make life better for the people.

    Warren, how about you do something different – instead of trumpeting your THEORIES, look at the RESULTS. The numbers clearly show that life is generally better in blue states than in red states…and ANYONE with a grasp of geography knows that life in the socialized democracies of the world (which we call the first-world nations) is a heck of a lot better than life in places where really low taxes and deregulation-uber-alles are the rule.

    Why is that, Warren? Why is life better in blue states (again, according to the numbers)? More importantly, why is life better in the socialized democracies of the world?

    WHY, Warren? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY?

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    Glenn, I think you might need to sit down and have a cup of tea.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    Have you ever heard of “generalization?”

    Yes. And?

    You continue, “Secondly, you can’t just parrot “correlation does not equal causation” and think it invalidates Eidelman’s conclusions.” Let’s see… I never said Eidelman’s results were invalid.

    I didn’t say that you said his results were invalid, I said you said his conclusions were invalid. Which is, indeed, what you said.

    Let’s make this discussion personal: I hypothesize that you are stupid, that you have no idea about what you are saying. I have, based on your previous comments, supporting evidence. Now, according to your argument, it is your responsibility to show why I am wrong.

    This is true. I shall endeavour to do so in this and subsequent comments, although the phenomenon of confirmation bias predicts that I will be unable to succeed to your personal satisfaction.

    All I can do is slowly shake my head in disbelief and refer you to my response to Scott below.

    Oh, silly me. I thought we were talking about Eidelman’s work, not that of Hodson, Kanazawa and Hirsh. So careless of me not to notice your mentioning of them in the article.

    It would be helpful if you would advise me of the locations to which you plan to shift the goalposts in future, so that I may anticipate.

    Don’t look now, but you just made/reinforced my point.

    What point? And how, exactly?

    Yes, please do, because ALL of the ideas you cited were proposed by conservatives.

    Citations for all of these, please. Bearing in mind that, in a historical context, Republican does not always equal conservative and Democrat does not always equal liberal.

    And as an aside, can you deny that 21st century conservatives would vehemently oppose ALL of the above if they were proposed today?

    And one more, from your response to Scott:

    Most people (liberals as well as conservatives) don’t make a habit of operating under conditions of cognitive load, time pressure, or considering political terms in a cursory manner.

    You have got to be kidding.

  • Kyle Hussein Hunter

    Mistake 1: Thinking Warren wrote an article I’d agree with.

    Mistake 2: Reading the article.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Doc –

    Warren needs his nose rubbed in the failure of austerity economics. I know of no better way to get his attention and force him to explain exactly how it is that despite how wrong and evil and stupid liberal governance and economics are, why is it that among the states of America, blue states are generally significantly better off than red states, and among the nations of the world, the first-world community (read: much better places to live) is comprised almost solely of the oh-so-socialist “socialized democracies”.

  • scott

    warren,

    the title of your original nonsense post claims that a new study (eidelman et al.) suggests that conservatives have lower IQs. their study shows nothing of the sort, and they never claim otherwise. what other researchers argue is a non-sequitur.

    >>You say, “the researchers never say conservatives use low-effort thought. to the contrary, they say reaching this conclusion is a logical fallacy.” Huh? The authors test the hypothesis that low-effort thought promotes political conservatism.

    affirming the consequent, logical fallacy. (read the paper you critique)

    >>You continue, “the researchers never claim that their correlational study proves causation.” Do you know what the word “promotes” means?

    read the article before you critique it

    >> And doing three more experiments doesn’t establish cause and effect.

    in fact, they each do. read the article before you critique it

    >>Most people (liberals as well as conservatives) don’t make a habit of operating under conditions of cognitive load, time pressure, or considering political terms in a cursory manner.

    irrelevant to the claims the authors make (read the article before you critique it). and note: it has been estimated that most of our thinking is “automatic” (of which low effort can be an example).

    >>BTW Scott, can I ask you from what university did you receive your Ph.D. in Statistics? Mine is from The Florida State University.

    kudos, i’ll let my colleagues there know what you’re up to. appeals to authority don’t change the fact that, when it comes to this research and your critique of it, you have no idea what you’re talking about

    scott

  • Baronius

    Glenn – I thought you’d admitted that your red/blue state analysis was incorrect. About a year ago, Dread (I think) and I went through it in detail with you. A month or so ago, you mentioned to someone else how you’d realized that the red/blue comparisons are distorted due to urban/rural splits. Now you’re back to using that analysis that you know to be wrong. Are you just trying to score points without caring whether or not you’re being accurate?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Baronius –

    I did, absolutely! It has everything to do with level of urbanization, and NOT much to do with political leaning. I didn’t say otherwise in my post to Warren.

    What I was trying to get him to realize was that if blue states/countries were as bad as he seems to believe, wouldn’t such states and nations be a whole lot worse off? But they’re not, are they?

    On the one hand, with few exceptions, the level of urbanization is obviously the main determining factor in the conservative/liberal leanings and the standard of living of a particular area. But the very fact that the standard of living in such ‘liberalized’ areas obviously shows that liberal mindsets and politics are not the road to doom and destruction that conservatives believe they are.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    Baronius: you’re right that I did side with you in critiquing Glenn’s analysis back then, but in this case I don’t think Glenn is off target.

    Here, we’re talking about “red” and “blue” states in the sense of who controls the statehouse and sits in the governor’s mansion, so urban/rural splits aren’t of much relevance. Warren’s contention is that liberal governance invariably results in poor economic performance. Glenn’s is that the reverse is true.

  • Zingzing

    Liberal gov’t seems to be either necessary or a given in highly urbanized areas. But there’s always problems. Still, for every conservative Mayberry, there’s a meth and violence ridden conservative hellhole. Neither one is the obvious answer, yet for Warren to unequivocally state that liberal gov’t always fails is obviously false and more than a little blind to his own side’s shortcomings.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Doc –

    No, I’m not saying the reverse is true. I’m saying that liberal governance (being a result of urbanization) does not in and of itself result in bad times for the people. It doesn’t guarantee good governance, either – but it’s got a pretty good record so far, domestically and internationally.

  • http://cinemasentries.com El Bicho

    to prove the study is correct, all they need is a link to Warren’s ridiculous conspiracy post