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CONTROVERSIAL

Report: Prejudice Linked to Low IQ

According to a controversial study published earlier this year in the journal Psychological Science, British children with lower general intelligence factor (similar to IQ) are more likely to be racially prejudiced as adults. The LiveScience article on this study, posted Thursday, has the headline: “Low IQ & Conservative Beliefs Linked to Prejudice,” and quotes the lead researcher of the study, psychologist Gordon Hodson of Brock University in Ontario. “Socially conservative ideologies tend to offer structure and order,” Hodson said. “Unfortunately, many of these features can also contribute to prejudice.” Yet it ought to be noted that the study refers only to “social” conservatives rather than “political” conservatives. And attitudes toward race were measured by whether people agreed with statements like “I wouldn’t mind working with people from other races,” which can be defined simply as “prejudice” rather than “socially conservative.” The scientific correlation between prejudice and “right-wing ideologies” is questionable, and many studies have pointed to the fact that general intelligence factor and IQ only measure a very specific type of intelligence—that they “may simply be dumb,” as the article says, is not accurate.

January 26, 2012 5:46 PM