There’s a long-standing and somewhat uncomfortable finding in psychology: that low IQ, conservative social beliefs and prejudice — including anti-gay attitudes and racism — are all linked.
New research, though, suggests that there’s more to the story. When the definition of prejudice is expanded beyond its usual meaning — that is, holding negative attitudes toward historically powerless minority groups — it turns out that people all along the IQ spectrum show prejudiced attitudes.
In other words, intelligence doesn’t determine if you’re prejudiced, but rather the target of that prejudice, the study found. Both the smart and the dumb have biases, but those biases are toward different groups of people….
People in the study with lower intellectual abilities tended to dislike minorities they perceived as liberal. People higher on the IQ scale exhibited more prejudice toward conservative groups….
“Even people who are high on openness to experience, openness to new ideas — they show this link between perceiving somebody as having different attitudes than them and expressing prejudice,” [Mark] Brandt said. “It’s kind of depressingly robust.”
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