Party Affiliation and IQ

Friend Jay DiNitto left a comment on my previous post having to do with a correlation (or stereotype) between high IQ and liberalism. This got me thinking. Is this notion actually true, or is it the end result of the bias of social scientists? Well, all right, that question was intentionally dishonest and dichotomous. I decided to accept the idea as such that liberals are, on average, more intelligent than conservatives. After all, they seem to control our institutions of higher learning. They couldn’t attain this without some manner of working intelligence.

And so I theorized that the average conservative is more inclined toward whatever the status quo happens to be, while the average liberal is more inclined to question the status quo. This might give liberals a slight lead over conservatives. Questioning is a form of active intelligence. Neither position — in the average person — is a sign of great intelligence, though, to be honest. Merely clinging to the status quo, however good or bad, is easy, but it isn’t necessarily what is good for society. Conversely, burning down the status quo with no thought to the consequences is not necessarily good for society — and I’m sorry if this is an offensive observation, but that is what the average liberal does. In neither case is the “average” person very forward looking, examining potential consequences, etc.

If I were to connect this post to the last one, which was a very simplistic look at the correlation between Myers-Briggs personality types and political affiliation, I would have to add that the most intelligent personality types (the ones that lend themselves to genius) are going to fall in the N (iNtuitive) T (Thinking) realm; and I’m not just saying that because I happen to fit into the NT behavioral spectrum (okay, who isn’t biased?). It is only that the behavior spectrum is more inclined to produce creative as well as rational thinkers. The entire group are, oddly (or not), independent and conservative thinkers. That is, they are anything but liberal as we understand liberalism today.

But hang on. What the hell does it mean to be liberal in the good ol’ USA these days? I would consider myself a classical liberal, but that is not what is known as a liberal these days. In my search for answers, I stumbled on this article: Are Conservatives Dumber Than Liberals? The article highlights some studies that discovered a fascinating phenomenon — namely, that Republicans have higher measurable IQ than do Democrats because classical liberals tend to be Republicans if they are going to go with one of the two parties. And classical liberals (de-regulation folks, who are also commonly libertarians) have higher average IQs than social conservatives, right up there with … social liberals.

After having thought this through for a while, I had to laugh at the entire business. Is it any surprise that an intelligence measurement like IQ, that sprang from a society that began as classically liberal before it headed into the waters of social progressive thinking, would support the thinking of, er, classical liberals and social progressives? It is also not lost on me that IQ was created to support the status quo, which is, after all, a conservative ideal.

So let’s put all this nonsense behind us. True intelligence is based off a number of factors, and I would conjecture — no doubt due to my personality type — that those people who are able to consider future consequences of today’s actions, policies, and politicians demonstrate the highest level of cognitive ability. But as the saying goes, a prophet is never recognized in his homeland, which could also be broadened to and not in his own time, either. Some people will recognize truth, and it will resonate in the human soul that isn’t closed off to the sun, but for many, the truth doesn’t become apparent until it’s too late.

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10 comments

  1. I personally don’t agree with the idea, either; I actually don’t have an opinion on the matter, since it requires a lot of statistical scholarship and analysis aggregation, etc. Stuff that isn’t in my area. I just thought the idea and certain explanations were interesting.

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