SCIENCE IN THE NEWS DAILY
Study: Are Liberals Smarter Than Conservatives?
The notion that liberals are smarter
than conservatives is familiar to anyone
who has spent time on a college campus.
The College Democrats are said to be ugly,
smug and intellectual; the College
Republicans, pretty, belligerent and dumb.
There's enough truth in both stereotypes
that the vast majority of college students
opt not to join either club.
But are liberals actually smarter? A
libertarian (and, as such, nonpartisan)
researcher, Satoshi Kanazawa of the London
School of Economics and Political Science,
has just written a paper that is set to be
published in March by the journal Social
Psychology Quarterly. The paper
investigates not only whether
conservatives are dumber than liberals but
also why that might be so.
The short answer: Kanazawa's paper
shows that more-intelligent people are
more likely to say they are liberal. They
are also less likely to say they go to
religious services. ... What's new in
Kanazawa's paper is a provocative theory
about why intelligence might correlate
with liberalism. He argues that smarter
people are more willing to espouse
"evolutionarily novel" values--that is,
values that did not exist in our ancestral
environment, including weird ideas about,
say, helping genetically unrelated
strangers (liberalism, as Kanazawa defines
it), which never would have occurred to us
back when we had to hunt to feed our own
clan and our only real technology was