Logo IMG
HOME > MULTIMEDIA > Multimedia Detail


Study: Are Liberals Smarter Than Conservatives?

from Time

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 fire.


comments powered by Disqus

Connect With Us:

Facebook Icon Sm Twitter Icon Google+ Icon Pinterest Icon RSS Feed Instagram Icon

Latest Multimedia

Click to Enlarge Image

VIDEO: How Hair Ice Grows

In 2013, American Scientist featured an article on odd ice formations on plant stems, including these curling ribbons of ice. One of the types of ice discussed in the article was hair ice—long, thin strands of ice that grow under quite specific conditions. The only problem is that a new study shows the theory put forth at the time—that gas pressure pushes the water out—isn’t correct... (click the link above to read more).

To view all multimedia content, click "Latest Multimedia."

RSS Feed Subscription

Receive notification when new content is posted from the entire website, or choose from the customized feeds available.


Of Possible Interest

Multimedia: Audio Exclusive: An Interview with Fracking Expert Avner Vengosh

Pizza Lunch Podcasts: What Is Intelligence?

Science In The News Daily: EPA Issues New Soot Regulations

Subscribe to American Scientist