February 2012


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Larry Romsted <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 7 Feb 2012 11:21:25 -0500
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Hi Mandi:

I would be interesting in how you reacted this article.  I have not read it
yet, but I am suspicious of any article that equates test scores with
intelligence and then draws conclusions from correlations with other
information, e.g., conservative ideology or poor abstract-reasoning skills
and anti homosexual prejudice.  I am also concerned with how unambiguous the
correlations actually are, even if it makes conservatives look bad.  Was
their any income or socioeconomic analysis of the participants?  Also
ordinary people have very low levels of contact with the rich out-groups. :)

Initial thoughts,


From:  Mandi Smallhorne <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:  Science for the People Discussion List
<[log in to unmask]>
Date:  Tue, 7 Feb 2012 11:34:54 +0200
To:  <[log in to unmask]>
Subject:  Bright minds, dark attitudes

Bright Minds and Dark Attitudes: Lower Cognitive Ability Predicts Greater
Prejudice Through Right-Wing Ideology and Low Intergroup Contact
Gordon Hodson and Michael A. Busseri
Brock University
Despite their important implications for interpersonal behaviors and
relations, cognitive abilities have been largely ignored as explanations of
prejudice. We proposed and tested mediation models in which lower cognitive
ability predicts greater prejudice, an effect mediated through the
endorsement of right-wing ideologies (social conservatism, right-wing
authoritarianism) and low levels of contact with out-groups. In an analysis
of two large-scale, nationally representative United Kingdom data sets (N =
15,874), we found that lower general intelligence (g) in childhood predicts
greater racism in adulthood, and this effect was largely mediated via
conservative ideology. A secondary analysis of a U.S. data set confirmed a
predictive effect of poor abstract-reasoning skills on antihomosexual
prejudice, a relation partially mediated by both authoritarianism and low
levels of intergroup contact. All analyses controlled for education and
socioeconomic status. Our results suggest that cognitive abilities play a
critical, albeit underappreciated, role in prejudice. Consequently, we
recommend a heightened focus on cognitive ability in research on prejudice
and a better integration of cognitive ability into prejudice models.
cognitive ability, intelligence, right-wing ideology, contact, prejudice
Received 3/1/11; Revision accepted 7/25/11
Research Article
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