Thursday, January 03, 2008

Liberals are smarter than conservatives...?

A British study by Deary et al. titled "Bright Children become Enlightened Adults" (Psychological Science, Volume 19 pp. 1-6, January 2008) shows a correlation between general intelligence (g) at age 10 and liberal and anti-traditional social attitudes at age 30...
We examined the prospective association between general intelligence (g) at age 10 and liberal and antitraditional social attitudes at age 30 in a large (N = 7,070), representative sample of the British population born in 1970. Statistical analyses identified a general latent trait underlying attitudes that are antiracist, pro-working women, socially liberal, and trusting in the democratic political system. There was a strong association between higher g at age 10 and more liberal and antitraditional attitudes at age 30; this association was mediated partly via educational qualifications, but not at all via occupational social class. Very similar results were obtained for men and women. People in less professional occupations—and whose parents had been in less professional occupations—were less trusting of the democratic political system. This study confirms social attitudes as a major, novel field of adult human activity that is related to childhood intelligence differences.

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