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March 17, 2003

Brainboard 3

I visit the Brainboard 3 fairly regularly as it sometimes has quite fascinating discussion on cognitive science and IQ-related issues. It's one of the few sites besides GNXP which takes a lively interest in such matters, though without the HBD aspect. However, there appears to be some quite knowledgeable people there and I've noticed that the usual suspects (Eysenck, Rushton, et al) get cited there from time to time. The regular posters are currently talking about average IQ of Indian Institute of Technology students and if you scroll down further there's quite a long thread on whether and how you can estimate the IQ of talk show hosts (!) based on the idea that g is correlated with working memory.

Posted by jason_s at 04:15 PM

Awesome. Thanks J!

Posted by: Jason Malloy at March 17, 2003 04:43 PM

I found the discussion about the IQ of conservatives to be quite interesting. While several of the posters believe in a causal relationship between IQ and liberalism, they seem to only be looking at the right-hand side of the IQ bell curve. It is true that Democrats/liberals tend to be more prominent in the higher IQ/income brackets, but aren't they also over-represented in the lower brackets as well? To my understanding, the Democrat/liberal ideology can be best represented by the dumbell shape of haves and have-nots, that peaks at the extremeties. Republican/conservative ideology represents the middle class, and, I would guess, more average IQs. I would wager that it is correct that there is a correlation between higher-IQ and liberalism. However, I imagine that it also correlates to lower IQ, too.

Posted by: Brandy at March 18, 2003 05:35 PM

Interesting theory. There is a separate(?) issue which muddies things a bit - since black people vote 90% democrat and are overrepresented on the left half of the IQ curve, you have to decide whether you want to include them in your data. I think the question of how political affiliation relates to IQ is better examined by looking at a single racial group (so that group loyalty to a particular party can be eliminated as a variable), and so the question might be 'what are the political tendencies of less intelligent white people'? But anyway, even if they vote for the same candidates it's fair to say that the liberalism of the lumpenproletariat and that of the liberal intellectual elite probably don't have much in common beyond that.

Posted by: bbartlog at March 19, 2003 09:09 AM

You wouldn't want to control for race because it's irrelevant to the issue. If asians are more intelligent AND more liberal, it's possible that they are liberal because they are intelligent and there's no reason to 'control' for this.

In any event, I haven't seen any research directly relating to the issue so I can't say anything worthwhile, but... I can speculate.

Because researchers and editorial review boards are universally liberal, the absence of published data gives me the feeling that everyone who has done the study has realized what you'd assume from secondary and tertiary factors - it would be my opinion that liberalism and IQ have a strong negative correlation.

The (mathematically worthless but suggestive) round-about argument is that IQ and income correlate, and income negatively correlates with liberalism, so therefore maybe this is one bit of evidence that might suggest that IQ and liberalism would negatively correlate.

Another round-about argument is that (contrary to popular belief) level of educational attainment and liberalism NEGATIVELY correlate. We might assume that level of educational attainment and IQ correlate... so again, we might assume that IQ and liberalism negatively correlate.

You'd have to look at it directly. Anyone speculating is going to have a certain bias.

Posted by: Cody Grasmick at April 16, 2003 07:33 PM