White conservatives are falling behind white liberals on intelligence


While working on my previous post I decided to poke around the General Social Survey. I’ve been using this resource since 2007 or so. The data goes up to 2018.

The chart above illustrates something that is somewhat important, though not surprising. White conservatives are getting less intelligent in relation to white liberals over time (moderates, as usual, remain the dumbest). Since people always ask for them, I put 95% confidence intervals on it. Intuitively this aligns with data about the realignment of college-educated whites to the Democrats.

The results hold (with wider intervals) if you stratify by sex. The pattern also shows up for all races, but I focused on white respondents to control for confounds (nonwhites have lower WORDSUM scores). WORDSUM is a 10-word vocabulary test highly correlated with IQ.

In any case, I’m presenting the result as is. When I post stuff like this I get comments and emails from conservatives that perhaps on mathematical intelligence they do better. That’s fair. But show me the research on this. Just because your group has a lower average IQ doesn’t mean you do, nor does that mean you are any less of a person if your group does.

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35 thoughts on “White conservatives are falling behind white liberals on intelligence

  1. Does this not apply to non whites?

    Politically this would seem to be the result of liberals looking down their nose at poor whites while poor people of color are their cause celebre. This likely drives more poor lower IQ whites to the conservative side.

    At the higher IQ percentiles the relationship may be inverted. For example, economists are the smartest of the social scientists and also the most conservative. I would also imagine that mathamaticians are more conservative than those in the humanities, on average, and also higher IQ.

    So this relationship I would think is not due to liberal ideology being more attractive to high IQ folks but rather liberals pandering to minorities and abandoning poor whites.

  2. O/T but please forgive me.

    Neanderthal genes may make COVID worse in some patients, study finds
    Associated Press
    Sep. 30, 2020
    https://www.dispatch.com/story/news/2020/09/30/neanderthal-genes-makes-coronavirus-worse-some-covid-patients-study-finds/3585344001/

    Scientists say genes that some people have inherited from their Neanderthal ancestors may increase the likelihood of suffering severe forms of COVID-19.

    A study by European scientists published Wednesday by the journal Nature identifies a cluster of genes that are linked to a higher risk of hospitalization and respiratory failure in patients who are infected with the new coronavirus.

    Researchers Hugo Zeberg and Svante Paabo determined that the genes belong to a group, or haplotype, which likely came from Neanderthals. The haplotype is found in about 16% of the population in Europe and half the population in South Asia, while in Africa and East Asia it is non-existent.

    * * *

    The researchers, who work at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany, say the prevalence of the particular Neanderthal gene group is highest in people from Bangladesh, where 63% are estimated to carry a copy of the haplotype.

    They cite studies from the U.K. showing that people of Bangladeshi descent have about two times higher risk of dying from COVID-19 than the general population.

    “It is striking that the genetic heritage from the Neandertals has such tragic consequences during the current pandemic,” Paabo said in a statement. “Why this is must now be investigated as quickly as possible.”

  3. At the higher IQ percentiles the relationship may be inverted.

    you are talking about slicing and dicing the 1-2%. it’s true some of the patterns you adduce, but it’s not really equivalent to what i’m noting here. i mean, applied mathematicians might be more conservative than pure math ppl, with a 5 pt IQ different, but it’s lik 150 vs. 145 or something. a tiny proportion of the population

  4. I think the correct response is so what? IQ is not wisdom. If the experience of the last couple of centuries is to be credited, the intellectuals and the learned have been attracted to the worst political nonsense that could be imagined. Marxism? Need I say more.

    My analytical perspective is that contemporary politics is class warfare. The ruling class has adopted their toxic stew of environmentalism, transexualism, and BLM because their goal is to impoverish, humiliate, and demoralize the white working class. The ideas are utter nonsense which makes them perfect. They are shibboleths nor workable or realistic ideas.

  5. “Marxism? Need I say more.”

    Right… cuz Fascism was such a resounding success.

    We’re still living in the wondrous glow of Franco’s Spain, Mussolini’s Italy, and Hitler’s Germany. And I mean, we all needed a World War at that point in history, right?

  6. f the experience of the last couple of centuries is to be credited, the intellectuals and the learned have been attracted to the worst political nonsense that could be imagined. Marxism

    i think that’s actually important to know. that intellectuals and high IQ sometimes are like moths to the flame…

  7. “ Right… cuz Fascism was such a resounding success”

    Holy non-sequitur Batman!
    To appreciate how disastrous Marxism has been for humanity, one doesn’t need to agree with Fascism (or indeed with National Socialism, which is really a different version of totalitarian control & is better understood as a left-wing phenomenon).

  8. @Colin Suttie

    “(or indeed with National Socialism, which is really a different version of totalitarian control & is better understood as a left-wing phenomenon).”

    The NSDAP was a left-wing phenomenon?

    Hmmm. So, what’s next? Are anarcho-socialists actually better understood as ultra-conservative reactionaries? Funny stuff….

    @All

    Where’s the mathematics-conservativism angle coming from? Are there some studies on this that I’ve maybe missed?

    Personally speaking, I have multiple friends doing some pretty serious/interesting work in theoretical physics (so they know a thing or two about mathematics, lol)… and they’re all a bit left-of-center, with the exception of one die-hard Marxist (and when I say die-hard, I mean die-hard. Mofo read Das Kapital at the age of 12, and has a picture of Trotsky in his living-room, Lmao).

    And going beyond my personal experiences:

    When looking outwards at intellectual history, one finds that some of the greatest minds operating at the intersections of 20th century logic, mathematics, and scientistic/postivist philosophy were rather leftist in terms of their personal political orientations.

    So this sounds rather much like a curious sort of wish-fulfilment, since a vocal minority of contemporary conservatives enjoy fetishizing mathematics and the “natural” sciences (because they think that the humanities and “social” sciences essentially boil down to leftist propaganda).

  9. “ The NSDAP was a left-wing phenomenon?”

    More government control of the economy? Check!
    Generous welfare system? Check!
    Claims of scientific truth? Check!

    There is plenty of published research on the socialist nature of National Socialism, as if the name wasn’t enough of a clue. That this view has been airbrushed by post-war scholars does not make it untrue.

  10. Few graphics to kind of exhibit where these changes fall in relation to the mean, using conversion into SD and crossplotting against the mean: https://imgur.com/a/RqcYlD6

    It seems like basically what you think; White Conservatives have regressed entirely, from having a slightly higher SD than the mean, to being *at* the White mean, with possibly a very slightly narrower SD than the White mean as a whole (92% as large). The Liberals move up and, and moderates don’t really change very much.

    Linear bivariate equations would project that by the end of the sequence there is about 1/3 SD difference between Conservative and Liberal, and moderates about 1/6 SD down from Con.

    The difference in GSS between College Graduate and High School Graduate in GSS is about 1 SD. So one way of thinking of it might be that White Liberals are functionally as if composed of about 1/3 more College Graduates and 1/3 fewer High School Grads, in Wordsum terms.

    The underlying driver of this to me seems to be a change where moderates re-ID into Conservative, which happens during the 1980s and is stable by the 2000s. (That maps OK with the 3rd Order Polynomial of Con Wordsum, where the decline happens through 1980s-1990s and then is stable). Liberal as a share of the White population doesn’t really change at all, with some decline in the 80s, then stability. See here for the self-ID change: https://imgur.com/a/XRjQL1P

    I’d guess there’s a trend where moderates as a shuffle to Conservatives, while between Liberal and Moderates, wordsum high and low individuals shuffle between the categories without really changing the relative size of each. Probably Conservatives kind of had to do this sort of change within their “movement” in order to continue to build governments in the face of demographic change.

    There might be some “shy” effect here where some respondents are reluctant to self-ID in certain ways to interviewers, though I’m not sure about that.

    In terms of what this all means, well, it’s most interesting in terms of thinking about them as coalitions. It probably doesn’t really inform our take on their ideas at all. It’s not like left wing Labour Party socialists in the UK ever noted that the dedicated free-market liberal party, the Liberal Democrats, tended to have more educated individuals than the Labour Party and then decided this was cast-iron proof against nationalisation and state planning… They explained it away as due to class interest, and as a positive signal of their ability to draw in large coalitions of the population. As was quite right and fair enough really.

    Attracting a larger proportion of slightly better than average educated people isn’t really proof that ideas really hold up at the really high end and are good ways to govern society.

  11. @Commentator/Seinundzeit: “Where’s the mathematics-conservativism angle coming from? Are there some studies on this that I’ve maybe missed?”

    I suspect that has to do with the more conservatism of engineers; probably conservatives imagine this as having to do with some kind of “verbal vs. numeric intelligence” thing, and think that means that conservatives have more “numeric intelligence. My bet is that the engineer’s conservatism has almost nothing to do with a “verbal vs. numeric” axis, but with a “abstract vs. concrete” axis (being conservatives usually more “concrete” than “liberals”, and engineers also more “concrete” than scientists, mathematicians, etc.)

  12. It was me; I dunnit. I was extremely liberal and left-wing from the sixties until I moved to the conservative side in the teens.

  13. Well of course. The Dems have reconstituted themselves as the party of well-educated Whites and ethnic lobbies. It would be a wonder if we didn’t have these results.

    That said I think the GOP will regret having hemorrhaged its elites and subelites. Will speed its transition a rump party.

  14. How do you define moderates? Is it just people that do not identify as conservative or liberal? If so, does that conflate “moderate” with “disengaged” voters who I imagine would be negatively correlated with intelligence.

  15. Another explanation is related to your previous post: people conform. When the Left gets hold of most intellectual places, it becomes associated with being intellectual, and the intellectually-oriented people will align themselves with it – just like they tend to dress and talk like each other, they will tend to try to fit politically.

  16. The most basic difference between left and right is and always was that the right assumed there are natural differences between people and neither are all people supposed to be the same nor can they be made the same. Hiearchy and social differences being both natural and useful for society as a whole. The maximum a right wing person can offer is the same opportunities. In the worst case they deny environmental and social factors playing a big part in making a person and don’t care for the social welfare.

    The left denies or downplays individual genetic and socio-cultural differences, especially if its about the categories they focus on, like currently race, sex and religion, but even beyond that to the individual level. On the contrary they claim environmental factors and especially “education” being the one and everything. In their theory one could take a hobo and compare it with a high level bourgeois and everything which differs between them was “how they were raised and lived”. While this can be true on an individual level, its not statistically. So in a worst case scenario they ignore individual and collective differences of genetics, the social milieu and culture in creating socio-economic differences and try to balance everything out with ever more input and by force, even cracking the pillars of society and erradicate the people which build it in the process.

    Both extreme scenarios are wrong. Obviously environmental AND genetic factors matter. You can’t make a genius out of a “genetic idiot”, but you can ruin the life and potential of the best by putting them in a very bad spot. Less so in the current welfare state, but more so in the Liberterian Capitalist past.

    Today, most gifted individuals can study and being socially successful, this is fundamentally different from the past when this was not even possible to the same degree.

    The problem of Cultural Marxism, which is at the base of the current Neo-Leftism, is that it doesn’t care for function or effectiveness, but just for its hate on the occidental society and for any kind of hierarchy and perceived “oppression”.
    Because their concepts don’t work out, they have to be even more radical and use force to implement them. The more they fail, they more they blame the remains of the conservative Euroepan society for it, which creates a vicious cycle, since they don’t want to correct themselves, their attacks and insanity must become ever more absurd and vicious.

    Because as soon as they would recognise their failure, even in just one small respect, their whole ideological construct might crumble and those on top, the ideologists and the Oligarchy supporting them, know that vey well. That’s why their radicalism needs to be pushed so aggressively until we have the surveillance & control state, because nothing is allowed to stop that process.

    Eventually some failures will be recognised, but only after the ideology did its job for the Oligarchy, and the possible resistance to the new order being successfully suppressed in the transitional phase.

    This has zero to do with Socialim, but its Neoliberalism. Neoliberalism as a system includes Socialist measures to keep people down, but its mechanics are strictly Capitalist in a public-private partnership of Oligopols controlled by the Oligarchy. Its a natural evolution, because either you have a state regulating in favour of the whole and people, or you have a state regulated by money and the Plutocracy.
    There is no way in between on the long run. The state needs to intervene constantly for not letting the money elite to become to powerful. This was not done in the USA, so the state became just an instrument of the Oligarchy.

    Capitalism without control is not in favour of the people, not the poor and not the small businesses, but just the financial elite and big corporations.

  17. @Walther

    True that. Besides, there’s this other point: policy for the whole society will need to be understood and put in practice by the lower-IQ half of the curve too. Their opinions on governance may be dumber, but that doesn’t mean they’re not important. Let the intellectuals make a society that only intellectuals can comprehend, and mysteriously nothing will go the way they wanted because of dumb stuff they never even thought could happen.

    Basically this tweet.

  18. Conservatives, who seem to believe that IQ is real, are by that measure stupid; while Progressives, who in general doubt `Intelligence’ is a thing, are by that same measure smart. Solve for the equilibrium, as some would suggest?

    Perhaps IQ tests are more reliable on the low end of the spectrum than at the top.

  19. @moscanarius:
    “True that. Besides, there’s this other point: policy for the whole society will need to be understood and put in practice by the lower-IQ half of the curve too. Their opinions on governance may be dumber, but that doesn’t mean they’re not important. Let the intellectuals make a society that only intellectuals can comprehend, and mysteriously nothing will go the way they wanted because of dumb stuff they never even thought could happen.”

    Your assumption of the “superiour intellectual” is wrong for two reasons:
    1st because they being more influenced by Cultural Marxist and reality-free constructivist “logic” than most ordinary people with what I would still call “common sense”
    and
    2nd because even intelligent people need to be “trained on the subject”, they also need the personality and rationality level. Like there are highly irrational sectarians which are highly intelligent on paper and have an excellent formal education.

    But even if they are intelligent AND rational, they need to be trained on the subject. Like I had some expertise in some fields and had the opportunity to support highly intelligent people in making their way. They got the basics in a short time and excelled.
    But before they trained on it, they were just on the wrong track like most people are.

    For many intelligent people there should be something like a “political theories and practise class” in which they have to deal with political and economical problems, with real data and a sound historical perspective. There are people out there which would come up with great solutions and new perspectives, yet they rather just “do other stuff” and are, if being asked, as or even more “stupid” in their opinion as the next best hobo, to use this again.

    Intelligent people are just good in dealing with problems they have to deal with. A lot of them prefer to ignore what doesn’t catch their interest at first or being not really helpful for mastering their primary skills and making them successful.

    Like even if you are just average, IQ-wise, but well-read and educated, you might still be able to tell “intellectually superiour” people which just didn’t care for their “true education” all to much many new and important things.

    And if you look at the current educational system, basic knowledge and logic is no longer a big part of the curriculum, but only ideological indoctrination and “job qualification” matters. And there is nowhere written that people, even if they are intelligent, are otherwise more interested in things and solutions – that’s personality more than anything.

  20. chrisare: Economists in academia are not necessarily that much different than their academic brethren.
    Political diversity at the AEA –https://johnhcochrane.blogspot.com/2020/10/political-diversity-at-aea.html

    Misanthropy; Colin Suttie; Commentator/Seinundzeit: Marxism is big tent political movement. Soviet Communism was only one variant, Maoism is another. Leninism, Nazism, and Fascism all derived from Georges Sorel’s version. Modern American academic leftism tends to follow from Gramsci and the Franfurt School. Hitler was not an academic, nor an intellectual, but he had academic expositors as prominent as Heidegger and Carl Schmitt.

  21. What I forgot to mention but oftentimes was able to observe: Intelligent and well-educated people oftentimes have a great trust in the written word and what we might call “scientific authority”. Like Razib so often said, they might recognise the mistakes in their primary field of interest, done by colleagues, politicians, journalists and celebrities, but they still might follow the mainstream in some sort of naive trust into “the systemic value and truth”. So if something is not their primary focus, even though they could do much better, they still swallow what the next best mediocre journalist serves to them and prefer not to question the basics of the system. Which they like for its freedom, security and personal success and which would just harder to survive if questioning it anyway…
    This means even intelligent people need, at first, a good reason to question authority and “the gospel” from the media channels.
    If you could motivate many such people to dig deeper and do the research themselves, they suddenly might come up with more and more inconsistencies. But since their indoctrination over many years and thier trust in “the system” being so high, they still need time and more discoveries of errors and lies in the system to actually question it.

    Yet that doesn’t mean, even if they do all this, that they end up being on the right track – because some of them, this is personality again, begin, after detecting some “conspiracies” and “bad intentions” to question almost everything. Like they see the conspiracy in everything. To balance that out, to keep a rational standpoint in the phase of what’s taking place is not that easy, because you can either trust the mainstream too much, or distrust it too much, even when its not necessary or justified.

    And this again, this balance in the phase of complex patterns, is highly dependent on personality traits. Can you follow a pattern (trust/distrust in a source or system) and still evaluate every case in its own right, without labelling it too quickly, without having looked at the facts.

    I came to the conclusion that the majority of people struggle with this and I saw people changing their basic stance quickly, but sometimes falling from one extreme into the other and back again. Intelligent people are better in sorting facts and solving problems, but the kind of worldview people develop is highly dependent on personality traits, in my humble opinion. Some people will always fall to the very extreme and others will always try to calm down, besides both options should be considered depending on the circumstances.

    We can see that in historical people, especailly monarchs, too. Like there were all kind of personalities, even among those which were formally highly educated and fairly intelligent. What we decide or want doesn’t end there.

  22. @Walther

    Yes, I agree, but I’ll insist: even if you have intelligent, well-read, well-trained, well-intentioned high-IQ people molding society (which we don’t), they will need to consider the opinions of their lessers if they want to successfully build a better world for all.

    If they only hear themselves and their high-IQ friends, they will end up with a set of rules that somehow never work as expected.

  23. It is weird to hear people say that Marxists and Hitler’s National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP) are in the same clade. After all, they hated each other and fought each other. But I’m reading Geoffrey Parker’s Global Crisis: War, Climate Change & Catastrophe in the Seventeenth Century and, man, were there a lot of atrocities and hatred and wars. All over Europe, things like hacking people to death and burning buildings with people in them. Yet no one thinks it’s weird to say all the participants were Christians.

  24. What I find weird is how many of my very smart friends (who are currently in their early 60’s) now believe in this bizarre stuff. For example, I have one friend (a successful attorney) who just talks about how horrible white supremacy is. White supremacy wasn’t even a thing 10 years ago. Was it just propaganda from the media that caused her to think this?
    I have another friend (a marketing svp at a large company) who was saved from being raped by an ex felon whose early release was championed by some local celebrities. She currently has BLM and defund the police on her Facebook page. Talk about the triumph of meme over experience!

  25. A constant when you bring this kind of topic up is your generally conservative/right-leaning commentariat making excuses or trying to find exceptions of the kind they wouldn’t make in other cases of IQ disparities or trying to describe why it’s a good thing in this case and how it reflects the better moral character of the conservatives vs the liberals, akshually.

    Naturally, what Matt mentioned re class interests is correct but it’s mostly “the Marxists” who focus on that these days compared to conservatives, liberals, libertarians and pretty much everyone else, all of whom seem to vastly prefer personality-characteristic and group identity based explanations.

  26. Razib was “Political Views – Liberal/Conservative” the variable you used and how did you narrow the GSS values to the three you have plotted? Would it be just as fair to count SLIGHTLY LIBERAL and SLGHTLY CONSERVATIVE as MODERATE? Would that change the result?

    It looks like most of the increase in independents since the 70s have come at the expense of the Democrats, and so shedding those might help to account for the increase in liberal scores. The on average smarter ex Liberals moving into the independent group would also help account for the increasing trend in the Moderates

    Don’t the high IQ tend to behave in ways that might be described as conservative regardless of their political affiliations? Say for example marriage and divorce rates or abortion rates?

    https://www.pewresearch.org/politics/interactives/party-id-trend/

  27. @ IDontRemember, without thinking about it too hard, would probably agree re Marxists. I mean, Marxists do think about “class” or “social status” in a way that seems pretty terrible to me… (I’m simplifying, but this basic model is the hard divide into the owners of capital and “everyone else”, and the owners are then imagined to be engaged in activity which is exploitative and leads to structural crises, and so they need to be eliminated, as a class (possibly as individuals if they resist too much), for a bureaucracy of revolutionary socialist planners to come to the fore (and then presumably not exproporiate surplus value for themselves).)

    But they’re definitely an ideology shaped by the 19th century entry of the masses into politics that understands that masses are a constituency to organize (even if by a revolutionary vanguard at the point of a gun if necessary). Not that thinks ever of masses as to be discarded for being insufficiently elite and so “damaging their brand”, or cast out if they clash with maintaining a movements’ values, rather than achieving its goals. Firmly in the politics of organising to achieve goals for your own community, not the politics of organising to express your self or your group membership (and this benefits you socially or psychologically).

  28. @IDontRemember:
    “Naturally, what Matt mentioned re class interests is correct but it’s mostly “the Marxists” who focus on that these days compared to conservatives, liberals, libertarians and pretty much everyone else, all of whom seem to vastly prefer personality-characteristic and group identity based explanations.”

    That’s because they don’t act for their own class, social, economic or ethnic interests, even on the contrary. They like Lemmings, like suicidal drones and that’s because its a class dynamic and identity related, in the greater scheme of things with manipulation and indoctrination.
    There are some aspects of true class interests, but looking at it in detail, close to nothing really works out. Therefore its more like a pseudo-religious moralisation of society, rather than anything practical or goal oriented from the perspective of the white middle and upper classes.
    The only ones which have a potential direct interest and stake in it are the “magical one percent”, or better 0,01 percent, which create a strictly Oligarchic control & surveillance state with their public-private Plutocracy.
    The rest being tricked into a vision which isn’t even for real, but just a hypocritical phantasm, a socially engineered behavioural guidance through the transition. Ever looked at the discrepancies and inconsistencies of the modern Cultural Marxist derived Neo-Leftism?
    They concentrate on minor soft issues and blow them up for distracting people, while ignoring the elephant in the room, the Plutocratic mastery. Its ridiculous, its absolutely ridiculous!

    Like claiming the average middle aged white middle class male is “in charge” and has “all the privileges”, while getting financed and supported by multi-billionaries in charge of the political establishment, finance and mass media, which are truly on top of things. Its a sad joke of history to even look at this mess.

    I just have to compare “Occupy Wallstreet” and how it was destroyed vs. “MeToo” and “Black Lives Matter” and how these were pushed. People being blind folded to only see what the masters want them to see and what the current “Neo-Leftism” creates and “wants” is the exact opposite of the class interests of a middle to upper class white – like the coming transition and monetary reset too will be not in their interest, because they will lose their savings, investments and pension.
    Only a small minority of them can profit if being prepared, but an even smaller group truly uses this in their favour.

    The current situation is like if peasants voted for their enslavement. It can happen, it did happen, when peasants didn’t wanted to do military service and preferred to ignore “responsibility”. Today the majority of people seems to be similar minded, they want to be led and not take up responsibility.
    To trust the Oligarchy and not speak of a conspiracy or even just bad intentions became a mantra for the bourgois average people. Like “we trust in what they deliver, we are not as stupid as to believe stupid ‘alternative facts’ and conspiracy theories”.

    They are right, most of the alternatives are even more wrong and a lot of the conspiracy theories absurd, but that doesn’t mean they being led by a knowledgeable and well meaning class of overlords with good intentions, not at all.
    But in recent years the Oligarchy made it kind of a social signal whether you trust mainstream or not: “Only uneducated, stupid and somewhat deranged people follow other channels and question our mantras.”

    That was the big propagandistic achievement of the last years, that despite the free information available, they could convince the majority of people that their channels and mantras are correct, or at least EVERYTHING ELSE being worse.
    A prime example for how they did it was the climate change “debate”. I’m not even saying anything about what’s “the truth” about it, but they just managed to suffocate any objective debate and push everybody which just questions a part of the narrative into the “loony” corner. That’s what they did with so many things in recent years, everything being put in the loony or poison cabinet, about which “reasonable, intelligent and well-educated people” don’t speak any longer, but prefer the mantras delivered to them and the “newspeak”.
    Obviously that’s related more to class identity and status than class interests. Because again, nothing of this is in their interests, but they distinguish themselves as “better citizens and people” by just repeating what being told, instead of questioning it.

    The Oligarchy was able to label everything they prefer as “good” and “nice”, anything contradicting them as “bad” and “evil”. It works particularly well in the American context, with its naive “black & white”, “good and evil” scheme established by the state & private propaganda for long. Differentiation is not the strength of the US culture, not at all.

    Like elsewhere its easier to discuss ASPECTS of Socialism or Capitalism and compare and evaluate them. But in the USA, the tendency towards all or nothing, hate or love is much more pronounced and extreme it seems to me. Like if there is always a dichotomy necessary, even if that’s not the case at all.

  29. @Bob:

    “Don’t the high IQ tend to behave in ways that might be described as conservative regardless of their political affiliations? Say for example marriage and divorce rates or abortion rates?”

    No, because there is nothing really “conservative” in having low non-married cohabitation, divorce or abortion rates; a progressive is not a conservative in reverse: while conservatives think that marriage is good and divorce and abortion are bad, modern progressives (excluding some fringe currents) usually don’t think that marriage is bad or divorce and abortion are good – the progressive position is more being “non-judgmental” in this issues, not making judgments symmetrical of the conservative judgments (about the divorce and abortion, I imagine that the standard center-left view is “they are bad, but the alternative could be worst for some people”).

    If anything, I suspect that someone who lives in an environment with rampant single motherhood, divorce, abortion, etc. should be more prone to be socially conservative, in the sense of thinking that society should encourage family values (like probably people who live in crime-infested communities give more value to “law and order”), while people who live in environments where single motherhood, divorce, abortion, etc. are rare should be more prone to think “single mothers/divorcees/etc. probably have very strong reasons for that, and we should not judge them”

  30. @Miguel:
    “If anything, I suspect that someone who lives in an environment with rampant single motherhood, divorce, abortion, etc. should be more prone to be socially conservative, in the sense of thinking that society should encourage family values (like probably people who live in crime-infested communities give more value to “law and order”), while people who live in environments where single motherhood, divorce, abortion, etc. are rare should be more prone to think “single mothers/divorcees/etc. probably have very strong reasons for that, and we should not judge them””

    Actually there is sometimes a difference between moral judgement and behavioural practise. For some regions I know that there are long term traditions of higher rates of single motherhood or divorce, for centuries (!). Like in regions which had a low degree of self-sustaining farmers and many dependent farm workers, which couldn’t afford marriage in the old times. The pattern of conservative Catholicism/small farmers vs. less-Catholic/conservative to Protestant/dependent workers and herders, persisted for many generations, even into times when the original causes were no more.

    The reasons for abortions/divorce and its acceptance in a community can vary a lot. I might use the example of Afro-American communities which had similar troubles, yet they are “more conservative” on “gender issues” and “social norms”, as a last resort to keep things together, than many “conservative living”, but “ideologically turned”, through reeducation and social pressures, upper middle class whites.

  31. @Obs:

    “Actually there is sometimes a difference between moral judgement and behavioural practise. For some regions I know that there are long term traditions of higher rates of single motherhood or divorce, for centuries (!). Like in regions which had a low degree of self-sustaining farmers and many dependent farm workers, which couldn’t afford marriage in the old times. The pattern of conservative Catholicism/small farmers vs. less-Catholic/conservative to Protestant/dependent workers and herders, persisted for many generations, even into times when the original causes were no more.”

    It is exactly this in Portugal – the north, where smallholdings are the rule, it is a very Catholic region; the south (specially the Alentejo), traditionally dominated by big rural estates and absentee landlords, is much less religious and have a reputation of having weaker “family values”, with many “children of unkown father” (much probably, children of single women and married men…) in the older generations

  32. The really fascinating stuff is that these behavioural differences persist long after the cause is gone and people don’t know why they act like they do, whether its harmful or useful, doesn’t matter. In such cases “conservative” is not always the right approach, especially if your region conserves something which is not really helpful.

  33. I alluded to it in a previous thread. Liberals are girly. As we move from the ancestral state of mankind, as with the wolf and the dog, important functions are lost, so long as they can live in our soft civilized society

    It’s ok. Pretty girls love me. As I’ve said, there isn’t a one who hasn’t thought I was a Trump supporter. Harvard is right not to admit me. Imagine the terror I would wreak in Boston

    I will be satisfied being the barbarian. As I’ve enjoyed threatening shitlibs with online, it will not be the likes of them who will be commissar

  34. Replication crisis, indeed says the IQ stunted white conservative.

    Groundbreaking. Get this guy a melatonin – that chart is woke.

    I award you one Twitter blue checkmark.

    This data ends in 2018.. I’d suspect that the increasing polarization will lead to an upward trend from moderates. The extent to which so many seem unwilling to entertain the idea that their “side” might have something wrong is alarming (but what do I know – I am a white conservative as of 2012-2013ish).

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