Yahoo Trumpets Study Supposedly Linking Conservatism to Low IQ

Yahoo! News, which recently entered into a partnership with ABC News, somehow thought it fit to use its "Destination 2012" site for the 2012 election to highlight a new study that found a purported link between conservatism and low intelligence. The headline for the story by's Stephanie Pappas exclaimed, "Low IQ & Conservative Beliefs Linked to Prejudice."

Pappas wasted little time to note that apparently, "low-intelligence adults tend to gravitate toward socially conservative ideologies, the study found." She cited the study's lead researcher, Gordon Hodson of Brock University in Ontario, Canada, who claimed that "those ideologies, in turn, stress hierarchy and resistance to change, attitudes that can contribute to prejudice, Hodson wrote."

The writer buried a further explanation from Hodson 11 paragraphs later, who tried to give a more nuanced look at his findings:

Hodson was quick to note that the despite the link found between low intelligence and social conservatism, the researchers aren't implying that all liberals are brilliant and all conservatives stupid. The research is a study of averages over large groups, he said.

"There are multiple examples of very bright conservatives and not-so-bright liberals, and many examples of very principled conservatives and very intolerant liberals," Hodson said.

However, just two paragraphs later, Pappas upped the ante again with another quote from the lead researcher, and included slanted terminology in her explanation of a second study:

Nonetheless, there is reason to believe that strict right-wing ideology might appeal to those who have trouble grasping the complexity of the world.

"Socially conservative ideologies tend to offer structure and order," Hodson [picture at right] said, explaining why these beliefs might draw those with low intelligence. "Unfortunately, many of these features can also contribute to prejudice."

In another study, this one in the United States, Hodson and Busseri compared 254 people with the same amount of education but different levels of ability in abstract reasoning. They found that what applies to racism may also apply to homophobia. People who were poorer at abstract reasoning were more likely to exhibit prejudice against gays. As in the U.K. citizens, a lack of contact with gays and more acceptance of right-wing authoritarianism explained the link.

// [picture at right] contributor also turned to psychologist Brian Nosek of University of Virginia, who asserted that "polling data and social and political science research do show that prejudice is more common in those who hold right-wing ideals that those of other political persuasions."

This isn't the first dubious study the liberal media has highlighted in recent days. On Monday, Reuters put out a one-sided article trumpeting the results of a study by pro-abortion researchers, which claimed that having an abortion was safer than giving birth.

[H/t: HotAir's Allahpundit on Twitter]

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan was a news analyst at Media Research Center