Not saying anything bad about you at all, but I think this is a perfect example of a really common logical fallacy that we on the lefter side of things tend to make. Lots of us (more often than not, myself included) that anybody on the conservative side of things is simply conservative due to lack of information.
It's not necessarily a fallacy in many cases, though. Conservatism and especially authoritarianism appeal to people who don't have the capacity to deal with any sort of complexity. It's been proven time and time again that right-wing authoritarians seem to have lower general intelligence.
- Bright Minds and Dark Attitudes: Lower Cognitive Ability Predicts Greater Prejudice Through Right-Wing Ideology and Low Intergroup Contact
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, right-wing authoritarianism, and social dominance orientation: a five-year longitudinal study amongst adolescents
We report longitudinal data in which we assessed the relationships between intelligence and support for two constructs that shape ideological frameworks, namely, right-wing authoritarianism (RWA) and social dominance orientation (SDO). Participants (N = 375) were assessed in Grade 7 and again in Grade 12. Verbal and numerical ability were assessed when students entered high school in Grade 7. RWA and SDO were assessed before school graduation in Grade 12. After controlling for the possible confounding effects of personality and religious values in Grade 12, RWA was predicted by low g (β = -.16) and low verbal intelligence (β = -.18). SDO was predicted by low verbal intelligence only (β = -.13). These results are discussed with reference to the role of verbal intelligence in predicting support for such ideological frameworks and some comments are offered regarding the cognitive distinctions between RWA and SDO.
- Conservatism and cognitive ability
Conservatism and cognitive ability are negatively correlated. The evidence is based on 1254 community college students and 1600 foreign students seeking entry to United States' universities. At the individual level of analysis, conservatism scores correlate negatively with SAT, Vocabulary, and Analogy test scores. At the national level of analysis, conservatism scores correlate negatively with measures of education (e.g., gross enrollment at primary, secondary, and tertiary levels) and performance on mathematics and reading assessments from the PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) project. They also correlate with components of the Failed States Index and several other measures of economic and political development of nations. Conservatism scores have higher correlations with economic and political measures than estimated IQ scores.
- Does Lower Cognitive Ability Predict Greater Prejudice?
Right-wing ideologies offer well-structured and ordered views about society that preserve traditional societal conventions and norms (e.g., Jost, Glaser, Kruglanski, & Sulloway, 2003). Such ideological belief systems are particularly attractive to individuals who are strongly motivated to avoid uncertainty and ambiguity in preference for simplicity and predictability (Jost et al., 2003; Roets & Van Hiel, 2011). Theoretically, individuals with lower mental abilities should be attracted by right-wing social-cultural ideologies because they minimize complexity and increase perceived control (Heaven, Ciarrochi, & Leeson, 2011; Stankov, 2009). Conversely, individuals with greater cognitive skills are better positioned to understand changing and dynamic societal contexts, which should facilitate open-minded, relatively left-leaning attitudes (Deary et al., 2008a; Heaven et al., 2011; McCourt, Bouchard, Lykken, Tellegen, & Keyes, 1999). Lower cognitive abilities therefore draw people to strategies and ideologies that emphasize what is presently known and considered acceptable to make sense and impose order over their environment. Resistance to social change and the preservation of the status quo regarding societal traditions—key principles underpinning right-wing social-cultural ideologies—should be particularly appealing to those wishing to avoid uncertainty and threat.
Indeed, the empirical literature reveals negative relations between cognitive abilities and right-wing social-cultural attitudes, including right-wing authoritarian (e.g., Keiller, 2010; McCourt et al., 1999), socially conservative (e.g., Stankov, 2009; Van Hiel et al., 2010), and religious attitudes (e.g., Zuckerman, Silberman, & Hall, 2013).
- Cognitive ability and authoritarianism: Understanding support for Trump and Clinton
With Donald Trump the Republican nominee and Hillary Clinton the Democratic nominee for the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, speculations of why Trump resonates with many Americans are widespread-as are suppositionsof whether, independent of party identification, people might vote for Hillary Clinton. The present study, using a sample of American adults (n=406), investigated whether two ideological beliefs, namely, right-wing authoritarianism (RWA) and social dominance orientation (SDO) uniquely predicted Trump supportand voting intentions for Clinton. Cognitive ability as a predictor of RWA and SDO was also tested. Path analyses, controlling for political party identification,revealed that higher RWA and SDO uniquely predicted more favorable attitudes of Trump, greater intentions to vote for Trump, and lower intentions to vote for Clinton. Lower cognitive ability predicted greater RWA and SDO and indirectly predicted more favorable Trump attitudes, greater intentions to vote for Trump and lower intentionsto vote for Clinton.
- Low-Effort Thought Promotes Political Conservatism
In Study 1, alcohol intoxication was measured among bar patrons; as blood alcohol level increased, so did political conservatism (controlling for sex, education, and political identification). In Study 2, participants under cognitive load reported more conservative attitudes than their no-load counterparts. In Study 3, time pressure increased participants’ endorsement of conservative terms. In Study 4, participants considering political terms in a cursory manner endorsed conservative terms more than those asked to cogitate; an indicator of effortful thought (recognition memory) partially mediated the relationship between processing effort and conservatism. Together these data suggest that political conservatism may be a process consequence of low-effort thought; when effortful, deliberate thought is disengaged, endorsement of conservative ideology increases.