Friday, February 26, 2010

A New Study Finds That Political, Religious and Sexual Behaviors May Be Reflections Of Intelligence

Evolutionary psychologist, Satoshi Kanazawa, at the London School of Economics and Political Science correlated data on these behaviors with IQ from a large national U.S. sample and found that people who identified as liberal and atheist had higher IQs. This applied also to sexual exclusivity in men, but not in women. The findings will be published in the March 2010 issue of Social Psychology Quarterly.

The IQ differences are not surprising to many of us. They do show how certain patterns of identifying with particular ideologies develop, and how some people's behaviors come to be.

"The adoption of some evolutionarily novel ideas makes some sense in terms of moving the species forward," said George Washington University leadership professor James Bailey, "It also makes perfect sense that more intelligent people, people with more intellectual firepower are likely to be the ones to do that."

Religion did not help people survive or reproduce necessarily, but goes along the lines of helping people to be paranoid. "It helps life to be paranoid, and because humans are paranoid, they become more religious, and they see the hands of God everywhere," Kanazawa said.

Atheism "allows someone to move forward and speculate on life without any concern for the dogmatic structure of a religion. Historically, anything that's new and different can be seen as a threat in terms of the religious beliefs; almost all religious systems are about permanence," he noted.

The study takes the American view of liberal vs. conservative. It defines "liberal" in terms of concern for genetically nonrelated people and support for private resources that help those people. "Liberals are more likely to be concerned about total strangers; conservatives are likely to be concerned with people they associate with," he said.

Given that human ancestors had a keen interest in the survival of their offspring and nearest kin, the conservative approach, looking out for the people around you first, fits with the evolutionary picture more than liberalism, Kanazawa said. "It's unnatural for humans to be concerned about total strangers." he said.

The study found that young adults who said they were "very conservative" had an average adolescent IQ of 95, whereas those who said they were "very liberal" averaged 106.



  1. this just confirms,again, about 30 other studies from 1927 through the 70's that proved lower intellect is directly correlated to high religiosity. I have a chapter on it in my book, citing those studies.

  2. Masterful piece, Engineer! What a great story, especially the line, Religion did not help people survive or reproduce necessarily, but goes along the lines of helping people to be paranoid.

    I'll take a bow to the 'intelligence' factor as well. I'm clearly triple digit IQ stuff as are all who post on my blog. ;)

  3. This is so much in tune with the point I have been trying to make over and over again lately.
    Both religion and conservative politics are simple answers for simple minds. The both depend on blind belief and ignorance of reality and facts.

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