New research has found that low childhood intelligence can lead to racist attitudes and gay prejudices. The study also finds people with right-wing opinions to be less intelligent than those with views toward the left.
According to Mail Online, the research analyzed large United Kingdom studies from 1958 and 1970, where several thousand children took intelligence testing at ages 10 and 11, and then were asked political questions at ages 30 to 33. The study covered more than 15,000 people. The study found that the same results may apply for homophobia.
Adulthood questions related to feelings about working with someone of a different race, or living next door to such a person. And they were asked if they agreed with various socially conservative beliefs.
Lead researcher Gordon Hodson, a psychologist at Brock University in Ontario, said adults with low intelligence tend to resist change, and adopt attitudes that can lead to prejudice.
He told LiveScience, "Prejudice is extremely complex and multifaceted, making it critical that any contributing factors are uncovered and understood.”
Hodson noted that earlier studies have linked between low education and biases. According to Business First, researchers next needed to study potential connections between low intelligence and adult political attitudes and overall world views.
The research found that people with lower cognitive abilities were less likely to interact with people of other races. Hodson said, "This finding is consistent with recent research demonstrating that intergroup contact is mentally challenging and cognitively draining, and consistent with findings that contact reduces prejudice."
Hodson said that understanding the roots of racism and bias could help to eliminate them. He also said seeing life from another group’s point of view may be too difficult for people of low IQ.