Friday, September 09, 2016
High IQ people are prejudiced too
The findings below are reminiscent of Yancey's work. He looked at findings which showed conservatives to be more prejudiced and bigoted. He showed that, using similar research methods, you could show liberals to be prejudiced and bigoted too. The difference was the target. Conservatives tended to have dim views of homosexuals and blacks whereas liberals foamed at the mouth about Christians and conservatives
There is currently a small correlation between IQ and expressed liberalism. High IQ people are quick to pick up on what the dominant political ideas are and to go along with such ideas for the sake of social acceptance. Around the mid-20th century, when conservative ideas were dominant, high IQ people tended towards conservatism. See here
It has long been believed that people with a low IQ are more likely to be prejudiced, including anti-gay attitudes and racism. But new research suggests there may be more to the story.
The researchers looked at data from a survey which asked people to rate their feelings toward 24 different groups.
The survey also gauged participants' IQs using a measure of vocabulary that is linked with overall intelligence. As with previous studies, the results showed that people with low IQ showed more prejudice.
However, the researchers also found that people with higher IQs also showed prejudice. What differed between the groups was who they showed prejudice towards.
The new study, which is published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, suggests that people with lower IQs tend to dislike minorities they perceive as liberal.
In contrast with this, the researchers suggest that people higher on the IQ scale are more prejudiced towards conservative groups, such as religious fundamentalists.
Speaking to Live Science, Dr Mark Brandt, a psychologist at Tilburg University in Holland, who co-led the study, said: 'Because our study finds this on both ends of the cognitive ability continuum, it suggests this isn't just something that's unique to people with low cognitive ability.
'The simplest explanation for this result is that both people with high and low cognitive ability seem to express prejudice towards people they disagree with.'
The researchers looked at data from the 2012 American National Election Studies survey to explore the prejudice that participants may have had.
As with previous studies, the results showed that people with low IQ showed more prejudice. However, the researchers also found that people with higher IQs also showed prejudice.
What differed between the groups was who they showed prejudice towards.
Low-IQ people tended to dislike groups that are perceived as liberal and that people have little choice about whether they join – such as blacks, Asian Americans, Hispanics, and gay people.
In contrast with this, higher-IQ people tended to dislike groups that are perceived as conservative and that people have a choice about whether they join – such as businesses, the military, and Christian fundamentalists.
The results came as a surprise to the researchers, as liberal people tend to be more open to experience.
Dr Brandt said: 'Even people who are open to new ideas show this link between perceiving somebody as having different attitudes than them and expressing prejudice. 'It's kind of depressingly robust.'
The researchers also looked at what is behind the tendency to dislike people you disagree with. They found that the strongest factor seems to be that people dislike other people who they perceive to have different moral values than they do.
Dr Brandt added: 'We want to be at a place where we can say, 'Yep, I disagree with you, but that doesn't mean I dislike you, necessarily.' 'But that seems to be something that's relatively rare.'
Dead to History
Comment from Australia
As Marc Antony put it, 'the good is oft interrèd with their bones' and so it is at Melbourne University, where a gaggle of clamorous sooks and attention-seekers is demanding the name of a long-dead medico be erased from the institution he helped to build
A movement to censor our history is forming at Australian universities. Students and academics are campaigning for buildings and lecture halls to be renamed because of their association with ‘offensive’ historical figures. They no longer feel comfortable confronting, or even acknowledging, the past— instead, they want to expunge it altogether. Their first target is the renaming of the Richard Berry building at the University of Melbourne.
Richard Berry revolutionised the teaching of anatomy in Melbourne. He wrote the standard anatomy textbook used by students for some twenty-five years. As dean of medicine he advocated for the placement of a hospital near campus that could work closely with the university, a dream that became a reality after his departure. Berry’s contributions to teaching, as well as an administrator, were so outstanding that when a new anatomy building opened, which he designed, it was only natural to name the building after him.
Sadly, despite his capabilities, Berry, along with John Maynard Keynes, George Bernard Shaw, H.G. Wells, and Winston Churchill, advocated for the patently racist and discredited eugenics movement of the early 20th century. Eugenicists sought to promote certain genetic traits, and discourage others, by manipulating sexual reproduction. This supposedly scientific theory was used by the Nazis to justify their atrocities.
He also advocated for sterilisation of Aboriginals, people with a disability, and other groups he viewed as inferior. Student union president Tyson Holloway-Clarke says the existence of a building named after him is ‘confronting and alienating situation for Indigenous students.’
The move to wipe Berry’s name from the building he designed follows in the footsteps of similar campaigns on British and American campuses. Oxford University students unsuccessfully advocated for the destruction of a Cecil Rhodes. However, their campaign failed to appreciate Rhodes’ positive legacy. The Rhodes Scholarship has provided extraordinary educational opportunities to thousands from the developing and developed world, people who would otherwise never have had the opportunity to attend such a prestigious institution. It has helped train the leaders of countless countries, including our own prime ministers Malcolm Turnbull, Tony Abbott and Bob Hawke.
Yes, Rhodes’ legacy, just like Berry’s, is deeply flawed. It is vital, however, that we acknowledge both the virtuous and vile in our history. Our past is neither good nor evil, rather, it reflects the varying shades of grey that make up the complexities of human character. It reflects our constant drive towards progress and developing a more compassionate society. It is vital we remember and attempt to fully understand the complexity, not seek to censor our past.
We must be careful to not project modern ideas, which simply did not exist at the time, onto history. The speed of human progress has led to an extraordinarily rapid change in cultural understandings, political values and scientific theories. The essence of historic analysis is gaining a full understanding of these changes, and the world in which historic figures lived. The alternate, applying today’s values to the past, makes it almost impossible to find any respectable historical figures for admiration or study.
It would require Labor to rename their think-tank, the Evatt Foundation, because Doc Evatt brandished a letter in Parliament from Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov falsely claiming there was no Soviet spying in Australia—a letter written by the same individual who signed the Soviet-Nazi Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. Liberals would have to stop celebrating Robert Menzies because, in the height of the Cold War, he advocated for the illiberal policy of banning a political party, the Communist Party of Australia. Americans would have to abandon their constitution and bill of rights because two-thirds of the founding fathers owned slaves.
If we actually want to understand, not simply abandon, the past we must comprehend the world in which these people functioned, the threats that motivated them, and the cultural values of their time. We must understand that Evatt was motivated by a theory, albeit false, of conspiracy between the government and the security establishment to discredit Labor. We must understand that Menzies believed, based on the stated aims of Australian communists, that there was a serious clandestine threat to our democracy. And we must understand that the American founders lived in a time when slave ownership was common across the world. We can, and should, criticise their views and actions, but it is ahistorical to apply today’s values to figures living in a different time.
Censoring the past also hinders the educational mission of universities. These statues, buildings, and lecture halls provide an important opportunity to confront our history. Renaming buildings allows past injustices to be forgotten, to be wiped off the public memory. Leaving them in place is a good reminder and educational opportunity. Rather than rename the Richard Berry building, making him float away into the abyss of history book footnotes buried in the basement of a campus library, it would be appropriate to place a prominent plaque near the entrance of the building explaining both his contributions and abhorrent views. This would allow students to understand the fact that this person did exist, and what he actually did. It also prevents the university from taking the relatively easy step of wiping out a dark part of their history.
Ironically, the University of Melbourne has previously hosted a disability support services unit in the Richard Berry building. Some have claimed that this placement is insulting. However, the opposite is in fact true. The best way to show just how wrong Berry’s ideas were, and to display how far we have come as a society, is to act in the completely opposite manner. It is to celebrate that students from all backgrounds roam freely in the corridors of the Richard Berry building. This allows us to not forget the complexities of our past, and delivers a far more nuanced understanding of what is right and wrong.
Christina Hoff Sommers on how academic feminism hurts women
Modern academic feminism is hurting women by teaching them to see themselves as victims rather than empowered individuals, according to American Enterprise Institute scholar Christina Hoff Sommers.
Hoff Sommers, in an interview with Clay Routledge of Psychology Today, argued that women in academia are being treated like children.
"Women are not children. We are not fragile little birds who can't cope with jokes, works of art or controversial speakers," Hoff Sommers said. "Trigger warnings and safe spaces are an infantilizing setback for feminism — and for women."
Routledge, too, brought up this notion of "women as victims," suggesting that the narratives being pushed by feminists in academia (most notably through women's studies programs) is a form of "benevolent sexism." That is, "the idea that women need to be cherished and protected, that they are innocent, precious and perhaps childlike."
It certainly seems that way on today's college campuses, where women are constantly bombarded with claims that they stand a good chance of being sexually assaulted (not just by random strangers, but by their best guy friends) or are somehow oppressed in America.
One of the favorite arguments (of feminist scholars but also female politicians such as Hillary Clinton) is to claim women do not earn equal pay for equal work. They throw away that line as an accepted truth, without disclosing that women don't earn as much as men largely because they are not doing the same jobs for the same hours.
When faced with this fact, many feminists, politicians and the media will claim that women only accept lower-paying jobs because society tells them to do so. I've often wondered: Do these people think women make any decisions for themselves?
The reason victimhood is so cherished today (suddenly) is unclear, but Hoff Sommers says part of the problem comes from a lack of ideological diversity in many areas of academia.
"The true-believers fashion the theories, write the textbooks and teach the students. When journalists, policymakers and legislators address topics such as the wage gap, gender and education, or women's health, they turn to these experts for enlightenment," Hoff Sommers said.
"For the most part, they peddle misinformation, victim politics and sophistry. They claim that their teachings represent the academic consensus, but that is only because they have excluded all dissenters."
There is a lot more in the interview, which I encourage you to read in
The Donkey Who Cried Wolf
"I'm not upset that you lied to me, I'm upset that from now on I can't believe you." —Friedrich Nietzsche
The 19th century German philosopher and poet perhaps had no idea how relevant this statement would be to 21st century politics. But the routine screeches of baseless alarm, manufactured crises and the hyperbole employed by Democrats, and in some cases, Republicans, are creating an authentic problem — a credibility desert. The moral to the story of Aesop's fable, "The Boy Who Cried Wolf," applies: Tell lies or exaggerate often enough, and the truth is not believed, even in times of need and danger.
How do these simple statements relate to the multi-billion-dollar campaigns employed today across all kinds of media platforms? Simply put, when the decision is made to conduct your entire campaign message in the key of panic and extremes, the consuming public becomes tone deaf to changes in pitch or appreciable variations.
With the loud protests of the Left have come these broad statements:
"You're a racist," in response to the desire for enforcement of immigration law.
"You're a bigot," to the beliefs of many who accept God's view that homosexuality, like adultery, is sin.
"You're greedy," in labeling those who want to keep the money they work hard to earn instead of seeing nearly half of their earnings forcefully taken by governments.
"You're anti-women's health," in believing the dismembering of an infant in utero is not contraception and should not be funded by tax dollars.
These and many more extreme statements are frequently employed by any number of talkingheads on the Left, or are used in "news" items that masquerade as fact when, in reality, the level of opinion moves the analysis clearly to editorializing.
Let's look at a recent example. For speaking against Donald Trump, Mitt Romney is now being lauded as "reasonable" and "thoughtful" by Democrats ranging from Barack Obama to Harry Reid. But Romney is the same guy who took mortal verbal blows in 2012 from those very same Democrats. Remember?
Mitt Romney's mythological hatred of dogs filled the headlines and the late-night shows after he built a windshield-equipped carrier to transport their family dog on top of their vehicle.
Romney's hatred of women was a statement of fact when it was discovered that, while he served as governor of Massachusetts, he catalogued women under consideration for employment by placing their profiles in binders.
Romney was specifically blamed for a woman's cancer death by her widower husband in a pro-Obama TV ad after he lost his insurance when a factory closed. The plant closed while Romney was running the Winter Olympics. The woman died five years after the husband lost his job.
Romney was said to have dodged paying taxes for 10 years, according to Harry Reid, who cited an anonymous source safely from the Senate floor, to complete the Democrats' portrait of a blood-sucking capitalist criminal. Reid's charge was a complete fabrication.
But, now? Oh, "Mitt's a great guy," say the Democrats who urge his voice be heard with a newfound respect and attentiveness.
In The New York Times, Howard Wolfson, the director of communications for Hillary's 2008 presidential campaign and current adviser for billionaire and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, recently bemoaned the current mud pit. Recalling his days with both John Kerry and Hillary Clinton in their runs for president, Wolfson acknowledges, "I'm quite confident I employed language that, in retrospect, was hyperbolic and inaccurate, language that cheapened my ability — our ability — to talk about this moment with accuracy and credibility." Translation: Democrats cried wolf too many times, and now they're having a hard time turning up the volume on Trump.
Wolfson concludes, "We should take stock of this moment and recognize that our language really needs to be more accountable and more appropriate to the circumstances." Which is another way of saying he really means it this time.
Oh, there's nothing like hearing a Democrat, especially one who's affiliated with Hillary Clinton, make requests for accountability. Just precious. And, so, the story goes with the credibility desert where truth has dried up from the heat of political extremes.
There's a cautionary tale in this for conservatives, too. Part of the reason for Trump's rise in the first place was that unrealistic expectations were placed upon congressional Republicans and then even solid conservatives were condemned as traitorous "establishment" when they failed to achieve constitutional government with Barack Obama still at the helm. It's true Republicans could have done more, but they didn't do nothing.
While it's appropriate to contrast the reckless policies and illegal practices of Hillary Clinton, for those shrinking in number who are highly prized — the undecided voters — it's critical to hear more than shouting and name-calling that signify either Clinton Derangement Syndrome or Trump Panic Attack.
That said, more often than not when conservatives point to a leftist and cry "wolf," there actually is a wolf.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.