Friday, April 15, 2022

Higher intelligence is robustly related to greater tolerance of disliked groups

Lasker, Jordan, and Jon McNaughtan. 2022. “Assessing the Robustness of the Relationship Between Tolerance and Intelligence.” PsyArXiv. April 14. doi:10.31234/


Introduction: Individual differences in intelligence have been repeatedly found to be positively related to tolerance towards, and support for, the rights of groups different from one’s own. These findings hold true even when considering groups individuals dislike. This relationship has been explained in terms of both direct effects – whereby more intelligent people form more cognitive and less visceral opinions about other groups – and indirect ones, where the relationship represents the effects of phenomena like education or urban living, that have also been argued to give rise to higher intelligence and greater tolerance for others.

Methods: To assess the robustness of this association to a plethora of common alternative explanations, we conducted a Specification Curve Analysis with the data from the U.S.-based General Social Survey (Nspecification max >15000). This method fits all possible configurations of a model that are possible with a set of variables, making it uniquely well-suited for robustness testing. 

Results: We found that the relationship was almost wholly robust to many alternative explanations, and in those cases where the relationship became null, it was likely the result of small sample sizes for a given specification.

Conclusion: Intelligence and tolerance are strongly and consistently related.

Fake Independents, who claimed independence but who voted straight ticket, in most cases preferred Democrats, acted very much like Liberals in stated values and concerns, had aversion to being bound to a party

This party stinks: Self-definitions and justifications of the politically unaffiliated. Daniel M. Rempala & Bradley M. Okdie. Current Psychology, Apr 13 2022.

Abstract: Politically unaffiliated, or “independent,” voters are accorded great importance in electoral contexts because of their presumed persuadability. However, this category remains poorly defined. Using online survey data collected after the 2018 U.S. midterm elections (Study 1) and 2020 U.S. general election (Study 2), we separate political independents into distinct subcategories based on language used to describe their political beliefs and behavior, and analyze their motivations using open-ended self-justifications, the Moral Foundations Questionnaire, and political engagement measures. We identified three distinct groups of independents. Pure Independents self-identified as “independent” and lingered between the liberal and conservative poles on virtually all political engagement and moral foundations measures. Default Independents, unaffiliated participants who did not self-identify as “independent” and were low on moral foundations and political engagement measures. Fake Independents, unaffiliated participants who voted straight-ticket, provided results similar to Liberals and viewed the Democratic Party as the only voting option available. These data show the diversity of those who claim political independence and offer insights into conceptualizing political independence.