Study Shows Liberals, Atheists, And Monogamous Have Higher IQ's

Does your IQ match your values?: Image via AFreeIQTestDoes your IQ match your values?: Image via AFreeIQTestThe March issue of the peer-reviewed Social Psychology Quarterly, a journal of the American Sociological Association, will contain an article entitled "Why Liberals and Atheists are More Intelligent."  Though certain to cause some outrage, the investigator has collected some statistically significant IQ evidence that supports his theory.

Satoshi Kanazawa, an evolutionary psychologist at the London School of Economics and Political Science, poses the theory that the more intelligent people are, the more likely it is for them to adopt evolutionarily novel preferences and values in response to the challenges of the times. 

Kanazawa says that humans are evolutionarily programmed to be conservative - to care mostly about family and friends, to believe in a supernatural power or God because of their paranoia about what they perceive as "unnatural" phenomenon, and, for men, to be polygamous.

"General intelligence, the ability to think and reason, endowed our ancestors with advantages in solving evolutionarily novel problems for which they did not have innate solutions," says Kanazawa. "As a result, more intelligent people are more likely to recognize and understand such novel entities and situations than less intelligent people, and some of these entities and situations are preferences, values, and lifestyles."

Data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Study) support all three of Kanazawa's theories. 

Students (grades 7 through 12) who identified themselves as "very liberal" show an average IQ of 106 during adolescence, while those who identified themselves as being "very conservative" had an average IQ of 95 during adolescence.

Those who identified themselves as "not at all religious" had an average IQ of 103 at adolescence; those that reported being "very religious" had average IQs of 97.

As to monogamy, though the preliminary press information does not provide the exact IQ levels, the information does indicate that there was corroborative IQ data among males, with those valuing male exclusivity scoring higher on the IQ tests than the males favoring male polygamy. Kanazawa's argument is that exclusivity is a novel evolutionary value for men.  Females do not show an IQ difference based on exclusivity values, but Kanazawa did not expect that they would.

Stay tuned for the full report in the March Issue of the Social Psychology Quarterly!


Sources: American Sociological Association via; AddHealth



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Feb 26, 2010
by Anonymous

Cool Site

Just took a look at the site, never knew it existed. Pretty cool stuff.

Feb 26, 2010
by Anonymous

You Bet'cha!

I care about family... dummy.
I care about my neighbors... dummy.
I have faith in my God and my Lord... dummy.
I don't have all the answers to all the questions never asked... dummy.

What is an I.Q. test, really?
Who is improved by the results of said test?
If a tree falls in the forest and now genius is around to explain it, did it really fall?

Faithfully and happily yours,
T. Moeller

Feb 26, 2010
by Anonymous

Some of these comments are just proving this point

20,000 students were surveyed and tested. The difference was very statistically significant given the population size.

If it makes you conservatives feel better, conservatives have been found to be better looking, physically stronger, and more aggressive than liberals in other studies.

All of this I think fits with what we know. eg. Staunch liberals are more likely to hold higher degrees, while staunch conservatives are more likely to join the military.

Similarly, liberals tend to reproduce less frequently and are more likely to use contraception.

There are undeniable differences that seem hardwired. I think it's personally interesting to acknowledge them, because it helps me understand how, for example, guys like Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly can have rapt audiences day after day. To me, they just seem crazy, but if I was wired differently, perhaps I would see it differently.

Feb 26, 2010
by Anonymous

Oh, just let the liberals

Oh, just let the liberals think well of themselves.

The most important thing to them in the entire world is the preservation of their feelings of moral and intellectual superiority.

Let 'em believe it. It's all they have.

Feb 26, 2010
by Anonymous


Your entire specious rant, asserting the comments proved the point, never actually got around to telling us HOW it proved the point.

So that makes you look like an idiot.

But on to this "study". As an adolescent I had an IQ of 120 and I was mostly liberal. I now have an IQ of 140 and I am a staunch conservative. This is standard for most conservatives I know personally, while most liberals I know can't explain WHY they think Sarah Palin is dumb and have incredible difficulty comprehending the simplest of concepts. So your deluded post and the absolutely ridiculous study are, in fact, garbage. This is nothing more than another liberal telling themselves how smart they are and how stupid everyone else is, by not reaching the same conclusions they reached given certain facts. This is not a sign of intelligence but rather arrogance.

Going over this study it has so many flaws and holes. It's like the AGW theory (and yes it's a theory despite the bemoanings of liberals who state it's proven). You start with a conclusion and then pound the evidence to fit that conclusion rather than letting the chips fall where they may.

Feb 26, 2010
by Anonymous

Regardless of whether this

Regardless of whether this study has merit or not (and I do not believe it does), I believe the author of this article has committed an egregious error. Although I dislike breaking out the latin, this seems to be a case that warrants it. In my opinion the argument that "liberals, atheists, and monogamous have higher IQ's" is non sequitur.

Allow me to explain my position. First this study is not a representative sample of all liberals and all conservatives. It is a sample of children between grades seven through twelve. The study can not support the position that "liberals" as a group would score higher on IQ tests, much less be more "intelligent". A study as narrow as this is of marginal utility simply because it will tell the reader nothing more than, on average, there is statistical correlation between students (7-12) who score marginally higher on an IQ test and students (7-12) that self-identify as "very liberal" while their "very conservative" counterparts score marginally lower. This can be said of any other set of groups touted in this article's headline.

Another reason this study is non-representative is that it is quite common, almost expected, for children to change their political alignment as they grow older. This phenomenon also trends conservative. Although it has been said before, it bears repeating that children often live in a very controlled and, quite frankly, unrealistic world. Insulation and indoctrination, no matter the intent, by interested parties can result in warped perceptions until an individual has an opportunity to grow and experience situations first-hand. Likewise I see self-identification as a dubious technique when used with adults, much less children who may have a hazy or tinted view of what they are identifying with.

In conclusion I would like to reiterate that I find the assertion given by the title of this article to be unsupported by the study they quote. The study is not inclusive enough to be used to make the claims made in this article's headline. There are also numerous other flaws as briefly covered in this and other posts. It is my opinion that this article and likely the study itself are at best designed to appeal the vanities of those who hold a similar ideological view and an attempt to disparage those with competing opinions. Unfortunately for the purveyors of this "information", it does little more than a expose the bias of an author as it relates to a study of questionable value and motive.

Feb 26, 2010
by Anonymous

Conservative IQs

I have been a conservative all my life. I have a 141 IQ, I'm a Mensa member, and I am comforted by my belief in God. That's why these "studies" always seem bogus to me.

Feb 26, 2010
by Anonymous

Hardly surprising

John Stuart Mill said the following in 1866.
"Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservative."

Feb 26, 2010
by Anonymous

I was trying to be polite...

... and not insult anyone specifically in the thread.

As to your specific response, you should know your personal examples (anecdotes) do not contradict anything in this research, because within any trend there will be outliers. This study does not imply all self-identified liberals have higher IQ than all self-identified conservatives. It simply acknowledges that on average this is true, at least certainly in adolescent populations.

Similarly it is very well known and beyond dispute that those with university and graduate educations strongly trend liberal, and those with high school only trend conservative. Again this does not mean all conservatives are uneducated. But the trend is an undisputable reality. As is the trend for conservatives in the military.

We also seen in controlled experiments that conservatives have a significantly greater flinch reflex and become physically aggressive more easily when provoked.

We do not need to start with a conclusion on any of this, because the evidence has been piling up for decades. There are fundamental differences in the minds of conservatives and liberals. I think they are worth exploring, for both sides.

Feb 26, 2010
by Anonymous

Still you proclaim from on

Still you proclaim from on high "that it is so" I see without bothering with any justification. You also ignore the fact that this article explicitly proclaims "Study Shows Liberals, Atheists, And Monogamous Have Higher IQ's ". The study does nothing of the sort. Either the author was being purposefully vague to allow intepretation that "liberals, et al have higher IQs" or does not understand the data. Furthermore the study is dubious in its value due to the age of the sample population and worthless as an indicator of any sort of trend at all in the general populace.

First we should address the study I assume you are speaking of that establishes that liberals hold higher degrees is "beyond dispute". That would be Berkley's SDA, no? Indeed that assertion is true BUT not the entire story. It also shows that FAR more people who hold "liberal" viewpoints have little education so to speak of at all than conservatives. Although not a perfect comparison as surely some democrats consider themselves conservative and some republicans likely have liberal tendancies, notice how 1/4 of strong and not strong dems have little high school education and the trend continues from there. To borrow a line, "Democrats pull from the extremes and conservatives from the middle." I wonder what someone unfriendly to your position might have to say about that? Also that study is a 28 year cumulative study. You can adjust the study window to get radically different results, including a reversal of party affiliation for the nation's highest educated citizens.

Another point is that education is not the same as intelligence and at best only serves as a coarse proxy. Neither are all degrees made equal nor universities. I wonder what the political affiliation of "hard" science degree holders is as we know that Social Sciences are absolutely flooded by the left. I wonder if it is disinterest in the "easy/soft" sciences that drives conservatives away are discrimination from a near monoloithic much for free-thinking, eh?

Finally one of the dirty little secrets about many of these studies (not particularly the SDA though...that is party affiliation) is that they are rather arbitray in who they lump in as "conservative" and "liberal". In fact analysis of the data consistently suggests the people who are "economically conservative" and "socially liberal" are the most educated/intelligent. Usually the determinant factor of a subjects affiliation is determined by their social views, indeed I believe I might qualify as "socially liberal" but I would self-identify as very conservative. Ponder what that may mean for data interpretation for a moment. In closing it is not the "progressive" but the "libertarian" that is statistically the most educated (and socially tolerant depending on who is doing the study but I digress).

Feb 27, 2010
by Anonymous


That didn't make much sense. And there was absolutely no need for ad hominem. Please, when you have written your comment, take a little break and read your comment again again.

Feb 27, 2010
by Anonymous

what about

if you are a libertarian Buddhist with liberal values presented in a conservative manner

Feb 27, 2010
by Anonymous

Answer to "A static concept?"

Senelity or Alzheimer!

Feb 27, 2010
by Anonymous


Perhaps the debate would work better if instead of "uh" and vague attacks someone attempted a rebuttal.

Using slanted studies to impune the intelligence of people who hold a different opinion is a laughably weak argument. So far the best anyone attempting to support the premise that "liberals are smarter" has come up with is "studies shows" without quoting any actual study. Furthermore it has been shown that the SDA, a study often selectively quoted by the "liberals are smarter" crowd, suggests very unflattering things about the intellect of the Democrat party, the political party affiliated with "Progressivism" and "Liberalism".

I am not surprised that ad hominem has been the bread and butter of the "counter-argument" yet now calling a "spade-a-spade" and using the classic "everybody knows that" argument has ellicited the response seen. Without fail anecdotes and "because" is seen as a legitimate debate technique from the leftist position and then howled about when thrown back in their faces.

Again let me remind the reader that this particularly study is worthless as a measure of intelligence among "conservatives and liberals" for the myriad of reasons out-lined in previous posts. It suggests nothing of the affiliations or intelligence of conservatives and liberals in the general populace despite the assertions of this article. The nebulous "studies" often selectively cited that suggest "superior intellect" on the left are as often as not manipulated, automatically lumping the "socially liberal but fiscally conservative" into the liberal category regardless of any other factor. The timelines on studies such as the SDA can also be manipulated to reflect favorably on either party. Lastly even the SDA reflects poorly on the Democratic party's education level as a whole, although there are more individuals holding higher degrees, there are also many more individuals with little to no education than their Republican counter-parts.

I am curious if any will attempt at an actual counter-argument wll be made at this point or if the same weak "I'm right because I'm right" nonsense will countinue. If your best response is "Uhh", then I suggest you save yourself the embarassment and just not post.

Feb 27, 2010
by Anonymous

It's interesting how

so many of the responses to this article are themselves evidence to support its conclusions....

Feb 27, 2010
by Anonymous

Still no attempt at debate....

That's it? That is the best you can come up with? Is actually attempting to support your position too much trouble?

It is ironic that in your attempt to be insulting to those that challenge the premise of this article that you expose your own short-comings and demonstrate not only a complete lack of debate skills but a total refusal to acknowledge that a competing point of view exists. Ignoring the evidence that challenges your position is not going to win you any points outside of the echo chamber of the like-minded but it is a excellent method of calling your own IQ into question.

If people who hold the position you do continue to stick their heads in the sand and refuse to even address any type of counter-point then that is fine by me. Such practices not only tarnish your own reputation but damage the image of whatever point you are attempting to make. Please, by all means, continue with the self-congratulation on how "smart your side is" and make it that much easier for the rest of us to distiguish who the real fools are.


As an afterthought I would also like to point out that "intelligence" does not necessarily correlate with "being right" or "being good". It holds even truer for "education". Being an expert in one field does not suddenly make a person more qualified to answer questions in another. The conflation that having a high level of education suddenly makes a person adept at chooosing the best political ideology is ludicrous. This is even more apparent where the level of voter apathy and political ignorance is at a level such as that found in the United States of America today.

Feb 27, 2010
by Anonymous

I don't agree with this study.

I have known some very intelligent people who believed in God.

Feb 27, 2010
by Anonymous

I don't agree with this study

I know some very intelligent people who believe in God.

Feb 27, 2010
by Anonymous

If this is true...

...then why are there so many well educated people in my local church?? My pastor holds a doctorate, many parishoners hold different doctorates and law degrees, etc.

Studying adolescents proves nothing. There are a lot of kids who grow more intelligent after they leave school and get out into the real world. There are many older people who were liberals in their youth also. Many of the hippies of the 1960s became the Reagan conservatives of the 1980s.

Also, many liberals believe in God too.

Feb 27, 2010
by Anonymous


I have known some poor low educated atheists before too.

Feb 27, 2010
by Anonymous

106 is an average IQ

I have known kids in special ed classes with an IQ of 106.

It's funny that every kid I have known with high IQs and are in gifted and talented classes have been christians.

Many of the high school dropouts working in low wage jobs with several kids that I have known have been atheists though.

Weird. Could it be that this article is baloney??

This study was discussed in Time also and there was no mention of atheism, just liberalism. The only religious mention was about how the study showed that kids with higher IQs don't attend church regularly. Just sitting in a church pew on sunday does not get you into heaven anyway.

Feb 27, 2010
by Anonymous

95 is an average IQ too.

Retardation begins at 70 and below. 70-80 is borderline and 80-90 is lower average.

Feb 28, 2010
by Anonymous

Hmmm, Really?

I see. And what do the High-IQ do?

Well, there are a number of attributes that contribute to academic success. One of them is IQ.

But, what does academic success contribute to?

Among other things, the ONE thing that academic success almost ensures (or, at least, enables) is MORE academic success. And

you cannot succeed in an endeavor that you are not engaged in.

That is to say, that high IQ enables a greater potential for academic success. The greater potential for academic success more

often than not leads to ......what? .......................................................wait for it....................

More schooling leads to more in-depth and prolonged exposure to Leftist indoctrination. Moreover, it limits (to the point of

near-total exclusion) any exposure to knowledge, facts, or stimuli that might counteract the indoctrination.

It also creates a "Fraternity of The Enlightened". This "Fraternity" begets both an "Us vs. Them" mentality, and leads to

exclusive association only with other "educated elites"; each of which reaffirms, reinforces, and, most importantly, REPEATS the

indoctrination. Aside from the obvious appeal to the ego, membership in this "Fraternity" induces a groupthink that places

anyone "less-educated" (read "less-indoctrinated") firmly among those benighted cretins with inferior knowledge, wisdom,

morality, and ... less intelligence.

The funny thing is that in this last respect (intelligence), they may indeed be correct. For those with lower IQs had less

early academic success. Less academic success::Less higher "education. Less higher "education":: Less exposure to Leftist

indoctrination. Less Leftist indoctrination::No Pledge Bid to the "Fraternity".

Now, there are a number of effective methods to engage in brainwashing (which you can peruse here); but chief among them is

simple repetition. Repetition. Repetition. Repetition. All day, every day, from everyone. From teachers, from fellow

students, from the news-media, from television, from movies, from Al Gore, from politicians, from teachers, from teachers, from

teachers (o.k.,you get the point). The fact that this is learning by rote -- which the Left disdains -- is slightly amusing, and

exceedingly sinister.

Of course, the Left has over decades engaged in what I like to call "Trickle-Down Indoctrination" -- also slightly amusing and

very sinister. FIRST, the "most-educated" were brainwashed. These happened to be, without coincidence, the most intelligent

(i.e., the highest IQs). The "most-educated" were also those most likely to teach at the highest levels. SECOND, the

thoroughly brainwashed "most-educated" began teaching the next wave of "most-educated". This wave had among them those who

would teach at the highest level AND at the "next-highest" level. THIRD, the second wave of thoroughly brainwashed "most-

educated" began indoctrinating the "next-most-educated" (who were also the "next-most-intelligent"). The "next-most-educated"

went on to brainwash the "third-most-educated" (who were also the "third-most-intelligent"). And on, and on.

Yet have no fear my fellow benighted cretins! Now that indoctrination is in full-swing in our nation's highschools and

elementary schools, the disparity between the brainwashed high-IQ and the brainwashed low-IQ is bound to level out.

I think the final point is that intelligence (IQ) alone cannot shield one from brainwashing, especially when such brainwashing

is carried out by a broad campaign that has enveloped nearly every sector of an entire society.

Feb 28, 2010
by Anonymous

Tools of division

All of the terms you folks are using, (I.E. liberal, conservative) are simply deviding tools. Why don't we stop using ideas that devide us rather than unify us. I find some of these comments beyond understanding and patently ignorant.

Mar 1, 2010
by Anonymous

Another point...

I should also point out that in the 2004 Presdential election there was no statistically significant difference in average state IQs in Red vs Blue. The spread was approximately one (1) IQ point in Kerry's favor. The kicker though is that in the states that went Bush's way, the areas that exhibited below average IQ went for Kerry. This is not to disparage any particular group, but a statement of fact.

In the end that study was still very misleading even though it showed no difference of statistical significance between the two groups since it used a states average IQ to compute the "intelligence" of each candidate's voters. The state IQ comparison is essentially useless because there is no way to know if a minority of "intelligent" Republican voters in California or "intelligent" Democrats in Texas were being drowned out by their less-gifted, but more numerous, brethren. In this way the "smarter" people could be voting against the candidate that won but would still contribute to that states average IQ. The revelation that in "red" states the areas that historically have exhibited lower IQs (for whatever reason and whatever one thinks of the validity of IQ tests) are the ONLY areas that voted "blue" should give one pause in pronouncing the inherent "enlightenment" of their political ideology.

Essentially it, like this article, is another politically crafted tool that attempts to promote an agenda while only giving lip-service to the facts.

Mar 1, 2010
by Anonymous

Interestingly, folks, the

Interestingly, folks, the author is not a liberal. Sometimes a scientific study's results are just what they are--without a political agenda.

Mar 1, 2010
by Anonymous

How about directly from

How about directly from Einstein himself?

I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it. (Albert Einstein, 1954)

Mar 1, 2010
by Anonymous

What is his political

What is his political ideology?

Mar 1, 2010
by Anonymous

Once upon a time, an old

Once upon a time, an old girlfriend asked me if I believed that people were basically good, or basically evil. I told her that I thought that people were basically stupid .... and I proved it.

Regardless of "scientific" studies in "peer-reviewed" ((Ooh!, That means infallible, right?)) journals, liberals and conservatives are both stupid.

Mar 2, 2010
by Anonymous

The Nazi's were fascists.

The Nazi's were fascists. That's on the far right. If you were to provide an example of intolerance from, say, Stalin, then it would actually back up your statement that "intolerance lives and has always lived on the left".