Recent Findings in High Intelligence and Personal Proclivities

February 28, 2010

February 25, 2010

Higher intelligence is associated with liberal political ideology, atheism, and men’s (but not women’s) preference for sexual exclusivity

More intelligent people are statistically significantly more likely to exhibit social values and religious and political preferences that are novel to the human species in evolutionary history. Specifically, liberalism and atheism, and for men (but not women), preference for sexual exclusivity correlate with higher intelligence, a new study finds.

The study, published in the March 2010 issue of the peer-reviewed scientific journal Social Psychology Quarterly, advances a new theory to explain why people form particular preferences and values. The theory suggests that more intelligent people are more likely than less intelligent people to adopt evolutionarily novel preferences and values, but intelligence does not correlate with preferences and values that are old enough to have been shaped by evolution over millions of years.

“Evolutionarily novel” preferences and values are those that humans are not biologically designed to have and our ancestors probably did not possess. In contrast, those that our ancestors had for millions of years are “evolutionarily familiar.”

“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 Satoshi Kanazawa, an evolutionary psychologist at the London School of Economics and Political Science. “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.”

An earlier study by Kanazawa found that more intelligent individuals were more nocturnal, waking up and staying up later than less intelligent individuals. Because our ancestors lacked artificial light, they tended to wake up shortly before dawn and go to sleep shortly after dusk. Being nocturnal is evolutionarily novel.

In the current study, Kanazawa argues that humans are evolutionarily designed to be conservative, caring mostly about their family and friends, and being liberal, caring about an indefinite number of genetically unrelated strangers they never meet or interact with, is evolutionarily novel. So more intelligent children may be more likely to grow up to be liberals.

Data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) support Kanazawa’s hypothesis. Young adults who subjectively identify themselves as “very liberal” have an average IQ of 106 during adolescence while those who identify themselves as “very conservative” have an average IQ of 95 during adolescence.

Similarly, religion is a byproduct of humans’ tendency to perceive agency and intention as causes of events, to see “the hands of God” at work behind otherwise natural phenomena. “Humans are evolutionarily designed to be paranoid, and they believe in God because they are paranoid,” says Kanazawa. This innate bias toward paranoia served humans well when self-preservation and protection of their families and clans depended on extreme vigilance to all potential dangers. “So, more intelligent children are more likely to grow up to go against their natural evolutionary tendency to believe in God, and they become atheists.”

Young adults who identify themselves as “not at all religious” have an average IQ of 103 during adolescence, while those who identify themselves as “very religious” have an average IQ of 97 during adolescence.

In addition, humans have always been mildly polygynous in evolutionary history. Men in polygynous marriages were not expected to be sexually exclusive to one mate, whereas men in monogamous marriages were. In sharp contrast, whether they are in a monogamous or polygynous marriage, women were always expected to be sexually exclusive to one mate. So being sexually exclusive is evolutionarily novel for men, but not for women. And the theory predicts that more intelligent men are more likely to value sexual exclusivity than less intelligent men, but general intelligence makes no difference for women’s value on sexual exclusivity. Kanazawa’s analysis of Add Health data supports these sex-specific predictions as well.

One intriguing but theoretically predicted finding of the study is that more intelligent people are no more or no less likely to value such evolutionarily familiar entities as marriage, family, children, and friends.

The article “Why Liberals and Atheists Are More Intelligent” will be published in the March 2010 issue of Social Psychology Quarterly, a publication of the American Sociological Association. A copy can be obtained by bona fide journalists by emailing a request to

American Sociological Association

Source:  Brightsurf


6 Responses to “Recent Findings in High Intelligence and Personal Proclivities”

  1. Luke on March 1st, 2010 9:20 am

    What a crock of devious bullshit.

    Liberals are more intelligent? Gee, it that is true, then why has every single liberal, Utopian scheme ever thought up in world history been a complete freaking failure? Liberalism has been the cause of more human misery and societal destruction than any other ideology, save perhaps, 100 proof pure Communism.

  2. Russ on March 1st, 2010 3:23 pm

    Of course, what they don’t mention is that liberalism is a cult, and that as a cult, it takes tremendous inculturation or indoctrination to get and retain believers. The cult’s leaders deliberately target people of higher intelligence. For instance, students who take advanced classes in high school are subjected to a stronger dose of liberal indoctrination than those who take standard or remedial courses. Students in advanced classes are, in turn, more likely to go to college where they will receive even more powerful form of liberal indoctrination.

    Given that smarter people are deliberately targeted for indoctrination, it should be no surprise that “liberals,” on average, have higher IQs. They are deliberately targeted because the cult’s leaders need them, in order to implement future liberal strategies, for the simple reason that they (smarter people) are obviously more effective at implementing these strategies than would be lower IQ people.

    However, the highest IQ people ultimately see liberalism for what it is – a sham. Most of them learn to play along in order to gain and/or maintain social status. The VERY highest IQ people come to understand that the “sham” is actually an attempt by Jews to genocide the White race and they start (and/or contribute to) pro-White websites like VoR. :-)

  3. Steve(Codex) on March 2nd, 2010 4:00 pm


    Yes, there is indoctrination to leftist ideals in Western school systems, but you state that it is promulgated abundantly more so to advanced students than to students in lower level classes. I’m not so sure about that. I think the political indoctrination is pretty well spread around in schools, and if it is pushed further in advanced classes, it’s only slightly more so because those students can go into it in a bit more depth. The other students likely spend a little more time paying attention to other vectors of leftist political indoctrination via mass media, which should level the playing field.

    Your statement as to the “need” of the leaders of liberalism to go after the smart set in order to further promote their ideologies and keep the system going can be made for any political group. Any organization or movement would benefit from getting as many high IQ people on their side as possible. If it works so wonderfully for liberals to get the intelligent segment on their side, then it would certainly work for any of the opponents of liberalism, but the opponents of liberalism are not as successful, try as they might.

    As to your last paragraph, well, that’s an extremely subjective assessment there. I think most of the very highly intelligent people who are liberals believe wholeheartedly in their perspective. I know quite a few and have held many debates with them.

    Your last words were very kind, and the VoR guys certainly like compliments when we can get ‘em, but… liberalism is a “sham” perpetrated by Jews to exterminate the white race? Now, sure many Jews and Jewish organizations have used liberal notions to open up white societies to other groups and to demoralize whites through historical guilt trips (with plenty of help from white gentiles). The way you word your statement, though, suggests that you believe that liberalism is, in itself, a plot hatched by Jews to commit an act of genocide! Way too simplistic, dude. Liberalism is a manifestation of many social and political factors which arose from the development of Western culture and philosophy without regard to Jewish input. The Jews have climbed on board and have been and are still very, very influential in spreading liberalism and have exacerbated its toxic effects, which have led to a decline in white numbers and white political control of our own nations. I think we’d be in pretty big trouble without the Jewish involvement, though.

  4. Steve(Codex) on March 2nd, 2010 4:25 pm

    I think the reasons given in the article for the success of the “liberals” in attracting high IQ people is fairly correct in some respects. Modern “liberalism” stems from the ideas which began in the West’s Renaissance and really started taking off during the Age of Reason (the Enlightenment): Liberty, Fraternity, Equality. The gargantuan bulk of human existence preceded the Renaissance, so these concepts are relatively new, hence the article’s “social values and religious and political preferences that are novel to the human species in evolutionary history.”

    The idea rings true that the novelty of the liberal outlook appeals to highly intelligent people more often than it would less intelligent people, because highly intelligent people are more attracted to intellectual novelties pretty much by definition.

    The philosophies of the Renaissance and Enlightenment periods, when put into practice, led to the flowering of Western culture as people gained new freedoms to investigate truth via science and reason with dwindling concern about repercussions from religious demagogues. This led to erosion of social barriers, upward economic mobility, and a general, marked increase in prosperity among the nations. This was the foundation of cultural success from which the modern liberal ideologies took root.

    Along the way, social radicals began to take these notions of freedom, equality, and brotherhood to logical extremes and universalize them to encompass all humanity. I think there is something in these basic concepts of freedom, equality, and brotherhood that has a natural appeal to intelligent people. There is a basis in compassion, ethics (morality), and altruism in these concepts, and I recall reading psychological studies as a student not terribly long ago which showed that highly intelligent people exhibit these characteristics significantly more often than less intelligent people do. The radicals were able to take advantage of this tendency when they expanded these new ideals to include not only the different classes in one’s society (and even to one’s national neighbors) but to the entirety of the human species.

    This being the case, I believe that the essence of the liberals’ success in garnering the sympathies (and it really is more of an emotional appeal than an intellectual one) of such a large percentage of high IQ people stems from their philosophical tie-in to the Enlightenment, its moral appeal to fairness, and the resulting social success of the West. They were able to convince people that they represent what makes the West successful (and by universalizing, will do the same for the rest of the world), therefore they are the elite. And I think that is another reason that highly intelligent people tend to be liberal: they want to be part of that compassionate, reasoning elite who are able to see a bigger picture than the rest of the world.

    So I think there are several underlying reasons “liberalism” finds a ready home in the minds of highly intelligent people. There are certainly more reasons than I’ve listed above, but suffice it to say that it’s a more complicated affair than being a mechanism by which wily Jews pull the wool over the eyes of brainiacs who are too stupid to see that they are being manipulated by a tribe of desert rats. It’s an interesting topic, the nature of which the opponents of liberalism need to come to understand well if they are ever going to be able to devise ways to compete for that coveted segment of the populace.

  5. Mary on June 1st, 2010 11:56 pm

    My IQ has tested as high as 162 at age 15 and recently tested in the 150s. I have always voted conservative although now I am leaning more libertarian. To me, classic liberalism is good, but liberalism as is practiced today is nonsensical and creates a freedomless nanny state. I am not alone among the intellectual elite. When polled, most exceptionally high IQ people prefer libertarian ideas, followed by fiscally conservative ideas. Fiscal liberalism is nearly non existent within exceptionally high IQs, but sexual freedom is valued. This makes sense that highly intelligent people would want as much freedom as possible to think for themselves.

    I have long had the theory that the very, very low IQs are conservative out of fear and the average IQs tend to be liberal due to the very heavy peer pressure, indoctrination and liberalism in schools, while the very high IQs switch back to fiscal conservatism while retaining social freedom.

    The “very liberal” students in this article only had an average IQ of 106. That is not significant at all. In fact, that is what I call “relatively retarded” compared to geniuses.

  6. Chris on June 2nd, 2010 8:23 pm

    Libertarianism is as kooky an ideology as liberalism, hence it attracts a lot of high-IQ types who can’t make a piece of toast.