Higher IQ linked to liberalism, atheism

March 2, 2010 at 2:00 AM   |   0 comments

LONDON, March 2 (UPI) -- More intelligent children may be more likely to grow up to be liberals, a researcher at the London School of Economics and Political Science suggests.

Satoshi Kanazawa, an evolutionary psychologist, says "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."

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 one has never meet or interacted with -- is evolutionarily novel.

Data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent 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, Kanazawa says.

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, Kanazawa says.

The preference for sexual exclusivity correlated with higher intelligence, the study says.

The findings are published in the journal Social Psychology Quarterly.

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