Friday, April 14, 2017

More on politics and IQ

Further to my recent comments on IQ, someone has drawn my attention to a 2014 article by Noah Carl.  Carl recently came to attention for his articles on Leftism among academics. I had some comments on that on March 5 and on March 17.  Carl is clearly something of a bad boy from a Leftist perspective.  The 2014 journal article is as follows:

Cognitive ability and party identity in the United States (2014)

Noah Carl


Carl (2014) analysed data from the U.S. General Social Survey (GSS), and found that individuals who identify as Republican have slightly higher verbal intelligence than those who identify as Democrat. An important qualification was that the measure of verbal intelligence used was relatively crude, namely a 10-word vocabulary test. This study examines three other measures of cognitive ability from the GSS: a test of probability knowledge, a test of verbal reasoning, and an assessment by the interviewer of how well the respondent understood the survey questions. In all three cases, individuals who identify as Republican score slightly higher than those who identify as Democrat; the unadjusted differences are 1-3 IQ points, 2-4 IQ points and 2-3 IQ points, respectively. Path analyses indicate that the associations between cognitive ability and party identity are largely but not totally accounted for by socio-economic position: individuals with higher cognitive ability tend to have better socio-economic positions, and individuals with better socio-economic positions are more likely to identify as Republican. These results are consistent with Carl's (2014) hypothesis that higher intelligence among classically liberal Republicans compensates for lower intelligence among socially conservative Republicans.


So what are we to make of it?  Let us first compare it with two papers by the indefatigable Ian Deary.  Deary has access to some very well sampled British databases so is in a position to report highly generalizable results:


Childhood intelligence predicts voter turnout, voting preferences, and political involvement in adulthood: The 1970 British Cohort Study (2008)

Ian J. Deary


Little is known about the association between measured intelligence and how people participate in democratic processes. In the 1970 British Cohort Study, we examined the association between childhood intelligence and, at age 34: whether and how people voted in the 2001 UK general election; how they intended to vote; and whether they had taken part in other political activities. People with higher childhood intelligence were more likely to vote in the 2001 election (38% increased prevalence per SD increase in intelligence), and were more likely to vote for the Green Party and the Liberal Democrats (49% and 47% increased prevalence per SD increase in intelligence, respectively). The intelligence-Green party voting association was largely accounted for by occupational social class, the intelligence-Liberal Democrat voting association was not. Similar associations between intelligence and preference for the Green Party or Liberal Democrats were found as regards voting intentions, but neither of these associations was accounted for by occupational social class. People with higher childhood intelligence were more likely to take part in rallies and demonstrations, and to sign petitions, and expressed a greater interest in politics (40%, 65%, 33%, and 58% increased prevalence per SD increase in intelligence, respectively).



Bright Children Become Enlightened Adults (2008)

Ian J. Deary


We examined the prospective association between general intelligence (g) at age 10 and liberal and antitraditional social attitudes at age 30 in a large (N = 7,070), representative sample of the British population born in 1970. Statistical analyses identified a general latent trait underlying attitudes that are antiracist, proworking women, socially liberal, and trusting in the democratic political system. There was a strong association between higher g at age 10 and more liberal and antitraditional attitudes at age 30; this association was mediated partly via educational qualifications, but not at all via occupational social class. Very similar results were obtained for men and women. People in less professional occupations-and whose parents had been in less professional occupations-were less trusting of the democratic political system. This study confirms social attitudes as a major, novel field of adult human activity that is related to childhood intelligence differences.



So in the first Deary study above we find that high IQ British voters did lean Left but they leant towards minority Leftist parties, not the major Leftist party, the Labour party.  The Labour party has some repellent union associations so may have been seen as unattractive for that reason.  The two minor parties, however, come across as high-minded.

The second study looked at the correlates of attitudes rather than vote.  And ever since LaPiere in the 1930s we have known that attitudes are at best only weakly related to behaviour.  Deary found greater social liberalism among high IQ people.

And so we come to Carl's 2014 American study. GOP identifiers were found to be slightly brighter on average than Democrat identifiers.

It is of course perfectly possible and reasonable that trends in Britain might not be reflected in the USA -- and vice versa.  That would seem to be the case here. But note that in no case is the major Leftist party favoured. But the association between vote and IQ was in any case weak so IQ is clearly a very minor factor in determining vote.  As I have often argued, it is a miserable personality that makes you Leftist.  See, for instance,  here


Jeff Sessions Delivers Sweeping Reforms to Protect the Border and US Citizens

Attorney General Jeff Sessions paid a visit to the U.S.-Mexico border today during a trip to Nogales, Arizona, where he spoke to a group of Customs and Border Protection agents and prosecutors.

He referred to the southwest border as “ground zero” in the fight against “transnational gangs like MS-13 and international cartels [that] flood our country with drugs and leave death and violence in their wake.” He added that “it is here that criminal aliens and the coyotes and the document-forgers seek to overthrow our system of lawful immigration.”

Sessions pledged to ratchet up the fight against “criminal organizations that turn cities and suburbs into warzones, that rape and kill innocent citizens, and who profit by smuggling poison and other human beings across our borders” using “[d]epravity and violence a[s] their calling cards, including brutal machete attacks and beheadings.”

Sessions declared: “For those that continue to seek improper and illegal entry into this country, be forewarned: This is a new era. This is the Trump era. The lawlessness, the abdication of the duty to enforce our immigration laws, and the catch and release practices of old are over.”

Sessions backed up this statement by unveiling a series of new policies. First, he announced that each of the 94 U.S. attorney’s offices must now designate one of their prosecutors as a border security coordinator. Additionally, he announced that every federal prosecutor should consider prosecuting anybody accused of committing immigration-related offenses using the following guidelines:

Prosecute anyone suspected of transporting or harboring an illegal alien;

Charging those who unlawfully enter or attempt to enter the country with a felony offense if they have two or more prior misdemeanor convictions for improper entry, or one prior misdemeanor conviction for improper entry when accompanied by other aggravating circumstances;

Charging anyone who re-enters the country after a prior removal with a felony, if the person has a criminal record indicating that he or she poses a danger to public safety or is affiliated with a gang;

Charging those who engage in identity theft or immigration-related document fraud with felonies, including mandatory minimum offenses; and
Charging anyone accused of assaulting, resisting, or impeding a federal law enforcement officer.

Sessions also announced that he would take measures to accelerate some initiatives that had previously been announced. He stated that the administration would appoint 50 more immigration judges this year and 75 more next year.

This is welcome news indeed, since there are over 540,000 cases pending before 301 immigration judges, which works out to about 1,800 cases per judge.

Sessions also announced that the Justice Department had “already surged 25 immigration judges to detention centers along the border.”

This was part of the previously announced effort to reassign immigration judges to 12 cities (New York; Los Angeles; Miami; New Orleans; San Francisco; Baltimore, Bloomington, Minnesota; El Paso, Texas; Harlingen, Texas; Imperial, California; Omaha, Nebraska; and Phoenix, Arizona) that have the highest number of illegal immigrants with criminal charges.

In addition to proceeding with building a wall along the Mexican border, the Trump administration has called for the hiring of 5,000 more Border Patrol agents and 10,000 more Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents over the next couple of years.

The White House has also sought to reinvigorate cooperation agreements (which became dormant during the Obama administration) with state and local officials who seek to perform the functions of, and otherwise assist, immigration officers in relation to the investigation, apprehension, and detention of illegal immigrants.

These efforts have already started to bear fruit. Sessions noted that from January to February of this year—at a time when illegal immigration usually rises by 10 to 20 percent—illegal crossings dropped by 40 percent.

According to Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, fewer than 12,500 people were stopped at the border in March, the lowest monthly figure in at least 17 years. Sessions also stated that illegal crossings have dropped a whopping 72 percent since Trump was inaugurated.

Not everyone is supporting the administration’s efforts, though. Several cities, including New York, Seattle, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., have declared themselves to be sanctuary cities and are resisting the administration’s efforts to combat illegal immigration, thereby putting their residents in jeopardy.

Perhaps this is what Sessions had in mind when he poignantly added toward the end of his remarks:

Why are we doing this? Because it is what the duly enacted laws of the United States require. I took an oath to protect this country from all enemies, foreign and domestic. How else can we look the parents and loved ones of Kate Steinle, Grant Ronnebeck, and so many others in [the] eye and say we are doing everything possible to prevent such tragedies from ever occurring again?

When it comes to enforcing our nation’s immigration laws, clearly there is a new sheriff in town. His name is Jeff Sessions, and illegal immigrants had better beware.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

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