Patterns and sources of the association between intelligence, party identification, and political orientations

Edward Bell, Christopher T. Dawes, Aaron Weinschenk, Rainer Riemann, Christian Kandler

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    We examined the association between intelligence, party identification, and political orientations using genetically informative data gathered from German twins and their families (n = 9553 individuals including 1524 adolescent and young-adult twin pairs). The results indicated that supporters of the Pirate Party and the Green Party had levels of intelligence that were significantly higher than those of other party identifiers, with the exception of individuals who preferred the Free Democrats. These findings were remarkably similar to results based on British research participants that were reported in a previous study. We also observed a significant, albeit modest, negative correlation between intelligence and political conservatism, and our data indicated that this correlation could be accounted for by common genetic influences on those two variables. The findings of the study were interpreted in light of competing theories on the nature of the relationship between intelligence, party identification, and political orientations.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article number101457
    JournalIntelligence
    Volume81
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jul 1 2020

    Keywords

    • Behaviour genetics
    • IQ
    • Intelligence
    • Political orientations
    • Political party identification
    • Twin study

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
    • Developmental and Educational Psychology
    • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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