Trump Followers, Conservatives-Evangelicals: Low IQ, Emotionally Unstable, ‘Useless in Complex World’ – Study

Cambridge University team say their findings could be used to spot people at risk from radicalisation


People with extremist views less able to do complex mental tasks, research suggests

Guardian: Our brains hold clues for the ideologies we choose to live by, according to research, which has suggested that people who espouse extremist attitudes tend to perform poorly on complex mental tasks.

Researchers from the University of Cambridge sought to evaluate whether cognitive disposition – differences in how information is perceived and processed – sculpt ideological world-views such as political, nationalistic and dogmatic beliefs, beyond the impact of traditional demographic factors like age, race and gender.

  • The results reveal both diversity and specificity in the psychological correlates of political conservatism, dogmatism and religiosity.
  • The political conservatism factor, which reflects tendencies towards political conservatism and nationalism, was significantly associated with greater caution and temporal discounting and reduced strategic information processing in the cognitive domain, and by greater goal-directedness, impulsivity, and reward sensitivity, and reduced social risk-taking in the personality domain.
  • As an illustration, figure 5 demonstrates the cognitive correlates of all the ideological orientations captured by the political conservatism factor, revealing that the conservative-leaning political ideologies were consistently related to greater caution on speeded tasks and reduced strategic information processing, with some variability in the role of temporal discounting, perceptual processing time and speed of evidence accumulation.
  • The dogmatism factor was significantly associated with reduced speed of evidence accumulation in the cognitive domain and by reduced social risk-taking and agreeableness as well as heightened impulsivity and ethical risk-taking in the personality domain.
  • Similarly to political conservatism, the religiosity factor was also significantly associated with greater caution on speeded tasks, and reduced strategic information processing and social risk-taking, but in contrast to dogmatism and political conservatism, religiosity was associated with greater agreeableness and risk perception

The study, built on previous research, included more than 330 US-based participants aged 22 to 63 who were exposed to a battery of tests – 37 neuropsychological tasks and 22 personality surveys – over the course of two weeks.

The tasks were engineered to be neutral, not emotional or political – they involved, for instance, memorising visual shapes. The researchers then used computational modelling to extract information from that data about the participant’s perception and learning, and their ability to engage in complex and strategic mental processing.

Overall, the researchers found that ideological attitudes mirrored cognitive decision-making, according to the study published in the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B.

A key finding was that people with extremist attitudes tended to think about the world in black and white terms, and struggled with complex tasks that required intricate mental steps, said lead author Dr Leor Zmigrod at Cambridge’s department of psychology.

“Individuals or brains that struggle to process and plan complex action sequences may be more drawn to extreme ideologies, or authoritarian ideologies that simplify the world,” she said.  Read more…


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  1. Ism’s-Ism’s-Ism’s BLAH BLAH BLAH ONE UNIVERSAL LAW (DO NO HARM) KARMIC RESULTS Hell hath no fury as MOTHER EARTH scorned, raped and pillaged !!! GRANDFATHER SUN The Hostile, The Destroyer The Doors When the music’s over “What have they done to the Earth? What have they done to our fair sister?

  2. Trump supporters are mostly the same types that believed in simplistic Reagan/GW BS. Those jumping on board the (war on)terrorism train were already compromised mentally into knee-jerk reactions. Trumpets are no more varied, but far greedier. Yes, there are a lot of Joe six-pack, NASCAR types…which is expected. But the most rabid and vociferous are those with money, who intend to keep it…all of it. $30 MAGA hats anyone? The one item moneyed supporters ranted about? ACA. Most those I refer to are millionaires who were incensed that they pay outrageous insurance tabs, even though the debt load for them was negligible. Do they care it was their very own ilk who wrote the damn thing? Or that common plebs have had this debt load for how long? No, their view is that they are paying the poors insurance, not taxpayers. One such had their health insurance jump $100 each/month. These are millionaires, who made their money how? Selling insurance. They once made $87,000 in one week, ISYN, which shocked even them. Junkets, incentive vacations, bonuses, etc. Where did they think this money was coming from? Hint: from policies that they refused to pay-off on. So were they all low-brow idiots? No, a lot were just plain greedy…they could afford their hats, banners and flags, but get screwed like the rest of us on insurance? NFW.

  3. David gave a good presentation.
    That, and the article itself reminded me of something a friend used to say about “some” folks;
    “that fellow is educated far above his level of intelligence.”

  4. These could be coincidental cofactors rather than causal, such as “reduced speed of evidence accumulation”, but do lend themselves to the notion that this type of thinking is lazy and dependent, preferring others comb through any voluminous evidence to compile more compact narratives that are “easier” to follow.

  5. I’ve been studying the people that study people and what I have found is they will deliberate for long periods of time over trivial things, and then seek to influence anyone who does not agree with them. This overly educated harmful condition is also 80% less likely to be creative, inventive or empathetic toward nature, and will openly encourage the slaughter of millions to maintain their lifestyle. They are not conducive to adaptation, and are best at performing repetitive tasks, like teaching the same topic year after year, judges , lawyers, or selling life insurance, or holding officer ranks in militaries. Due to the speed with which they coalesce and radicalize militarily or increase police state activity, they should be considered dangerous and mentally unfit for leadership. When faced with a creative situation that may promote adaptation, or New things, they become agitated, hostile, and defensive.

    • One of the defining characteristics of these dangerous types, is a deep sense of entitlement indicated by the pursuit of Titles, Placing their name on things such as hospitals roads and towns. No matter how much wealth or power they acquire, they will seek more to the point of having more than any lifetime would need. The most dangerous types, will seek to influence others by controlling basic societal necessities like food, information, concepts of time, and all teaching institutions or churches, and of course, law making bodies. They aggressively seek importance, and will even claim to be acting at the specific request and direct orders of the creator of the universe. This is insanity.

    • Who is more dangerous, those at risk of being radicalized, or those who seek to radicalize ?
      Who is more dangerous, the man who steals your lawnmower, or the army that steals your country ?
      Who is more likely to exhibit delusions of grandeur, the janitor or the bishop ? The private or the Colonel ? The popes ? The kings ? The billionaires ? Media moguls ? Who is dangerous to who ? or what ? How dangerous is Cambridge University ? and to whom ?

    • Always be skeptical of anyone who claims to have all the answers. As you point out, many of these know-it-alls have fancy titles and degrees, just as many of them are the low IQ, emotionally unstable folks that the author seeks to denigrate and marginalize.

      Back in 1633, Galileo, had the crazy notion that the Earth went around the Sun. The Roman Inquisition tried him and found him “vehemently suspect of heresy”, sentencing him to indefinite imprisonment. This was commuted to house arrest, which he remained under for the rest of his life. He was not allowed to publish or speak what he knew was the truth until the day he died. Sounds like what the author of this article wants to happen to those who disagree with him.

    • This kind of researches from start they have the result who like or that they were ordered to get and later they searching the needed data to substantiate their argument….

    • Senaca, I guess I could have simply said, “interesting article from a center of “professing”, that has been under suspicion ( links to Cambridge Analytica) of using intricate facebook data to influence the US election in Trumps favor to begin with”. The interesting defense afterward was “oh well that data, haha, oh no that wasn’t really all that, and is completely inconsequential”
      “nothing to see here” 😉
      I suppose it should also be interesting, that Harry moved here during Trump, and continuously releases articles and statements about his ties have been severed, all the while still being referred to as Prince Harry. The only tribe that has torched our capitol 2 maybe 3 times.

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