Does lower cognitive ability predict greater prejudice?

Dhont, Kristof, Hodson, Gordon (2014) Does lower cognitive ability predict greater prejudice? Current Directions in Psychological Science, 23 (6). pp. 454-459. ISSN 0963-7214. E-ISSN 1467-8721. (doi:10.1177/0963721414549750)

Abstract

Historically, leading scholars proposed a theoretical negative association between cognitive abilities and prejudice. Until recently, however, the field has been relatively silent on this topic, citing concerns with potential confounds (e.g., education levels). Instead, researchers focused on other individual-difference predictors of prejudice, including cognitive style, personality, negativity bias, and threat. Yet there exists a solid empirical paper trail demonstrating that lower cognitive abilities (e.g., abstract-reasoning skills and verbal, nonverbal, and general intelligence) predict greater prejudice. We discuss how the effects of lower cognitive ability on prejudice are explained (i.e., mediated) by greater endorsement of right-wing socially conservative attitudes. We conclude that the field will benefit from a recognition of, and open discussion about, differences in cognitive abilities between those lower versus higher in prejudice. To advance the scientific discussion, we propose the Cognitive Ability and Style to Evaluation model, which outlines the cognitive psychological underpinnings of ideological belief systems and prejudice.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1177/0963721414549750
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology > Social Psychology
Depositing User: Kristof Dhont
Date Deposited: 05 Mar 2015 09:03 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 14:18 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/47547 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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