I’ve posted the above picture before. But it’s important to post it again because I think that I am now in a position to offer one possible explanation for why this trend is occurring.
But this is not the case. In my opinion Republicans aren’t less intelligent than Democrats, they’re simply less educated.
I can already hear people getting furiously angry with me for suggesting such a thing. In our culture education is assumed to be closely related to intelligence, and as a general trend this might be true. So people assume that when you say they are uneducated what you are really trying to say is that they’re stupid. This is not what I’m trying to do at all.
But graphs like the one I posted above demand some sort of explanation and as far as I can see there are only two possibilities:
1. That the data have been completely fabricated, but this seems unlikely.
2. That states that are primarily Republican tend to score more poorly on IQ tests than states that are primarily Democrat.
Now, many people assume that a low score on an IQ test means that a person is stupid. But this is not true for two reasons. Firstly, most of the scores on the graph are not low enough, or high enough, to justify calling someone “stupid” or “smart”. The differences may be statistically significant but they are all, technically, within the average range of scores.
That being said the trend shown by the graph, and others like it, is unmistakable: the red states’ scores are noticeably lower than the blue states’ scores.
Of course, as any good psychologist will tell you, one of the most important factors in scoring well on an IQ test isn’t intelligence it’s education.
You see friends the kind of intelligence that IQ tests measure is the kind of intelligence that is required to do well in school, that’s why we test it: it can give us a rough idea of which students will flourish in mainstream environments and which will need support. In order to measure this psychologists construct tests that are made up of different sub-tests that each measure a different aspect of this kind of intelligence.
But it’s a two way street. In order to do well in school you need this kind of intelligence. But schools themselves teach the skills that make up this kind of intelligence.
So your performance on an IQ test is made up of both your intelligence and your level of schooling. These combine to give your overall IQ score.
Now, when you take an IQ test your results are compared to the average results for someone of your age group. So in order to get an average score on an IQ test you generally have to have an average level of intelligence and an average level of education too. Not all IQ tests work like this but I know for a fact that all of the most commonly used ones do.
So the quality of a person’s education affects the results they get on an IQ test.
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