We sought to assess whether previous findings regarding the relationship between cognitive ability and religiosity could be replicated in a large dataset of online daters (maximum n = 67k). We found that self-declared religious people had lower IQs than nonreligious people (atheists and agnostics). Furthermore, within most religious groups, a negative relationship between the strength of religious conviction and IQ was observed. This relationship was absent or reversed in nonreligious groups. A factor of religiousness based on five questions correlated at −0.38 with IQ after adjusting for reliability (−0.30 before). The relationship between IQ and religiousness was not strongly confounded by plausible demographic covariates (β = −0.24 in final model versus −0.30 without covariates).
The relationship between criminal and antisocial (CAS) behaviors and cognitive ability (CA) were examined in a large online sample of dating site users (complete sample n = 68,371). 12 question items were found that measured CAS to some degree. Of these, 11 showed a negative relation to CA. The answers to the CAS items were all positively related, suggesting the existence of a general factor of CAS behavior. Scores for this factor were estimated using multiple methods. The resulting scores were then subjected to a series of regression models to examine whether the link between CA and CAS would hold up in the presence of other predictors. The results showed that the link between CA and CAS scores was robust to model specifications with standardized betas of -.15 to -.20. Furthermore, a CA x sex interaction was found such that the CA x CAS relationship was stronger for men (r’s -.20 and -.13, for men and women, respectively).
A very large dataset (N=68,371, 2,620 variables) from the dating site OKCupid is presented and made publicly available for use by others. As an example of the analyses one can do with the dataset, a cognitive ability test is constructed from 14 suitable items. To validate the dataset and the test, the relationship of cognitive ability to religious beliefs and political interest/participation is examined. Cognitive ability is found to be negatively related to all measures of religious belief (latent correlations -.26 to -.35), and found to be positively related to all measures of political interest and participation (latent correlations .19 to .32). To further validate the dataset, we examined the relationship between Zodiac sign and every other variable. We found very scant evidence of any influence (the distribution of p-values from chi square tests was flat). Limitations of the dataset are discussed.