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Conservatism and cognitive ability

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Conservatism and cognitive ability

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Conservatism and cognitive ability are negatively correlated. The evidence is based on 1254 community college students and 1600 foreign students seeking entry to United States' universities. At the individual level of analysis, conservatism scores correlate negatively with SAT, Vocabulary, and Analogy test scores. At the national level of analysis, conservatism scores correlate negatively with measures of education (e.g., gross enrollment at primary, secondary, and tertiary levels) and performance on mathematics and reading assessments from the PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) project. They also correlate with components of the Failed States Index and several other measures of economic and political development of nations. Conservatism scores have higher correlations with economic and political measures than estimated IQ scores.
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Conservatism and cognitive ability
Lazar Stankov
National Institute of Education (NIE), 1 Nanyang Walk, Singapore
article info abstract
Article history:
Received 17 July 2008
Received in revised form 7 December 2008
Accepted 8 December 2008
Available online 3 February 2009
Conservatism and cognitive ability are negatively correlated. The evidence is based on 1254
community college students and 1600 foreign students seeking entry to United States'
universities. At the individual level of analysis, conservatism scores correlate negatively with
SAT, Vocabulary, and Analogy test scores. At the national level of analysis, conservatism scores
correlate negatively with measures of education (e.g., gross enrollment at primary, secondary,
and tertiary levels) and performance on mathematics and reading assessments from the PISA
(Programme for International Student Assessment) project. They also correlate with
components of the Failed States Index and several other measures of economic and political
development of nations. Conservatism scores have higher correlations with economic and
political measures than estimated IQ scores.
© 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Keywords:
Conservatism
Intelligence
Multi-level
1. Introduction
There has been an increased interest in the construct of
conservatism. Recent evidence indicates that some existing
stereotypes are not supported by the available data. For
example, Brooks (2006, 2008) reports that conservatives
engage more than liberals in charitable activities and people
on the political right are nearly twice as happy as those on the
left. The work of Napier and Jost (2008) shows that con-
servatives tend to be happier than liberals because of their
tendency to justify the current state of affairs and because they
are less bothered by inequalities in the society. The focus of
these investigators is on political conservatism tendency to
attach high importance to topics that are high on the agendas
of right-wing political parties within a given society and,
consequently, endorse these parties' candidates in elections.
For example, a version of the USA WilsonPatterson Con-
servatism Scale (WPC; see Wilson, 1973) used in a study
reported by Bouchard et al. (2003) contained 28 items that
asked participants to state how important topics such as
abortion, property tax, gay rights, liberals and immigration
are.
1
In the studies reported in the main body of this paper,
political conservatism was not examined directly. However,
Jost, Glaser, Kruglanski, and Sulloway (2003) suggest that it is
time to re-examine the links between political conservatism
and a host of individual difference variables. A constellation of
these individual difference variables may be called Conserva-
tive syndrome. Although an alternative label, psychological
conservatism, may be more appropriate if one's aim is to
contrast politics and psychology, the term syndrome appears
to be adequate for a discourse within the eld of psychology
itself.
Jost et al.'s (2003) meta-analysis conrms that several
psychological variables predict political conservatism. The list
includes death anxiety; system instability; dogmatism;
intolerance of ambiguity, low openness to experience, and
uncertainty; need for order, closure, and negative integrative
complexity; and fear of threat and loss of self-esteem. The
theory of Jost et al. (2003) treats political conservatism as
Intelligence 37 (2009) 294304
E-mail addresses: lstankov@nie.edu.sg,lazondi@rocketmail.com.
1
The remaining 23 topics from the list are: death penalty, astrology,
x-rated movies, modern a rt, women's liberatio n, foreign a id, federal
housing, democrats, mi litary drill, the milit ary draft, capitalism , segrega-
tion, moral majority, pacism, censorship, n uclear power, living together,
republicans, divorce, school prayer, unions , socialism, and busing (Bou-
chard et al., 2003).
0160-2896/$ see front matter © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/j.intell.2008.12.007
Contents lists available at ScienceDirect
Intelligence
motivated cognition and builds on a large body of research
accumulated since the end of World War II. One antecedent is
the approach advocated by Wilson's (1973) dynamic theory
that also saw conservatism as a motivated response to un-
certainty. The threat or uncertainty may derive from fear of
death, anarchy, foreigners, dissent, complexity, novelty,
ambiguity, and social change. Responses to these sources of
uncertainty include superstition, religious dogmatism, eth-
nocentrism, militarism, authoritarianism, punitiveness, con-
ventionality, and rigid morality. Wilson postulated that
political conservatism derives from genetic sources (anxiety
proneness, stimulus aversion, low intelligence, and physical
unattractiveness) as well as environmental inuences (par-
ental coldness, punitiveness, rigidity, inconsistency, and low
social class). Jost et al. (2003) summarize their own position
in the following way: The core ideology of conservatism
stresses resistance to change and justication of inequality
and is motivated by needs that vary situationally and dis-
positionally to manage uncertainty and threat.(p. 339).
In this paper, I examine the hypothesis that low cognitive
ability may be related to conservative syndrome (or con-
servatism, for short) which, in turn, is dened in terms of
measures of personality, social attitudes, values, and social
norms. There are two ways to arrive at this assumption. First,
we can assume that cognitive ability affects conservatism
directly. Thus, the perceived threat may vary depending on
cognitive level sources of threat such as complexity, novelty,
and ambiguity may be more threatening to those who score
low as opposed to those who score high on cognitive tests.
Second, we can postulate that there exists an independent
process that inuences both conservatism and cognitive
functioning. A candidate for this role may be mental rigidity.
My primary aim in this paper is to present evidence of
correlation, not to test these two causal models.
A recent paper by Deary, Batty, and Gale (2008) provides
developmental evidence for a link between intelligence
assessed at the age of 10 and anti-traditional and liberal
social attitudes (i.e., the opposite of conservatism) at age 30.
They report the results of a structural equation modelling
analysis that shows a signicant direct path coefcient of .46
between a general cognitive factor gand a latent attitude trait
they label as Liberal Non-traditional Social Attitudes.
1.1. Conservatism across the domains of Personality, Social
Attitudes, Values and Social Norms
Our approach differs from previous work in the way we
dene and measure the construct of conservatism. This con-
struct emerged, somewhat unexpectedly, in three studies (see
Method section for further detail). The rst study was designed
to assess cross-cultural differences on a set of measures from
the domains of Personality, Social Attitudes, Values and Social
Norms. Measures from these domains have been used in
previous studies of others and cross-cultural differences have
been reported but no single study covered all four domains.
Most of the information to be reported here derives from
this rst study (see Stankov & Lee, 2008). The second and the
third study (see Stankov, 2007) were based on the US samples
only. Structural (i.e., factor-analytic) results of these latter
studies proved to be in agreement with the results of the rst
study.
In our work, conservatism is captured by a score usually a
factor score obtained from several scales that were not
developed specically for the measurement of conservatism.
Thus, it incorporates measures of Personality (Big Five from
IPIP), Social Attitudes (Saucier, 2000; Stankov & Knežević,
2005), Values (Schwartz & Bardi, 2001), and Social Norms
(GLOBE; House, Hanges, Javidan, Dorfman, & Gupta, 2004)
a total of 43 different subscalescores. Nevertheless, our analyses
show the presence of a factor of Conservatism that has loadings
from subscales from all these domains and captures many
constructs that are included in the nomological net of Jost et al.
(2003) and Wilson (1973).Thisfactorisexpectedtocorrelate
with cognitive ability for reasons outlined above.
What are the other factors that emerge from the analysis
of 43 subscales? Are they also expected to correlate with
cognitive ability? Stankov (2007) found three domain-related
factors. They are quite different from the Conservatism factor
in that they show very little overlap between the domains.
These are:
Personality/Social Attitudes. This is usually a bipolar factor
contrasting Personality traits on the negative side and
Social Attitudes on the positive side. Loadings of Person-
ality traits on this factor are typically lower than loadings
from the Social Attitudes measures. In some of our
analyses, this factor splits into a separate Personality
factor representing goodevaluative processes (or
perhaps social desirability) and a Social Attitudes factor
representing anti- or amoral attitudes towards social
objects (Stankov & Knežević,2005).
Values. See Method section for the interpretation of this
factor.
Social Norms. Several Social Norms scales from GLOBE
study (House et al., 2004) load on this factor.
In this paper I report the analyses based on a smaller (22)
number of variables that correspond quite closely to the
solution obtained with the full set of 43 measures. Smaller
number of variables is employed in order to carry out simul-
taneous (i.e., multilevel) structural equation modelling of
individual- and country-level data that has not been reported
in the past.
There is no empirical evidence or theoretical arguments in
the literature that suggest a relationship between cognitive
ability and Values or Social Norms.
2
Thus, it is reasonable to
assume that these two constructs do not correlate with cog-
nitive measures. The situation is different with the Person-
ality/Social Attitudes dimension. Jost (2006) reports that
Conscientiousness (positively) and Openness to Experience
(negatively) correlate with Democrat/Republican voting pre-
ferences of the states within the U.S., interpreted as reections
of liberal/conservative tendencies. Openness to Experience is
also known to correlate about .30 with measures of intelli-
gence (Stankov, 2005; Stankov and Lee, 2008). The other side
2
An unknown reviewer pointed to the fact that Values and Social Norms
may be related to moralbehavior and that neo-Piagetian theories argue for
the link between such behavior and cognitive ability. This link is tenuous
measures of both Values and Social Norms are relatively new and their
relationship to moral behavior is unknown at present.
295L. Stankov / Intelligence 37 (2009) 294304
of this bipolar factor, Social Attitudes, captured by Toughness,
Maliciousness, and Betaism (i.e., non-PC motives for beha-
vior), have qualities reminiscent of Dogmatism and Author-
itarian personalities that are often seen as components of
conservatism (see Jost et al., 2003). Since in our work they
dene a factor that is separate from conservatism, it is
reasonable to assume that there is a separation between
thuggish and rough Social Attitudes trait and Conservative
syndrome that captures not only social attitudes but also
Values, Social Norms, and Personality traits. These rough social
attitudes are also likely to be related to cognitive ability they
often reect difculties or disinclination to make ne-grained
analysis of a problematic situation (see Wilson, 1973).
1.1.1. Individual-level and country-level conservatism
Our work that led to the nding of the above four factors
was motivated in part by interest in cross-cultural compar-
isons. In one of our studies, the participants came from both
the U.S. and foreign countries. Within the tradition of cross-
cultural psychology, totalvariances on measures of interest are
split into two components within level (or individual level)
and between level (or country level). The country level
variancecovariance matrix can be arrived at by calculating
an aggregate measure such as arithmetic mean for all
participants from a given country (see Hofstede, 2001).
Thus, each of the 35 countries in our cross-cultural study
will have a score on each of the 22 measures employed in this
study, and a data reduction procedure like factor analysis can
be applied to this 35 by 22 matrix. One issue of interest is
whether the structures at individual and country levels are the
same or different. If they are the same, it can be concluded that
the same inuences operate at both levels. If different, the
assumption has to be that inuences are not the same and the
argument may be that the country level, not individual level,
structure reects true cultural differences.
Since our interest is in the relationship between con-
servatism and cognitive ability, the between-countries scores
provide an opportunity to examine the same question from
the cross-cultural perspective. Thus, if countries differ in
terms of conservatism, how are these differences related to
measures of countries' cognitive performance and educa-
tional achievements? What may be the cause(s) of country-
level differences in conservatism?
While the individual level of analysis focuses on important
psychological issues, the country-level analysis brings into
focus important social policy issues. Together, they point to a
link between psychological and political processes that has
been neglected since the 1970s (Jost, 2006). The evidence for
the existence of such a link at the country level is important
since it may guide decisions related to the deployment of
resources.
Apart from showing the link between cognitive perfor-
mance and conservatism, country-level analyses allow for the
examination of broader issues. For example, they provide for
an opportunity to examine the relationship of these two con-
structs with other country-level measures, including various
economic and social indicators.
The link between IQ, economic measures of wealth and a
host of other variables has been explored extensively. For
example, according to Kanazawa (2006; p. 593) the mean
Pearson's product-moment correlation between national IQ
and various measures of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) across
numerousyears among the 185 nationsthat is reported by Lynn
and Vanhanen (2002, pp. 110116) is .577. Lynn and Vanhanen
(2006) interpret these correlations as showing that IQ is an
important factor contributing to the differences in national
wealth and rates of economic growth. Rindermann (2007;
Table 4, p. 686) reported correlations between the sum of
several cognitive ability measures and GDP in year 1998 to be
.63. In his subsequent papers (Rindermann, 2008a,b)healso
reports correlations between IQ estimates and country-level
measures of education, democracy, the rule of law and many
other economic and social indicators.
Similar country-level correlations between Conservatism
and economic and social indicators do not exist in the litera-
ture. If they turn out to be of the same order of magnitude,
shall we assume that Conservatism is another important
determinantlike IQ? Our data will allow us to address this
issue.
I employ structural equation modelling and multilevel
procedures (Muthén, 1994) and regression analysis to exam-
ine the nature of conservatism at both the individual and
country levels.
1.1.2. Aims
My aims in this paper are threefold. First, I present struc-
tural evidence for the existence of stable factors at both the
individual- and country-levels of analysis. Although the over-
all structure at the individual and country levels may differ, a
conservatism factor is expected to emerge at both levels.
Second, correlations between factor scores fromboth levels of
analysis with individual- and country-level cognitive mea-
sures are presented. Individual cognitive measures are scores
on typical aptitude tests. Country-level proxies for cognitive
measures are both statistics regarding educational enrolment
and scores from the objective achievement tests. My expecta-
tion is that the strength of the individual- and country-level
conservatism will be negatively correlated with cognitive
ability scores. Third, I report on the relationship between
Conservatism and a host of country-level economic and socio-
logical variables. The aim is to compare predictive validities of
IQ and Conservatism scores.
2. Method
2.1. Participants
The ndings to be reported in this paper derive from three
studies, all of which employed the same set of measures from
the four domains of Personality, Social Attitudes, Values, and
Social Norms. The rst study (N=1600) was a cross-cultural
study with participants from 73 countries. These were the
people who took the Test of English as a Foreign Language
(TOEFL iBT) as a prerequisite for enrolment, mostly in
graduate schools, at U.S. universities. The samples of partici-
pants from different countries are not representative and may
differ from the parent population in many ways. After taking
TOEFL, they were asked to participate in a separatesurvey for a
$20 payment. The second (N=430) and third (N= 824)
studies employed students from 22 community colleges from
across the U.S. The data presented in Table 1 are based on the
rst and second studies. I added the second sample to the rst
296 L. Stankov / Intelligence 37 (2009) 294304
sample (1600+ 430) and removed from this total sample all
those participants who came from the countries that had less
than 9 participants. The ndings in Table 1 are based on 1895
participants who came from 35 different countries, each
having at least 9 participants.
The three studies are treated separately because each
contained different cognitive measures. A sample of partici-
pants in the rst study (N= 288) also took an Analogies test.
All participants in the second study took a Synonyms Voca-
bulary test, and a sample (N=732) from the third study
provided information about their SAT total scores.
2.2. Measures
A total of 316 items that formed 43 scale scores embedded
in 6 different instruments was employed. They were all
delivered over the Internet in English. To work with a
manageable number of variables, the original larger 43-
variable data set was reduced to a smaller (22-variable) data
set in this paper. The reduction is based on the elimination of
12 variables with missing data and on the replacement of 11
scales of Schwartz's Value Survey (SVS) with 2 factor scores.
2.2.1. Domain: Personality traits
For the measurement of Big Five personality factors (e.g.,
Saucier & Goldberg, 2002), I used a 50-item scale available
from the International Personality Item Pool (IPIP; may be
accessed on the Web at ipip.ori.org/ipip/).
1. Extraversion
2. Agreeableness
3. Conscientiousness
4. Emotional Stability (vs. neuroticism).
5. Openness.
2.2.2. Domain: Social Attitudes
Toughness and maliciousness. These two scales are based
on work designed to examine demographic and psycholo-
gical aspects of antisocial and criminal behavior in Serbia
during the early 1990s. Stankov and Knežević's (2005) study
compared performance of Serb and Australian students
on these scales. Measures used in the present study are
derived from that earlier work. A 5-point Likert-type scale
ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree) was
employed.
6. Toughness (machismo, hard realism, street wiseness,
Machiavelianism). Example: I cannot accept any restric-
tions or rules.
7. Maliciousness (poor impulse control, sadism, resentment,
brutality). Example: If I had complete power over people,
many would regret the day they were born.
Table 1
Multilevel solution: individual level and country level structure (standardized coefcients; blank cells were xed at zero in the analyses based on covariance
matrices)
Measures Within (individual level) factors Between (country-level) factors
Personality/Social Attitudes Values Social Norms Conservatism Broad Conservatism Broad Personality/Social
Attitudes/Norms
Big 5 personality traits (IPIP: ipip.ori.org/ipip/)
1. Extraversion .10 .18 .81
2. Agreeableness .48 .22 .16 .88
3. Conscientiousness .29 .38 .67 .45
4. Emotional Stability .34 .65
5. Openness .32 .31 .96
Dimensions of social attitudes (Stankov & Knežević, 2005)
6. Toughness .77 .18 .97
7. Maliciousness .78 .95
Dimensions of social attitudes (Saucier, 2000)
8. Alphaism .18 .50 .97
9. Betaism .43 .20 .71
10. Gammaism .28 .42 .62
11. Deltaism .51 .89
Values (Schwartz) Factor Scores (Stankov & Knežević, 2005)
12. Self-indulgence/Self-transcendence .11 .99 .32 .89
13. Conformism/Individualism .65 .40 .83 .32
Social Norms (GLOBE; House et al., 2004)
14. Uncertainty avoidance .36 .60
15. Future orientation .36 .58 .66
16. Power distance .40 .61 .62
17. Institutional collectivism .16
18. Humane orientation .48 .72 .42
19. Performance orientation .74 .77
20. In-group collectivism .26 .88
21. Gender egalitarianism .18 .66
22. Assertiveness .16
297L. Stankov / Intelligence 37 (2009) 294304
Saucier's -isms.Saucier's (2005) 28-item questionnaire
measuring the four dimensions below was employed. The
rather uncommon labels for these scales are based on
Saucier's writings. The instrument employs a 5-point Likert-
type scale ranging from 1 (strongly and completely disagree)
to 5 (strongly and completely agree).
8. Alpha scale reects the degree to which an individual
subscribes to conventional religious beliefs (Legalism,
Institutionalism, Secularism, Evolutionism). Example:
Religion should play the most important role in civil
affairs.
9. Beta scale reects the degree to which an individual
subscribes to various justications of self-interest
(non-PC motives for behavior: Materialism, Sensual-
ism, Fascism). Example: Worldly possessions are the
greatest good in life.
10. Gamma scale reects the degree to which an individual
subscribes to patriotism, constitutionalism, humanism,
existentialism, neoliberalism, and functionalism (some-
times referred to as Western democracy beliefs). Exam-
ple: I love and am devoted to my country.
11. Delta scale reects the degree to which an individual
subscribes to subjective experiences, including para-
normal experiences (sometimes referred to as personal
mysticism: Hinduism, Transcendentalism, Zen Bud-
dhism, Animism). Example: Some objects have magi-
cal powers.
Social attitudes captured by both Stankov and Knežević's
and Saucier's measures are of the antisocial rather than pro-
social variety. Stankov and Knežević(2005) refer to these as
Amoral Social Attitudes.
2.2.3. Domain: Values
Schwartz and Bardi (2001) developed Schwartz's Values
Survey (SVS), a theory of human values postulating 11 basic
dimensions along which societies may be differentiated. The
Value Survey is used to assess how important each value is as a
guiding principle in one's own life. A total of 57 items are rated
on a 9-point Likert-type scale ranging from 1 (opposed to
my values), 0 (notrelevant) to 7 (of supreme importance), and
those items were classied into 11 scales having three to eight
items each. The 11 scales are as follows: Power (assessing the
importance of authority, wealth, social power, public image
and social recognition); Achievement (assessing the impor-
tance of ambition, success, capacity, inuence, and intelli-
gence); Hedonism (assessing the importance of pleasure and
enjoyment of life); Stimulation (assessing the importance of
variety and excitement); Self-direction (assessing the impor-
tance of creativity, freedom, independence, and curiosity);
Universalism (assessing the importance of broadmindedness,
social justice, equality, and the world at peace); Benevolence
(assessing the importance of helpfulness, loyalty, forgiveness,
honesty, and responsibility); Traditionalism (assessing the
importance of respect for tradition, humility, devoutness, and
moderation); Conformity (assessing the importance of obedi-
ence, self-discipline, and politeness); Security (assessing the
importance of social order, family security, national security,
and sense of belonging); and Spirituality (assessing the
importance of meaning of life, sense of inner harmony, and
sense of detachment). The main reason for using factor scores
instead of the scales themselves derives from a need to reduce
the number of variables in the battery.
Stankov and Knežević(2005, p. 122) and Stankov (under
review A) carried out exploratory factor analyses of the SVS
and obtained two factors. I employ the factor scores from
Stankov (under review A) in the analyses of this paper. The
interpretation of the two factors is as follows:
12. Self-indulgence/Self-transcendence. The variables that
dene this factor include Self-directedness, Stimulation
and Hedonism, all of which represent individualistic, self-
indulging value orientations. The other three variables
Benevolence, Spirituality, and Universality are not
primarily individualistic. They indicate a focus on social
context outcomes, implying a value orientation that is
sometimes referred to as Self-transcendence. Thus, the
factor indicates value orientations that combine a ten-
dency to enjoy life on one hand and, at the same time, be
charitable to others and appreciate the broader social
context of life.
13. Conformism/Individualism. The variables that dene this
factor are Traditionalism, Conformism, and Security, all
of which indicate a conservative value orientation. How-
ever, this orientation is also characterized by Power
(social power, social recognition) and Achievement
(ambition, success, inuence), both of which are indica-
tive of an individualistic value orientation.
2.2.4. Domain: Social Norms
There are nine main Social Norm dimensions that emerged
from the GLOBE research project (e.g., House et al., 2004). All
statements were prefaced with In my society…” and the
participant had to answer on a 7-point Likert-type scale
ranging from 1 (strongly agree) to 7 (strongly disagree). A
total of 39 statements are used to assess:
14. Uncertainty Avoidance. (The extent to which members of
an organization or society strive to avoid uncertainty by
relying on established social norms, rituals, and bureau-
cratic practices). Example: Most people lead highly
structured lives with few unexpected events.
15. Future Orientation. (The degree to which individuals
in organizations or societies engage in future-oriented
behaviors such as planning, investing in the future,
and delaying individual or collective gratication).
Example: Most people live for the present rather than
the future.
16. Power Distance (The degree to which members of an
organization or society expect and agree that power
should be stratied and concentrated at higher levels
of an organization or government). Example: Fol-
lowers are expected to obey their leaders without
question.
17. Institutional Collectivism (The degree to which organiza-
tional and societal institutional practices encourage and
reward collective distribution of resources and collective
action.) Example: Leaders encourage group loyalty even
if individual goals suffer.
18. Humane Orientation (The degree to which individuals in
organizations or societies encourage and reward indivi-
duals for being fair, altruistic, friendly, generous, caring,
298 L. Stankov / Intelligence 37 (2009) 294304
and kind to each other.) Example: People are generally
very tolerant of mistakes.
19. Performance Orientation (The degree to which an organi-
zation or society encourages and rewards group members
for performance improvement and excellence.) Example:
Students are encouraged to strive for continuously im-
proved performance.
20. In-Group Collectivism. (The degree to which individuals
express pride, loyalty, and cohesiveness in their organiza-
tions or families.) Example: Employees feel great loyalty
toward their organization.
21. Gender Egalitarianism (The degree to which society mini-
mizes gender role differences while promoting gender
equality.) Example: Boys are encouraged more than girls
to attain higher education.
22. Assertiveness (The degree to which individuals in orga-
nizations or societies are assertive, confrontational, and
aggressive in social relationships.) Example: People
are generally dominant in their relationships with each
other.
3. Results
3.1. Individual- and country-level structure
Table 1 presents the outcome of the multilevel factor analy-
sis carried out with Mplus (Muthén & Muthén, 2005) software.
Multilevel analysis ts simultaneously within-individual and
between-countries covariance matrices. The left side in Table 1
shows individual-level factor loadings, and the right side
presents between-countries factor loadings. All coefcients in
this table are standardized they correspond to signicant
coefcients in the tted covariance matrices solution. The
overall goodness-of-tstatistics for thismodel are acceptable to
good, e.g., the Root Mean Square Error of Approximation
(RMSEA) being equal to .057.
The individual-level structure is in agreement with several
other factor analytic results from our laboratory. The factors
are:
1. Personality/Social Attitudes. This is a bipolar factor with
(Amoral) Social Attitudes (Toughness, Maliciousness,
Betaism, and Gammaism) at the positive pole and per-
sonality at the negative pole. In this analysis, low negative
loadings from Self-Indulgence/Transcedence and Asser-
tiveness are also present on this factor. This, however, is
not a common nding in our work. Negative loadings
from Personality are lower in size than positive loadings
from the other measures. Those having high scores on
this factor can be described as psychologically rough
people (e.g., agreeing with tough, malicious statements,
low on agreeableness and expressing politically non-
correct views).
2. Values. The highest loadings on this factor are from the
factor scores representing the two Values dimensions that
underlie Schwartz's Values Survey (SVS). If all 11 SVS scales
were to be included in the analyses, a single Values factor
would appear, and loadings from the personality scales
(Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Openness) and Alpha-
ism would be much smaller or nonexistent on this factor
(Stankov, under review A).
3. Social Norms. Seven out of nine GLOBE measures dene
this factor, and there are no other signicant loadings.
4. Conservatism. This factor is dened by the four Saucier's
measures: Social Attitudes (largely by two: Alphaism
and Deltaism), the Conformism/Individualism factor from
the domain of Values, the Personality factor of Conscien-
tiousness, and In-Group Collectivism from the domain of
Social Norms. The presence of loadings from Agreeable-
ness and (negative) Toughness is not a common nding
with this factor. It should be kept in mind that all
individual-level analyses for the three studies that
provided cognitive measures reported in Table 2 below
contained core conservatism scores, but, as expected, the
actual loadings varied from study to study (see footnotes
in Table 2).
The Between-countries analysis produced two factors:
1. Broad Conservatism factor. As can be seen on the right side
of Table 1, the rst factor has loadings from Alphaism
(religious sources of authority), Deltaism (personal spir-
itualism), In-Group Collectivism, Conscientiousness, and
Conformism/Individualism. All these are the core variables
of conservatism at the individual level. In addition, this
factor has loadings from four Social Norms measures and
Self-Indulgence/Self-Transcendence that were not a part of
the Conservatism factor at the individual level. Thus, the
between-countries factor of Conservatism is somewhat
broader than the corresponding individual-level factor; it
captures a bit of variance from Social Norms and Values
that is not captured by the individual-level factor.
2. Broad Personality/Social Attitudes/Social Norms factor.
This, again, is a bipolar factor, with all Personality mea-
sures in addition to Values factors (Self-Indulgence/Self-
Transcendence and Conformism/Individualism) and
Power Distance having negative loadings. Positive loadings
are from Social Attitudes (Toughness, Maliciousness,
Betaism, and Gammaism) and from four Social Norms
factors. Thus, although the core of this between-countries
factor resides in Personality and Social Attitudes, it is again
broader than the corresponding within-individual factor
because it captures Values and Social Norms.
The two between-countries factors correspond largely to
Conservatism and Personality/Social Attitudes individual-
level factors, with Values and Social Norms split about equally
Table 2
Individual level: correlations of four factor scores and cognitive measures
Variable (Amoral-)Social
Attitudes/Personality
Values Social
Norms
Conservatism
SAT N=732
a
.28⁎⁎ .10.09 .35⁎⁎
Vocabulary
Accuracy N=430
b
.48⁎⁎ .05 .10 .40⁎⁎
Analogies N=288
c
.21⁎⁎ .16.10 .23⁎⁎
a
Conservatism is dened by Alphaism, Deltaism, Tradition, Conformity,
Harshness Toward Outsiders, and ()Openness.
b
Conservatism is dened by Alphaism, Tradition, Conformity,
Conscientiousness, ()Openness, In-Group Collectivism, Spirituality and
Harshness Toward Outsiders.
c
Conservatism is dened by Alphaism, Tradition, Conformity, and In-Group
Collectivism.
299L. Stankov / Intelligence 37 (2009) 294304
between them. Factor scores on the two between-countries
factors are used in the analyses reported in Table 3.
Factor intercorrelations at the individual level are generally
low and different from zero for Conservatism factor only. Thus,
Conservatism correlates .39 with the Values factor and .22 with
the SocialNorms factor. As expected, Conservatism has negative
and low correlation (.211) with the Personality/Social
Attitudes factor. At the country-level, correlation between the
two broad factors was xed at zero in the tted solution.
3.2. Conservatism syndrome described
A description of the Conservative syndrome based on the
results of factor analysis presented in this paper and in other
studies of ours that contained measures that were not analyzed
in this paper is as follows. The Conservative syndrome describes
a person who attaches particular importance to the respect of
tradition, humility, devoutness and moderation (i.e.,Traditional
values) as well as to obedience, self-discipline and politeness
(i.e., Conformist values), social order, family, and national
security (Security values) and has a sense of belonging to and a
pride in a group with which he or she identies (In-group
Collectivism). A Conservative person also subscribes to con-
ventionalreligious beliefs (Alphaism)and accepts the mystical,
including paranormal, experiences (Deltaism). The same
person is likely to be less open to intellectual challenges
(Openness) and will be seen as a responsible good citizenat
work and in the society (Conscientiousness) while expressing
rather harsh views toward those outside his or her group
(Harshness Towards Outsiders).
Conservativism at both individual and country level is
strongly linked to religiosity both Alpha (religious sources of
authority) and Delta (personal spiritualism) scales (Saucier,
2000) have high loadings on individual- and country-level
factors of Conservatism. A recent review by Lynn, Harvey, and
Nyborg (2007) reports that in a sample of 137 countries the
correlation between national IQ and belief in God is r=.60.
Nevertheless, given the pattern of loadings in Tabl e 1 and other
analyses of the data (e.g., Stankov, 2007) it is apparent that
Conservatism syndrome is broader than religiosity and cannot
be reduced to the latter.
3.3. Common cause at individual and country levels?
The results presented in Table 1 show similarity, albeit not
complete correspondence, between the factors at two levels of
analysis. This is important evidence that indicates that
problems associated with ecological fallacy (Robinson, 1950)
may be relatively small in our data. Ecological fallacy is an
error in the interpretation of statistical data whereby in-
ferences about the nature of individuals are based solely upon
aggregate statistics collected for the group to which those
individuals belong. In principle, this may or may not be true
and doing the analyses at both levels provides a way to test the
underlying assumption of the common cause. The fact that
they are similar across the levels indicates that whatever
sources or common causes operate to generate factors at the
country level may be similar to the causes that operate at the
individual level.
3.4. Correlates of Conservatism
The following sections examine correlations between the
individual and country-level Conservatism factors with mea-
sures of cognitive abilities and, at a country level, with a host
of other indicators of economic and social development. The
pattern of these correlations can inform about the psycholo-
gical nature of the obtained factors.
3.4.1. Individual level: correlations with tests of cognitive
abilities
Table 2 presents correlations between the four sets of
factor scores and three different cognitive measures. A con-
sistent trend is clearly present across the three rows:
signicant correlations appear for Conservatism and
(Amoral-) Social Attitudes/Personality (reverse loadings
from Table 1). Clearly, people who score low on measures of
cognitive abilities tend to endorse more strongly Conservative
statements. The lowest correlation is for Analogies scores
which were obtained from a sample of TOEFL test-takers,
possibly the highest ability group in our studies that is likely to
be prone to the restriction in range effects. Those scoring low
on cognitive ability are also strongly supportive of (Amoral)
Social Attitude statements. In other words, these are the
macho, tough people who are not prepared to accept soft
solutions to problems that arise in social interactions.
Independence between the rst and the fourth factor in
Table 1 implies that Conservatism is different from (Amoral)
Social Attitudes one can be, for example, conservative and
tough or conservative and soft. Nevertheless, both are
negatively related to intelligence.
The other two factors Values and Social Norms have
considerably lower correlations with cognitive measures, with
Table 3
Country level correlations of between-countries factor scores and extension
variables
Between-countries factors
Broad
Conservatism
Broad
Personality/
Social
Attitudes/
Norms
1. Education (van Hermert et al., 2002).69⁎⁎ .20
2. Average IQ 19501999
(Lynn & Vanhanen, 2002)
.73⁎⁎ .17
3. PISA Composite of Math, Science,
Reading (OECD, 2004)
.70⁎⁎ .22
4. Failed States Index (FSI): Total Score
(The Fund for Peace)
.80⁎⁎ .05
5. FSI: mounting economic pressures .70⁎⁎ .15
6. FSI: massive movement of refugees .50⁎⁎ .01
7. FSI: legacy of vengeance .51⁎⁎ .21
8. FSI: chronic and sustained human ight .72⁎⁎ .00
9. FSI: uneven economic development .58⁎⁎ .05
10. FSI: sharp and/or severe economic decline .67⁎⁎ .22
11. FSI: criminalization of the state
(corruption of ruling elites and their
link to crime syndicates)
.79⁎⁎ .02
12. FSI: progressive deterioration of
public services
.78⁎⁎ .01
13. FSI: widespread violation of human rights .68⁎⁎ .10
14. FSI: security a pparatus as state within state.78⁎⁎ .03
15. FSI: rise of factionalized elites .67⁎⁎ .13
16. FSI: intervention of other states .63⁎⁎ .17
(Note: ⁎⁎ indicates that correlation is signicant at the .01 level.)
300 L. Stankov / Intelligence 37 (2009) 294304
four out of six coefcients not being signicantly different
from zero. The highest correlation (.16) is with the Values
factor. This correlation is at least in part due to the loading of
Openness on the Values factor in Table 1 since Openness
tends to correlate about .30 with measures of cognitive
abilities (see Stankov and Lee, 2008).
Thus, in accordance with the expectations, Conservatism
and (Amoral) Social Attitudes factors show negative correla-
tions with cognitive measures supporting the hypothesis that
those endorsing conservative views have low cognitive abili-
ties. This is in agreement with the assumption that people
with lower cognitive abilities may perceive threat and un-
certainty where more capable people do not see it and
therefore express more conservative views than those with
high cognitive abilities. This is also consistent with the view
that a common causal mechanism may underlie individual
differences in both conservatism and cognitive ability.
3.4.2. Between-countries level: correlations between
Conservatism and cognitive abilities
In order to nd out if the two between-countries factors
show the same trends as individual-level factors, we examine
their relationship with a selection of country-level variables.
These latter variables for 35 countries were compiled from four
sources: the study of structural equivalence of Eysenck's
Personality Questionnaire (EPQ) by van Hemert, van de Vijver,
Poortinga, and Georgas (2002); World Database of Happiness
(Veenhoven, 2007); The Fund for Peace (www.fundforpeace.
org); and Organization for Economic Co-operation and Devel-
opment (OECD, 2004). We employ the following country-level
measures:
1. Education the teacherpupil ratio, proportion of popula-
tion of a particular age that is enrolled at primary, secondary,
and tertiary levels, and percentage of adult illiterates (van
Hermert et al., 2002);
2. Intelligence IQ tests in general population samples com-
pleted with estimates based on observations in compar-
able countries. Period 19501999. From Veenhoven, based
on Lynn and Vanhanen (2002) Table 6.5.
3. PISA (OECD, 2004)Programme for International Student
Assessment (PISA), the assessment program for 14- to
15-year-olds carried out every three years by the Organiza-
tion for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD,
2004). This measure is a simple composite of country's
Maths, Science and Reading scores.
4. Failed States Index: Total Score, 2006 a ranking of
146 countries in the world in terms of three groups of
indicators Social, Economic, and Political carried out
on a yearly basis by The Fund for Peace. In 2006; the list
was headed by Sudan, with Norway being on the opposite,
non-failed, end.
5. to 18. Components of the Failed States Index. These are listed
in Table 3 they are self-explanatory.
The measures are strategically chosen from a set of over
1000 country-level indices that have been compiled from the
four sources listed above. The rst three are indices of cognitive
performance, with PISA results representing an objective direct
measure of a country's standing, Average IQ being an estimate
of the overall cognitive capacity, and Education being a general
measure of the success of a country's educational endeavors.
AscanbeseeninTable 3, all three country-level cognitive
measures have signicant negative correlations with the Broad
Conservatism scores and non-signicant correlations with the
Broad Personality/Social Attitudes/Norms factor.
Correlations with the twelve components of the Failed
States Index (FSI, variables 7 to 18) are also presented in Table
3to illustrate our general nding with a host of other
indicators that are not educational or cognitive in nature.
Many more variables from those we have examined show the
same pattern of correlations high correlations with
Conservatism scores and nonsignicant correlations with
the Broad Personality/Social Attitudes/Norms scores. They
include economic indicators, mass communication measures,
estimates of freedom based on the functioning of political and
legal systems, church attendance and other measures of
religious practices, and many indicators of the general
healthof countries in the world. Because of this pattern of
correlations, the Conservatism factor from our work can be
seen as yet another index of a country's development or,
perhaps, as an indicator of the afuence factor suggested by
Georgas, van de Vijver, and Bery (2004).
3.4.3. Between-countries level: Conservatism and Country IQ as
predictors of the Failed States Index
As mentioned in the Introduction, our country-level data
allow for the examination of the relative roles of Average IQ
and Conservatism of counties in relationship to the economic-
ally and socially important criteria.
Using the Failed States Index Total score as a criterion and
country-level Conservatism factor scores and Average IQ as
markers gives us an R-square of .652 and standardized beta
coefcients equal to .565 and .293, respectively (see the
rst row in Table 4). When entered rst, Conservatism scores
capture 61% of the variance. When entered second, Con-
servatism scores add about 14% of predicted variance above
Average IQ.
3
Thus, in isolation from all other measures,
Table 4
Summary of regression analyses using Rindermann's Country IQ estimates
and Conservatism scores as predictors and measures of economic and
political status as criteria
Criterion R-square Standardized betas
Rindermann
IQ estimate
Conservatism
syndrome
1. Failed States Index Total .652 .293 (ns) .565⁎⁎
2. Gross Domestic Product
per Capita (GDP 2007)
.698 .096 (ns) .763⁎⁎
3. Rule of Law .632 .320 (ns) .531⁎⁎
4. Democracy .476 .136 (ns) .788⁎⁎
5. Freedom .275 .074 (ns) .466 (ns)
Countries included in the analyses (N=31): Albania, Argentina, Austria,
Brazil, China, Colombia, Costa Rican, Cyprus, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia,
France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico,
Morocco, Nigeria, Philippines, Romania, Russia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Taiwan,
Thailand, Turkey and USA. (Note: ns = not signicant; ⁎⁎ = signicant at .01
level.).
3
I am grateful to an unknown reviewer who called to my attention the
recent work of LeBreton and Tonidandel (2008). These authors have
developed an improved procedure based on multivariate relative weights
that can be used to evaluate the importance of predictors included in a
regression analysis. I shall use this procedure in future analyses of our data.
301L. Stankov / Intelligence 37 (2009) 294304
Conservatism is a better marker of FSI than is the Average IQ.
Lynn and Vanhanen (2002) claim that IQ is an important
factor contributing to differences in national wealth.Our
data lead to the conclusion that low level of Conservatism
may also be an even more important factor contributing to
country's success as a state.
4
3.4.4. Between-countries level: Conservatism and Country IQ as
predictors of wealth, democracy, the rule of law, and freedom
In a couple of recent papers Rindermann (2008a,b) exa-
mined the effects of IQ and education on several country-
level measures of national welfare and political develop-
ment (assessment of the wealth, rule of law, freedom,
and democracy).
5
The outcomes of four regression analyses
are summarized in Table 4. In these analyses, Rindermann's
estimates of countries' cognitive ability were entered
rst and countries' Conservatism scores were entered
second.
A measure of country's wealth is the Gross Domestic
Product per capita (GDP). This is dened as the value of all
nal goods and services produced within a nation in a given
year, dividedby the average population for the same year.The
GDP values were retrieved on Oct. 29, 2007 from the following
site: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_
by_GDP_(nominal)_per_capita.
It is apparent from the values presented in Table 4 that
both IQ and Conservatism can account for a signicant
percentage of variance (69.80%) in GDP. It is also apparent
from the comparison of standardized beta weights that
Conservatism is a better predictor of GDP beta weight for
IQ is not signicant. In these data, raw correlation between
GDP is higher (absolute value) with Conservatism scores
(.833) than it is with the estimated nations' IQ scores
(.652).
6
Thus, at the nations' level of analysis, Conservatism
scores are better predictors of GDP than are the estimated
cognitive ability, or IQ, scores.
It is clear from Table 4 that similar ndings have been
obtained for the Rule of Law and for Democracy measures.
In both cases Conservatism is a better marker of the criteria
than IQ or cognitive ability. For the last criterion measure,
Freedom, the value of the multiple correlation coefcient
was low (R-square equal to .275 and not signicant at the
.01 level) and neither IQ nor Conservatism had signicant
beta coefcients.
Overall, both IQ and Conservatism are important in assess-
ing the country's economic and political status, with Con-
servatism showing a somewhat better predictive validity.
Again, I wish to refrain from making causal inferences. All
that can be said from the data at hand is that two psy-
chological variables cognitive ability (or IQ) and Conserva-
tive syndrome appear to form a nexus with demographic,
economic, sociological, health and political/legal variables at
the country level of analysis.
3.5. Individual-level factors vs. between-countries broad factors
An interesting difference between the two main factors
emerges from the comparison of the patterns of correlation in
Tables 2 and 3. The Personality/Social Attitudes score is related
to cognitive ability at the individual level, but this correlation
does not hold for the Broad Personality/Social Attitudes/Norms
factor at the between-countries level. There are at least three
possible reasons for this difference in patterns of correlations.
First, cognitive variables differ between the two levels of
analysis. It can be argued that if the same cognitive measures
were involved at both levels, the pattern of correlations would
be the same. This is an unlikely explanation. Cognitive variables
are known to correlate among themselves and, normally, one
would not expect such dramatic differences. Second, despite
the apparent similarity between the narrow and Broad
Personality/Social Attitudes/Norms factors, there are differ-
ences in the pattern and size of factor loadings. For example, as
canbeseeninTable 1, the loadings of Personality and Betaism
and Gammaism measures on the Broad Personality/Social
Attitudes/Norms are higher than on the corresponding
individual-level narrow factor. These differences might have
led to reduced correlations at the between-countries level. I
feel, however, that the differences incorrelations aretoo large in
comparison to the differences in factor loadings between the
two levels, and this interpretation is unlikely to be true. Third,
the differences may be genuine, i.e., Broad Personality/Social
Attitudes/Norms do not correlate with country-level cognitive
and economic development indices. Since we do not have
sufcient understanding of why this may be the case, it is
prudent to await replication of these ndings.
In the meantime, we can safely conclude that both
individual-level and between-countries Conservatism factors
have negative correlations with cognitive abilities. The
scarcity of signicant correlations between the Broad Person-
ality/Social Attitudes/Social Norms factor and other variables
can be seen as evidence for discriminant validity of the two
broad country-level factors.
4. Discussion
The purpose of this paper was to examine the evidence
relevant to the hypothesis that low cognitive ability is asso-
ciated with high conservatism. This hypothesis can be derived
from the theory that sees political conservatism as motivated
cognition (Jost et al., 2003)andfromWilson's (1973) dynamic
theory of conservatism. Our evidence supports this hypothesis.
Conservatism correlates negatively with measures of cognitive
ability and educational achievement at both individual- and
country levels of analysis. We cannot make any statements
about the causality, however.
Empirical support for the hypothesized relationship is con-
tingent on the acceptance of structural evidence that denes
4
Countries can be replaced by political units within a country such as
states within the US and similar analyses can be carried out. Kanazawa
(2006) and McDaniel (2006a,b) show that estimated states' IQ correlate
moderately with the economic performance of the states. In this context it is
interesting that political conservatism assessed as a percentage of people
within the states who voted for G. W. Bush in 2004 has low negative
correlation (.14) with the wealth of states.
5
I am grateful to H. Rindermann for his help in carrying out regression
analyses using IQ and Conservatism scores for the countries included in the
present study.
6
It is worth noting that the correlation between wealth (i.e., GDP) and
estimated countries' IQ (.65) is close to the correlations between these
variables that have been reported in the literature (e.g., .63 reported by
Rindermann, 2008a,b). This can be interpreted as ev idence that our
selection of countries listed in Table 4 is not biased.
302 L. Stankov / Intelligence 37 (2009) 294304
conservatism in terms of measures of Personality, Social Atti-
tudes, Values, and Social Norms. The Conservative syndrome
describes a person who attaches particular importance to the
respect of tradition, humility, devoutness and moderation as
well as to obedience, self-discipline and politeness, social order,
family, and national security and has a sense of belonging to
and a pride in a group with which he or she identies. A
Conservative person also subscribes to conventional religious
beliefs and accepts the mystical, including paranormal, ex-
periences. The same person is likely to be less open to in-
tellectual challenges and will be seen as a responsible good
citizenat work and in the society while expressing rather
harsh views toward those outside his or her group. Our data
also show that countries differ along similar albeit somewhat
broader dimensions of Conservatism. This paragraph's descrip-
tion of the Conservative syndrome is a narrative listing of
psychological processes captured by the scales and items that
dene Conservatism factor in this and other studies of ours.
Anotherconceptually related construct of (Anti- or Amoral)
Social Attitudes that denes a bipolar factor with Personality
correlates with cognitive abilities at the individual, but not at
the country level of analysis. The Amoral Social Attitudes factor
captures people's endorsement of toughness in dealing with
fellow human beings. This is not a part of the Conservatism
syndromein our studies.Our results also show that Values and
Social Norms do not correlate with cognitive ability at the
individual level.
The above summary of the ndings suggests that although
there is a similarity between the individual-level and country-
level factor structures, the differences are also quite pro-
nounced, especially if one considers correlations of factor
scores with the external country-level variables. It is tempting
to conclude that differences are due to the fusion of Values and
Social Norms factors into the two broad between-countries
factors. It may be argued that this fusion leads to one between-
countries factor having high correlations and the other having
low correlations with external variables. This will not do. The
split is about the same, and therefore both broad factors
should be affected in a comparable way. Some of our analyses
that are not presented here indicate that the lack of correlation
of the Broad Personality/Social Attitudes/Norms factor with
cognitive measures at the country level is due to the Per-
sonality and Social Attitudes components of this factor. Apart
from Conscientiousness, no other personality measure has a
signicant raw correlation with the cognitive extension
variables (e.g., FSI and PISA scores). The same is true for the
Toughness and Maliciousness components of the same factor.
We may conclude that, indeed, Conservatism at the indi-
vidual level and Broad Conservatism at the country level are
related to low performance on cognitive ability tests. These
tests are used for the assessment of IQ. There is no assumption
about the direction of causality in our ndings. One is free to
speculate, for example, that Conservatism causes low IQ.
Alternatively, the two assumptions mentioned in the Intro-
duction are equally plausible. Thus, in accordance with Jost
et al. (2003) theory of motivated cognition, less able people
cannot see many complexities of the situation and are there-
fore threatened by a larger number of events in the environ-
ment, becoming more conservative in the process. Or, one can
postulate a third cause, common to both IQ and Conservatism
that may be in operation. At the individual level, this may be
rigidity. At the country level, this may be fundamentalism. At
both levels it may be the lack of formal education or, indeed, a
common source of covariation between IQ, Conservatism,
measures of Failed States Index, wealth, the rule of law,
democracy, freedom, and potentially a host of other variables.
Given the existence of signicant correlations between
measures of cognitive abilities and Conservatism, it is reasonable
to ask whether one or the other is a stronger marker of various
measures of countries' success or failure. The data presented in
this paper indicate that Broad Conservatism is a stronger marker
than IQ of criteria such as the Failed States Index and measures of
wealth, the rule of law, democracy, and freedom.
The data at national level are consistent with the assump-
tion that there exists a common dimension, perhaps best
understood as afuence/poverty dimension that is the source
of aggregate-level differences. This latent dimension is
dened in terms of GDP and other macroeconomic measures.
It is also dened in terms of subjective measures of happiness
(see Diener & Oishi, 2004), measures of investment in educa-
tion at the national and state level, health (McDaniel, 2006a,
b), and sociological and political indices such as those that
dene post-materialist dimensions in studies of Inglehart (see
Inglehart and Baker, 2000). Psychological measures of
cognitive ability and conservatism are just a part of this
conglomerate and we are at the early stages of trying to
understand their role within the network of sociological and
political variables and inuences.
Acknowledgements
The work reported in this paper was carried out while the
author was employed by Educational Testing Service (ETS).
The opinions expressed in this paper are those of the author,
not of ETS.
Part of this material is based on research sponsored by the
Air Force Research Laboratory, under agreement number
FA9550-04-1-0375. The views and conclusions contained
herein are those of the author and should not be interpreted
as necessarily representing the ofcial policies or endorse-
ments, either expressed or implied, of the Air Force Research
Laboratory or the U.S. Government.
I am grateful to Larry Stricker, Walter Emmerich, Nat
Kogan, Gerard Saucier and Cathy Wendler and four anon-
ymous reviewers for their comments on several earlier
version of this paper.
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... On the other hand, the other prominent candidate may be the conservatism-liberalism dimension. Conservatism was found as a broad and general dimension of social attitudes which captures the common variance in lexical social attitudes, both on the individual (Stankov, 2009), and the country level (Stankov & Lee, 2009).. In recent emic research of lexical social attitudes in Serbia, a hierarchical factor analysis of these attitudes showed a singular latent dimension at the top of a hierarchy which was interpreted as conservatism-liberalism as well (Petrović, 2020). ...
... Furthermore, we assume that the content of such a factor closely corresponds to the conservatism-liberalism dimension. The rationale for our second hypothesis comes from the previous empirical data on conservatism as a general dimension that captures the common variance of social attitudes (Petrović, 2020;Stankov, 2009;Stankov & Lee, 2009). ...
... In fact, they represent the opposite poles of a General Factor extracted from these measures. Hence, this latent dimension is in accordance with previously extracted higherorder factor on Isms social attitudes (Stankov, 2009;Stankov & Lee, 2009). This was the first piece of information that suggested that the General Factor may in fact represent the conservatism-liberalism dimension. ...
Article
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Previous studies showed the existence of general factors in cognitive abilities, personality traits, and psychopathology symptoms. We hypothesized a similar factor on the apex of social attitudes' hierarchy; furthermore, we assumed that this factor reflects a conservatism-liberalism dimension. This hypothesis is tested by factorizing the space of "isms": a broad and comprehensive model of social attitudes obtained by the lexical paradigm, in an online study (N = 380; Mage = 32.34[SD = 11.74]; 66.8% females; participants were of Serbian nationality). A General factor is obtained and it was positively loaded by Tradition-oriented Religiousness (.76), Unmitigated Self-Interest (.76), and Subjective Spirituality (.34), with negative loadings of Communal Rationalism (-.53) and Inequality Aversion (-.46). Afterwards, we explored the nomological network of this factor: it correlated positively with the Social Dominance Orientation measure of Social Domination, Social Conservatism, Conservation Values, and Binding Moral Foundations; it also had negative associations with the Social Dominance Orientation measure of Egalitarianism, Self-transcendence Values, Individualizing Moral Foundations, Openness to Experience, Support for EU Integrations, Kosovo Independence, and Immigrants' Integration. The obtained nomological network is congruent with the interpretation of the General factor as conservatism. The data suggest that lay people have a singular core attitudinal dimension which they use to interpret and make sense of societal events and this fundamental dimension is conservatism-liberalism.
... Recently, the role of cognitive abilities and education has been brought into the picture, suggesting that a low level of educational attainment is correlated with conservative views in individuals (L. Stankov, 2009). Slowly but surely, a conservative far-right outlook has been on the rise. ...
... The participants were adults from 33 countries in 9 world regions (N = 2029). A Social Conservatism (or Conservatism/Liberalism) factor emerged at both individual-and country-levels of analysis (L. Stankov, 2009; see also L. Stankov & Lee, 2009, 2016L. Stankov, Lee, & van de Vijver, 2014;L. ...
... L. Stankov, 2009 reported low to moderate negative correlations between cognitive ability and social conservatism. In other words, high ability people are less nasty and religious, and more tolerant towards those who display lower social awareness and less strict moral norms. ...
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This paper reviews our work that points to a link between the psychological aspects of social conservatism, intelligence, educational achievement, and militant extremist mindset (MEM). Conservative outlooks did not change under communist rule. Three ingredients of Social Conservatism are Religiosity, Nastiness/Social Dominance, and Social Awareness/Morality. There is a negative correlation between cognitive abilities and Social Conservatism. An increasing proportion of people with tertiary education contributes to a split in society between better-educated liberals and conservatives. Two ingredient processes of MEM (Pro-violence and Excuse) are conceptually similar to aspects of Social Conservatism. A critical ingredient of MEM that distinguishes it from Social Conservatism is Grudge. Three components of Grudge – Vile World, West, and Neighborhood Grudge – are important predictors of animosity towards outgroups. While nationalism/ethnocentrism has a significant correlation with all aspects of MEM, measures of trust in the system and socioeconomic status (SES) have essentially zero correlations. Terrorism motivated by right-wing ideology and MEM is also on the rise. Two recently completed studies produced outcomes that may be useful to policymakers. First, Serbs living in an area of recent conflict with Albanians show higher levels of Ethnocentrism, Neighborhood Grudge, and Pro-violence than Serbs living outside the conflict area. Second, asylum seekers hold lower levels of Grudge towards Western nations than do domicile populations from Southern Europe.
... State IQ correlated inversely (−0.34) with conservatism. Several state-level articles exist on liberalism/conservatism and IQ (Meisenberg 2015;Stankov 2009). They show that state-level conservatism is associated with lower IQ. ...
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At the level of the 50 U.S. states, an interconnected nexus of well-being variables exists. These variables strongly correlate with estimates of state IQ in interesting ways. However, the state IQ estimates are now more than 16 years old, and the state well-being estimates are over 12 years old. Updated state IQ and well-being estimates are therefore needed. Thus, I first created new state IQ estimates by analyzing scores from both the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competency (for adults), and the National Assessment of Educational Progress (for fourth and eighth grade children) exams. I also created new global well-being scores by analyzing state variables from the following four well-being subdomains: crime, income, health, and education. When validating the nexus, several interesting correlations existed among the variables. For example, state IQ most strongly predicted FICO credit scores, alcohol consumption (directly), income inequality, and state temperature. Interestingly, state IQ derived here also correlated 0.58 with state IQ estimates from over 100 years ago. Global well-being likewise correlated with many old and new variables in the nexus, including a correlation of 0.80 with IQ. In sum, at the level of the U.S. state, a nexus of important, strongly correlated variables exists. These variables comprise well-being, and state IQ is a central node in this network.
... This replicates findings from Pesta et al. (2010;see also Zuckerman, Lee, Lin, & Hall, 2019, for similar results with individual-level data), who even included religiosity as a global well-being subdomain. (Meisenberg, 2015;Stankov, 2009). They show that state-level conservatism is associated with lower IQ. ...
Preprint
At the level of the 50 U.S. states, an interconnected nexus of well-being variables exists. These variables have been shown to strongly correlate with estimates of state IQ in interesting ways. But the state IQ estimates (McDaniel 2006) are now more than 16 years old, and the state well-being estimates (Pesta et al., 2010) are over 12 years old. Updated state IQ and well-being estimates are therefore needed. I thus first created new state IQ estimates by analyzing scores from both the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competency (for adults), and the National Assessment of Educational Progress (for fourth and eighth grade children) exams. I also created new global well-being scores by analyzing state variables from the following four well-being subdomains: crime, income, health, and education. When validating the nexus, several interesting correlations existed among the variables. For example, state IQ most strongly predicted FICO credit scores, alcohol consumption (directly), income inequality, and state temperature. Interestingly, state IQ derived here also correlated .58 with state IQ estimates from over 100 years ago. Global well-being likewise correlated with many old and new variables in the nexus, including a correlation of .80 with IQ. In sum, at the level of the U.S. state, a nexus of important, strongly correlated variables exists. These variables comprise well-being, and state IQ is a central node in this network.
... Furthermore, the potential mediating factors of the religion-intelligence relationship might also be implicated in the spirituality-intelligence relationship, given the fairly high level of conceptual and psychometric overlap of the constructs of religion and spirituality (e.g., Hyman & Handal, 2006;Lace & Handal, 2019). However, as religiousness and spirituality are overlapping yet distinct constructs (Harris et al., 2018;Zinnbauer et al., 1997), novel mediating explanations of the intelligence-spirituality relationship (e.g., personality factors, conservatism, or social behaviors/involvement) extend beyond the scope of the present study but deserve continued scholarship (Shahabi et al., 2002;Stankov, 2009). It will therefore be important for future studies to explore these and other potential mediators in order to clarify what accounts for the inverse spirituality-intelligence relationship, and whether these factors mirror or diverge from those implicated in the religion-intelligence relationship seen in the present study. ...
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An inverse relationship between religiousness/spirituality (R/S) and psychometric intelligence (IQ) is well-documented in previous literature. However, the studies that have examined group differences on IQ regarding R/S have limited generalizability. The present study contributed to the literature by evaluating IQ among participants identifying as differentially religious/spiritual (i.e., religious only, spiritual only, both religious and spiritual, or neither religious nor spiritual) and among those classified as either Christian/Catholic, Atheist, or Agnostic. Four hundred and thirty-two participants (M age = 37.9; 36% men) participated online via Amazon’s Mechanical Turk as part of a larger study and completed a brief measure of IQ, a scale of religiousness and spirituality, and a demographics questionnaire. Correlations between IQ and self-reported religiousness/spirituality were small and negative (Mean r = −0.17), consistent with previous literature. Multivariate analyses of covariance (MANCOVAs) controlling for age, gender, education, and socioeconomic status (operationalized by estimated annual household income) indicated that IQ scores tended to be lowest (p < 0.001) for “religious only” participants (estimated marginal mean [EMM] = 93.0) and highest for “neither religious nor spiritual” participants (EMM = 103.7). Furthermore, IQ scores were significantly lower (ps < 0.001) for Christian/Catholic participants (EMM = 96.7) compared to both Atheist (EMM = 104.9) and Agnostic participants (EMM = 107.5). Discussion of these findings, relationships to previous theoretical and empirical work, limitations of the present study, and directions for future inquiry are provided.
... Even so, consumer behaviour studies tend to focus on the individual rather than the collective perspective (cf. this sphere includes complex sociological phenomena: Sánchez-Fernández et al. 2009;Stankov, 2009). Donation of human organs is a good example, in which culture and religion have central influences (Ferazzo, de Oliveira Vargas, Mancia, & Ramos, 2011). ...
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The concept of value co-creation is of paramount importance to marketing. In value co-creation, the parties close joint actions in exchange relationships enable the parties to achieve their goals. Donation, in turn, is an act of enormous repercussions for the common good, especially in less developed countries and societies, such as Brazil. However, fostering donations has been a considerable challenge where it is most pressing. To overcome this barrier, this study frames ‘giving’ as a value co-creative practice, which involves different resources (financial, labour) on the one hand, and specific skills (such as knowledge and education) to impact society and its most deprived citizens, on the other hand. This study also explores the influences of institutions and culture on value co-creation in the broad sense and on the specific type represented by giving and all the reasoning is a recall to deductive reasoning. Such efforts reveal interesting possibilities in non-profit marketing, capable of increasing the diffusion and intensity of donation in society at large. Theoretically, this study reveals the richness and complex character of the research field of applied social studies. Institutions, culture, and value co-creation play an important role in consumer behaviour. Therefore, the knowledge about how these perspectives interact is important for predicting, changing, or stimulating such behaviours.
... Finally, belief in divine power proved to be very wellpredicted by right-wing authoritarianism. Bearing in mind conceptual similarities between divine power as a dimension of MEM and religiosity (Stankov et al., 2010), these results are in line with the evidence showing positive relationship between RWA and religiosity (Heaven et al., 2011;Harnish et al., 2018) since both represent hallmarks of conservative syndrome (Stankov, 2009(Stankov, , 2018. So it seems that conservative values that underlie both RWA and religiosity can serve as a justification of violent acts and unfriendly thoughts by calling upon higher force and moral principles in resorting to something sacred but not necessarily as drivers of violence per se, which seems to be mainly fueled by aspiration for power and domination. ...
Article
Full-text available
The present study aims to identify contextual and psychological factors of proneness to radicalization and violent extremism (RVE) operationalized through the Militant Extremist Mindset scale (MEM) consisting of three distinct aspects: Proviolence (PV), Vile World beliefs (VW), and trust in Divine Power (DP). A community sample of 271 high school students (72% females) from Belgrade and Sandžak regions in Serbia completed: (1) a 24-item MEM scale; (2) contextual measures including a 6-item scale of family dysfunction (FDys) and a 4-item composite measure capturing exposure to a harsh school environment and peer abuse (HSE); (3) psychological measures including the 9-item Right-Wing Authoritarianism scale (RWA), the 5-item Social Dominance Orientation scale (SDO), and the 20-item UCLA Loneliness scale (LON). A path analysis was conducted with contextual factors on the first and psychological factors on the second level of the model predicting the three factors of MEM. LON was positively predicted by FDys and HSE, SDO by HSE only, while RWA was positively predicted by FDys only. Contextual and psychological factors accounted for 27% of the variance in PV (LON, SDO), 15% of the variance in VW (FDys, SDO), and 31% of the variance in DP (RWA). Obtained findings reveal a complex interplay of contextual and psychological drivers in the prediction of different aspects of RVE and build upon existing knowledge on risk factors associated with RVE.
... Many cooperative efforts fail, however, due to a common fault-line separating those who typically favor change ("liberals") and those who typically oppose it ("conservatives"). Psychologists have sought to explain how this fault-line arises and perpetuates itself, proposing various contributing factors, such as values, demographics, Big Five traits, prejudices, cognitive ability, and genetics (Carney et al., 2008;Crawford et al., 2017;Haidt & Joseph, 2007;Pratto et al., 1997;Smith et al., 2011;Stankov, 2009). Laham and Corless (2016) observe that a family of proposed factors indicate conservatism is associated with fear. ...
Thesis
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Chapter
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