Tobias Edwards and Colleagues on the Link Between Intelligence and Political Beliefs

An article on PsyPost titled “Genetic variations help explain the link between cognitive ability and liberalism,” quotes Tobias Edwards on his research into political orientation and intelligence. Edwards and colleagues recently published an article titled “Predicting Political Beliefs with Polygenic Scores for Cognitive Performance and Educational Attainment” in the journal Intelligence. They found that IQ and genetic markers of intelligence (polygenic scores) can help predict which of two siblings, raised under the same roof,  tends to hold more liberal beliefs.. 

The findings shed light on the relationship between political attitudes and intelligence, however, the authors caution that intelligence can only be one of many influences on political beliefs and that extraordinarily intelligent people have supported all sorts of beliefs. Edwards states that “from our study we cannot say that the beliefs of high IQ people tell us what is right to believe, but rather only what smart people choose to believe.”

Tobias Edwards is a graduate student in the Personality, Individual Differences, and Behavior Genetics (PIB) program in the Department of Psychology at the University of Minnesota. His adviser is Dr. James Lee.

Composed by Madison Stromberg, communications assistant.

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