Different political systems suppress or facilitate the impact of intelligence on how you vote: A comparison of the U.S. and Denmark

Steven G Ludeke*, Stig H R Rasmussen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Intelligence is rarely studied as a predictor of vote choice, and at first glance our data supports this neglect: In samples from the U.S. and Denmark (Ns = 1419 and 953), intelligence does not predict the standard operationalization of vote choice in which parties are placed on a single left-vs-right dimension. (Standardized coefficients predicting right-wing vote choice were 0.05 and −0.03, respectively.) However, this apparent non-effect in fact reflects approximately equal and opposite effects of intelligence on vote choice as transmitted through social and economic ideology. In both countries, higher ability predicts left-wing social and right-wing economic views. The impact of intelligence on vote choice is thus most visible in true multi-party systems like Denmark, in which parties do not simply pair similar levels of social and economic conservatism, but instead provide diverse combinations of social and economic ideology. Comparing the parties closest to representing authoritarian egalitarianism (social-right plus economic-left) and libertarianism (social-left plus economic-right), we observed a 0.9 SD intelligence gap.

Original languageEnglish
JournalIntelligence
Volume70
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
ISSN0160-2896
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Keywords

  • Cross-cultural psychology
  • Ideology
  • Intelligence
  • Vote choice

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Different political systems suppress or facilitate the impact of intelligence on how you vote: A comparison of the U.S. and Denmark'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this