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Psychol Sci. 2008 Jan;19(1):1-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2008.02036.x.

Bright children become enlightened adults.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, University of Edinburgh, UK. i.deary@ed.ac.uk

Abstract

We examined the prospective association between general intelligence (g) at age 10 and liberal and antitraditional social attitudes at age 30 in a large (N= 7,070), representative sample of the British population born in 1970. Statistical analyses identified a general latent trait underlying attitudes that are antiracist, pro-working women, socially liberal, and trusting in the democratic political system. There was a strong association between higher g at age 10 and more liberal and antitraditional attitudes at age 30; this association was mediated partly via educational qualifications, but not at all via occupational social class. Very similar results were obtained for men and women. People in less professional occupations-and whose parents had been in less professional occupations-were less trusting of the democratic political system. This study confirms social attitudes as a major, novel field of adult human activity that is related to childhood intelligence differences.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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