Color Me Unsurprised…

…by this, from Daniel Klein:

Zogby researcher Zeljka Buturovic and I considered the 4,835 respondents’ (all American adults) answers to eight survey questions about basic economics. We also asked the respondents about their political leanings: progressive/very liberal; liberal; moderate; conservative; very conservative; and libertarian….

How did the six ideological groups do overall? Here they are, best to worst, with an average number of incorrect responses from 0 to 8: Very conservative, 1.30; Libertarian, 1.38; Conservative, 1.67; Moderate, 3.67; Liberal, 4.69; Progressive/very liberal, 5.26….

The survey also asked about party affiliation. Those responding Democratic averaged 4.59 incorrect answers. Republicans averaged 1.61 incorrect, and Libertarians 1.26 incorrect. (“Are You Smarter Than a Fifth-Grader?The Wall Street Journal, June 8, 2010)

Part of the explanation, of course, is that “liberals” and “progressives” derive their view of the world from their emotions: “It ought to be that way, so that’s the way it is.” Another part of the explanation is that “liberals” and “progressives” just aren’t as smart or rational as they like to think they are:

IQ and Personality
IQ and Politics
The Right Is Smarter Than the Left
The Psychology of Extremism

I wouldn’t mind it if the hubris of “liberals” and “progressives” led them to a nasty end, but they have acquired the power to take the rest of us with them.