Trump Supporters Score Higher On Verbal Ability Tests

                                                      by Jim Lindgren –

And they do better on most science knowledge questions, too.

The fracas over Don Lemon of CNN laughing at his panel’s insults about the intelligence of Trump supporters raises a larger issue: the ignorant belief that Trump supporters are much dumber than the general public and much dumber than those who supported Clinton in 2016. Don Lemon and his guests specifically ridiculed Trump supporters for supposed problems with “readin'” and “geography” (e.g., picking out Ukraine on a map). …

INTELLIGENCE OF TRUMP SUPPORTERS

We don’t have great data on the intelligence of Trump supporters, but the best available is in the 2018 General Social Survey. For those unfamiliar with the GSS, it is usually regarded as the leading omnibus academic survey in the US; it usually achieves response rates about 10 to 20 times higher than the typical public opinion poll.

In 1974, the GSS adopted a 10-question vocabulary test (WORDSUM) that was extracted from a standard, widely used IQ test. The National Science Foundation (NSF), in its 2018 report on science knowledge, refers to this battery of GSS items as a “verbal ability” test.

In the 2018 GSS, respondents were asked for whom they voted in 2016 (PRES16) or for whom they would have voted if they had voted (IF16WHO): Clinton, Trump, someone else, or no one.

On the verbal ability test (WORDSUM), not surprisingly the median number of vocabulary questions correct was the same for both Clinton and Trump supporters: 6 out of 10 words correct. The mean verbal ability score for Trump supporters was 6.15 words correct, while the mean verbal ability score for Clinton supporters was 5.69 correct, a difference of nearly a half a question on a 10-question test. This moderate difference is statistically significant at p<.0005.

Further, Trump supporters score significantly higher on verbal ability (6.15 correct) than the rest of the public combined (5.70 correct), whereas Clinton supporters score significantly lower on verbal ability (5.69 correct) than the rest of the public combined (5.98 correct). …

TRUMP SUPPORTERS’ KNOWLEDGE OF SCIENCE

… Overall, on most science knowledge questions Trump supporters score significantly higher than Clinton supporters and significantly higher than the combined non-Trump supporting public. If, however, you asked about beliefs, rather than knowledge, on evolution and the origins of the universe you would get substantially better answers on individual science questions from Clinton supporters than Trump supporters. …

MAP-READING …

IGNORANCE LEADS TO BIGOTRY …

… Don Lemon laughed uncontrollably at his guests insulting the intelligence and knowledge of Trump supporters. The best evidence we have suggests that, compared to the general public, Trump supporters score significantly better than the rest of the public—and Clinton supporters score significantly worse—on a standard verbal ability test. Likewise, Trump supporters score significantly better on most science knowledge questions than Clinton supporters or the general public. …

In short, Don Lemon is a bigot – and like most bigots, he’s an ignorant one as well. …
|1.30.2020

Source: https://reason.com/2020/01/30/trump-supporters-verbal-ability/?amp

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