April 01, 2011

Science! Progressive Lawyers Are Dumber than Conservative Lawyers

I've spent many a lost day studying Siegal and Spaeth's legal ideology indexes, and I think they fairly capture what they are trying to capture. But computer generated content analysis I've never had so much faith in.

Nevertheless, when such models verify my predisposed worldview then it's time to suspend my disbelief in the methodology.


A variety of commentators have suggested that there is positive correlation between the ideological valence of legal scholarship and the intellectual capacity of the author. In their most common form, these suggestions posit an association between "progressive" or "left leaning" political views, and "IQ" or "intelligence."....

The results do not confirm the standard hypothesis. Siegel-Spaeth ideology scores that indicate "progressive" ideology were negatively correlated with the Stanford-Benet estimates. The Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient (-0.61) provides strong evidence of a negative relationship between progressive ideology and intelligence.
Lulz. Nah, I don't really believe the results are valid given the limitations of this kind of content analysis. However, I'm pretty sure the results of the study will be ignored by the MSM.

Had the results shown that conservative legal thinkers had lower IQs then I'm sure this would lead at CNN and The Daily Show, and the author would have been given a full half hour interview by a swooning Rachel Maddow.

H/T: Jeff G.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 02:35 PM | Comments |