Tuesday, November 18, 2008

IQ and neatness: Reacting to my finding that liberals are sloppier than conservatives, blog reader Stephen wrote with this:

"That reminds me - I need to buy more bookshelves. A stack of books fell over the other day, and another one is threatening to follow. Horrible mess.

"Oh, and my partner keeps spreading her Phd research material all over the floor - what a mess.
"Our friends must think we're total losers.

"If only our place could be more like our neighbour's house - shelves are filled with well dusted trinkets. They have a set of rather cute little figurines of cats playing."

I wish I had data to confirm my sense that professor-types are not only sloppy, but feel superior about it as well.

But I can address Stephen's linking intelligence with messiness (even though the post was about the association with being liberal); namely, that the connection is the opposite of what he thinks. The graph above, generated from General Social Survey, shows that smart people tend to be cleaner than the less intelligent. (The X-axis is the number of vocabulary questions answered correctly out of 10--a good proxy of IQ). Disorganized professors are not representative of the right side of the bell curve.

One reason I make conclusions after looking at the data is that helps me avoid looking like a fool.


Stephen said...

Touche Ron.

PS: I more strongly associate professors with intelligence, not with liberalism.

knowitall said...

The liberal illuminati are sloppier than the conservatives, but the media will never admit it, neither will the lefties.