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Intelligence as a Predictor of Cognitive Dissonance

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Robert Botelho Jr.

on 7 April 2015

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Transcript of Intelligence as a Predictor of Cognitive Dissonance

Intelligence as a Predictor of Cognitive Dissonance
The conservative and liberal sides of the American political system represent two diametrically opposed viewpoints, with ideals that often clash. Some research points to an intelligence disparity as a source of this discord. Different perspectives in the field of psychology have examined this disparity in an attempt to understand the motivational forces underlying this rift. This is an attempt to begin building a knowledge base regarding cognitive dissonance's effect and ramifications on the mind of the modern American voter.
The purpose of the present study is to compare Festinger's theory of cognitive dissonance to intelligence Quotient (IQ) amongst students at a small southeastern American college, using the Test of Cognitive Dissonance (DISS-R). Those levels will then be weighed against two IQ test variants similar to The Weischler Intelligence Quotient Test.
To examine the hypothesis that cognitive dissonance predicts intelligence quotient, multiple single linear regressions and Pearson’s r correlations were conducted and the data were then extrapolated into a potential predictive model of intelligence, with the expectation of a slightly lower rate of cognitive dissonance within the more intelligent individual.
Purpose of the Present Study
Null Hypothesis 1: There is no correlation between Intelligence and Cognitive dissonance.

Null Hypothesis 2: It is not possible to form a predictive model of cognitive dissonance using intelligence as the independent factor.

Hyphothesis 1: There is a negative correlation between Intelligence and Cognitive dissonance. As intelligence scores go up, the rate of cognitive dissonance decreases.

Hypothesis 2: It is possible to form a predictive model of cognitive dissonance, with IQ as the independent factor.
Varying types of intelligence

General intelligence

Modern Testing

Known Caveats: Culture, SES, Ethnicity
The holding of two opposing beliefs at the same time.

1. The existence of dissonance [or inconsistency], being psychologically uncomfortable, will motivate the person to try to reduce the dissonance and achieve consonance [or consistency].

2. When dissonance is present, in addition to trying to reduce it, the person will actively avoid situations and information which would likely increase the dissonance.
Cognitive Dissonance:
Biophysical differences
BOLD contrasts (activation)
Amygdala (12%), left posterior insular Cortex (20%)
Mass differences

Dissonance Sensitivity

Abstract vs. Concrete

acceptance/trepidation of the unknown

Predisposition likely carried through genetic lines

Related fields: Neuroscience, Politics, and Genetics
S. Kanazawa- evolutionary factors

Early mankind- Fight or flight

Proliferation to dominance,

Paradigm shift to social network activation

changes in brain biology and chemistry over time (within genetic lines that should be measurable)
Savanna Theory
Fall 2014- Predictors of Voter Behavior

Minor correlation: Persistence

r= .208, n =100, p =.038

Prior Study
Current Study

Cognitive Dissonance Test- Revised (DISS-R)

2 Independent WAIS- based IQ tests

Pearson Correlations-

No statistical significance (r =.26, n =28, p =.2)

Linear Regressions

No statistical significance (overall: F(1,25)=1.784, p=.194, r^2=.067.)

One minor area of near-significance (partial correlation)
(r=.34,n=28, p=.089)
Sample Size

Standardized measures
Age range

Geographical area


Question Pool

Underrepresented Areas: 23+(0%), non-caucasians (46%), males (28%), GPA below 2.34 (0%)

Bipartisanship (politics)

Human Resources/ I.O. (personality profiles)

Law enforcement (criminal/forensic psychology
Implications and functionality
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