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WHERELIBERTARIANISMMEETSREALITY

Intelligence,Personality,Politics,andHappiness
REVISED07/08/11
Thispostisacollectionandrefinementofrelatedpostsatmyoldblog,LibertyCorner
(http://libertycorner.blogspot.com/).Eachsectionofthispostcarriesthesametitleastheoriginalpostat
LibertyCorner.IQandPersonalityisandhasbeen,byfar,themostpopularofmyLibertyCorner
posts,soIgivetheeponymoussectiontheplaceofhonorinthispost.
Webpagesthatlinktothispostusuallyconsistofadiscussionthreadwhoseparticipantsviewsofthepost
varyfromItoldyousotothatdoesntsquarewithme/myexperienceorMBTIisallwetbecause.
ThosewhotaketheformerpositiontendtobepersonsofaboveaverageintelligencewhoseMBTItypes
correlatewellwithhighintelligence.Thosewhotakethelattertwopositionstendtobepersonswhoare
defensiveabouttheirpersonalitytypes,whichdonotcorrelatewellwithhighintelligence.Suchpersons
shouldtakeadeepbreathandrememberthathighintelligence(oftheabstractreasoningbooklearningkind
measuredbyIQtests)iswidelydistributedthroughoutthepopulation.AsIsaybelow,Iamnotclaiming
thatasmallsubsetofMBTItypesaccountsforallhighIQpersons,noramIclaimingthatasmallsubsetof
MBTItypesispopulatedentirelybyhighIQpersons.AllIamsayingisthatthebitsofevidencewhichI
havecompiledsuggestthathighintelligenceismorelikelybutfarfromexclusivelytobefoundamong
personswithcertainMBTItypes.
Thecorrelationsbetweenintelligence,politicalleanings,andhappinessareadmittedlymoretenuous.But
theyareplausible.
Leftistswhoproclaimthemselvestobemoreintelligentthanpersonsoftherightdoso,inmyobservation,as
awayofreassuringthemselvesofthesuperiorityoftheirviews.Theyhavenolegitimatebasisforclaiming
thattheranksofhighlyintelligentpersonsaredominatedbytheleft.Leftistintellectuals
(http://politicsandprosperity.wordpress.com/2010/12/08/intellectualsandsocietyareview/)inacademia,
journalism,thearts,andothertraditionalhauntsofleftismareprominentbecausetheyarevocal.But
theycompriseasmallminorityofthepopulationandshouldnotbemistakenfortypicalleftists,whoseem

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mainlytopopulatetheranksofthecivilservice,laborunions,theteachingprofession,andthe
unemployed.(Itisworthnotingthatpublicschoolteachers,onthewhole,arenotoriouslydumberthanmost
othercollegegraduates.)
Again,Iamtalkingaboutgeneralrelationships,towhichtherearemanyexceptions.Ifyouhappentobean
exception,donttakethispostpersonally.Youreprobablyanexceptionalperson.
IQANDPERSONALITY
AfewyearsagoIcameacrosssomestatisticsaboutthepersonalitytraitsofhighIQpersons
(thosewhoareinthetop2percentofthepopulation).*Thestatisticspertaintoawidelyused
personalitytestcalledtheMyersBriggsTypeIndicator(http://www.myersbriggs.org/mymbti
personalitytype/mbtibasics/)(MBTI),whichIhavetakentwice.IntheMBTItherearefourpairs
ofcomplementarypersonalitytraits,calledpreferences:Extraverted/Introverted,
Sensing/iNtuitive,Thinking/Feeling,andJudging/Perceiving.Thus,thereare16possible
personalitytypesintheMBTI:ESTJ,ENTJ,ESFJ,ESFP,andsoon.(ForanintroductiontoMBTI,
summariesoftypes,criticismsofMBTI,andlinkstoothersources,seethisarticle
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MyersBriggs_Type_Indicator)atWikipedia.Astraightforward
descriptionofthetheoryofMBTIandthepersonalitytraitscanbefoundhere
(http://www.capt.org/takembtiassessment/mbtioverview.htm).Detaileddescriptionsofthe16
typesaregivenhere(http://typelogic.com/).)
Insummary,hereiswhatthestatisticsindicateaboutthecorrelationbetweenpersonalitytraits
andIQ:
Otherpersonalitytraitsbeingthesame,aniNtuitiveperson(onewhograspspatternsandseeks
possibilities)is25timesmorelikelytohaveahighIQthanaSensingperson(onewhofocuseson
sensorydetailsandthehereandnow).
Again,othertraitsbeingthesame,anIntrovertedpersonis2.6timesmorelikelytohaveahighIQ
thanonewhoisExtraverted;aThinking(logicoriented)personis4.5timesmorelikelytohavea
highIQthanaFeeling(peopleoriented)person;andaJudgingperson(onewhoseeksclosure)is1.6
timesaslikelytohaveahighIQthanaPerceivingperson(onewholikestokeephisoptionsopen).
Moreover,ifyouencounteranINTJ,thereisa22%probabilitythathisIQplaceshiminthetop2
percentofthepopulation.(Disclosure:IamanINTJ.)NextareINTP,at14%;ENTJ,8%;ENTP,
5%;andINFJ,5%.(ThenexthighesttypeistheINFPat3%.)Thefivetypes(INTJ,INTP,ENTJ,
ENTP,andINFJ)accountfor78%ofthehighIQpopulationbutonly15%ofthetotalpopulation.**
FourofthefivemostintelligenttypesareNTs,asonewouldexpect,giventheprobabilitiescited
above.ThosesameprobabilitiesleadtothedominanceofINTJsandINTPs,whichaccountfor49%
oftheMensamembershipbutonly5%ofthegeneralpopulation.**
PersonswiththeSpreferencebringuptherear,whenitcomestotakingIQtests.**

ApersonwhoencounteredthispostwhenitwasatLibertyCornerclaims

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ApersonwhoencounteredthispostwhenitwasatLibertyCornerclaims
(http://newsgroups.derkeiler.com/Archive/Rec/rec.org.mensa/200701/msg00052.html)thatone
wouldexpecttoseethewholespectrumofintelligenceswithineachpersonalitytype.Well,one
doesseejustthat,buthighintelligenceisskewedtowardthefivetypeslistedabove.Iamnot
claimingthatasmallsubsetofMBTItypesaccountsforallhighIQpersons,noramIclaimingthat
asmallsubsetofMBTItypesispopulatedentirelybyhighIQpersons.
IacknowledgereservationsaboutMBTI,suchasthosediscussed
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MyersBriggs_Type_Indicator#Criticism)intheWikipediaarticle.An
inherentshortcomingofpsychologicaltests(asopposedtointelligencetests)isthattheyrelyon
subjectiveresponses(e.g.,myfavoritecolormightbeblacktodayandbluetomorrow).ButIdo
notacceptthiscriticism:
[S]omeresearchersexpectedthatscoreswouldshowabimodaldistribution
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bimodal_distribution)withpeaksneartheendsofthescales,butfound
thatscoresontheindividualsubscaleswereactuallydistributedinacentrallypeakedmannersimilarto
anormaldistribution(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normal_distribution).Acutoffexistsatthecenter
ofthesubscalesuchthatascoreononesideisclassifiedasonetype,andascoreontheothersideasthe
oppositetype.Thisfailstosupporttheconceptoftype:thenormisforpeopletolienearthemiddleofthe
[6](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MyersBriggs_Type_Indicator#cite_noteMcCrae5)[7]
subscale.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MyersBriggs_Type_Indicator#cite_noteStricker6)[8]
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MyersBriggs_Type_Indicator#cite_noteMatthews7)[33]
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MyersBriggs_Type_Indicator#cite_notePittenger32)[42]
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MyersBriggs_Type_Indicator#cite_noteharvey41)
Whywasitwasexpectedthatscoresonasubscale(E/I,S/N,T/F,J/P)wouldshowabimodal
distribution?Howoftendoesoneencounterapersonwhoisattheextremeendofanysubscale?
Notoften,Iwager,exceptinplaceswheresuchextremesarelikelytobeclustered(e.g.,Extraverts
inactingclasses,Introvertsinmonasteries).Thecutoffatthecenterofeachsubscaleisarbitrary;
itsimplyaffordsashorthandcharacterizationofapersonsdominanttraits.Butanyonewhotakes
anMBTI(orequivalentinstrument)isgivenhisscoresoneachofthesubscales,sothatheknows
thestrength(orweakness)ofhistendencies.
Regardingotherpointsofcriticism:Itispossible,ofcourse,thatapersonwhoisfamiliarwith
MBTItendstoseeinothersthecharacteristicsoftheirknownMBTItypes(i.e.,confirmationbias
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias)).Buthasthattendencybeenconfirmedby
rigoroustesting?Suchtestingwouldexaminethecontrarycase,thatis,theabilityofapersonto
predictthetypeofapersonwhomheknowswell(e.g.,acoworkerorrelative).Thesupposed
vaguenessofthedescriptionsofthe16typesarisesfromthecomplexityofhumanpersonality;but
therearedifferencesamongthedescriptions,justastherearedifferencesamongindividuals.If
onlyhalf(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MyersBriggs_Type_Indicator#cite_noteCarskadon40)of
thepersonswhotaketheMBTIareabletoguesstheirtypesbeforetakingit,doesthatinvalidate
MBTIordoesitpointtoamorelikelyphenomenon,namely,thatintrospectionisapersonality
relatedtrait,onethatismorecommonamongIntrovertsthanExtraverts.AgoodMBTI

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instrumentcutsthroughselfdeceptionandselfflatterybyaskingthesamesetofquestionsin
manydifferentways,andinwaysthatdonotmakeanyparticularanswerseemliketheright
one.
MyconsiderableexposuretohighIQscientistsin30yearsofworkingwiththemissuggestive.
MostofthemseemedtoexhibitthetraitsofINTJsandINTPs.AndthosewhotookanMBTItest
werefoundtobeINTJsandINTPs.
IQANDPOLITICS
Itishardtofindclear,conciseanalysesoftherelationshipbetweenIQandpoliticalleanings.I
offerthefollowinginevidencethatveryhighIQindividualsleanstronglytowardlibertarian
positions.
TheTripleNineSociety(TNS)limitsitsmembershiptopersonswithIQsinthetop0.1%ofthe
population.Inanundatedsurvey(probablyconductedin2000,giventhequestionsaboutthe
perceivedintelligenceofcertainpresidentialcandidates),membersofTNSgavetheirviewson
severaltopics(inadditiontospeculatingaboutthecandidatesintelligence):subsidies,taxation,
civilregulation,businessregulation,healthcare,regulationofgeneticengineering,dataprivacy,
deathpenalty,anduseofmilitaryforce.
Theresults(http://www.triplenine.org/poll/index.html)speakforthemselves.Thosemembersof
TNSwhotookthesurveyclearlyhavestrong(ifnotunanimous)libertarianleanings.
THERIGHTISSMARTERTHANTHELEFT
Icountlibertariansaspartoftherightbecauselibertariansantistatistviewsarealignedwiththe
viewsofthetraditional(smallgovernment)conservativeswhoareusuallyRepublicans.Having
saidthat,theresultsreportedinIQandPoliticsleadmetosuspectthattherightissmarterthan
theleft,leftwingpropagandatothecontrarynotwithstanding.Thereisadditionalevidencefor
myview.
AsitecalledPersonalityPage(http://www.personalitypage.com/)offerssomedata
(http://www.personalitypage.com/political_affil.html)aboutpersonalitytypeandpolitical
affiliation.Thesampleisnotrepresentativeofthepopulationasawhole;theaverageageof
respondentsis25,andintrovertedpersonalitiesareoverrepresented(asyoumightexpectfora
testthatisapparentlyselfadministeredthroughawebsite).Ontheotherhand,theresultsare
probablyunbiasedwithrespecttointelligencebecausethedataaboutpersonalitytypewerenot
collectedaspartofastudythatattemptstorelatepoliticalviewsandintelligence,andthereis
nothingonthesitetoindicatealeftwingbias.(Psychologists,whotendtowardleftism,havea
knackformakingconservativeslookbad,asdiscussedhere
(http://libertycorner.blogspot.com/2006/02/conservatismlibertarianismand.html),here
(http://libertycorner.blogspot.com/2007/12/fscalerevisited.html),andhere
(http://politicsandprosperity.wordpress.com/2010/06/09/thepsychologistwhoplayedgod/).If
thereisastrongassociationbetweenpoliticalviewsandintelligence,itisfoundamongsocalled
intellectuals(http://politicsandprosperity.wordpress.com/2010/12/08/intellectualsandsocietya
review/),wheretheherdmentalityreignssupreme.)
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ThedataprovidedbyPersonalityPagearebasedontheresponsesof1,222individualswhotooka
60questionpersonalitytestthatdeterminedtheirMBTItypes(seeIQandPersonality).Thetest
takerswereaskedtostatetheirpoliticalpreferences,giventhesechoices:Democrat,Republican,
middleoftheroad,liberal,conservative,libertarian,notpolitical,andother.Politicalselflabelling
isanexerciseinsubjectivity.Nevertheless,individualswhocallthemselvesDemocratsorliberals
(theleft)arealmostcertainlydistinct,politically,fromindividualswhocallthemselves
Republicans,conservatives,orlibertarians(theright).
Now,tothemoneyquestion:Giventhedistributionofpersonalitytypesontheleftandright,
whichdistributionismorelikelytoproducemembersofMensa?Theanswer:Thosewhoself
identifyaspersonsoftherightare15%morelikelytoqualifyformembershipinMensathan
thosewhoselfidentifyaspersonsoftheleft.Thisresultisplausiblebecauseitisconsistentwith
thepronouncedantigovernmenttendenciesoftheveryhighIQmembersoftheTripleNine
Society(seeIQandPolitics).
REPUBLICANS(ANDLIBERTARIANS)AREHAPPIERTHANDEMOCRATS
ThatstatementfollowsfromresearchbythePewResearchCenter(http://pewresearch.org/)(Are
WeHappyYet?(http://pewresearch.org/pubs/301/arewehappyyet)February13,2006)and
Gallup(http://www.gallup.com/)(RepublicansReportMuchBetterHealthThanOthers
(http://www.gallup.com/poll/102943/RepublicansReportMuchBetterMentalHealthThan
Others.aspx),November30,2007).
Pewreports:
Some45%ofallRepublicansreportbeingveryhappy,comparedwithjust30%ofDemocratsand29%
ofindependents.Thisfindinghasalsobeenaroundalongtime;Republicanshavebeenhappierthan
Democrats(http://pewresearch.org/pubs/?ChartID=39)everyyearsincetheGeneralSocialSurvey
begantakingitsmeasurementsin1972.
Ofcourse,theresamoreobviousexplanationfortheRepublicanshappinessedge.Republicanstendto
havemoremoneythanDemocrats,andaswevealreadydiscoveredpeoplewhohavemoremoney
tendtobehappier.
Buteventhisexplanationonlygoessofar.Ifonecontrolsforhouseholdincome
(http://pewresearch.org/pubs/?ChartID=8),Republicansstillholdasignificantedge:thatis,poor
RepublicansarehappierthanpoorDemocrats;middleincomeRepublicansarehappierthanmiddle
incomeDemocrats,andrichRepublicansarehappierthanrichDemocrats.
Gallupaddsthis:
Republicansaresignificantlymorelikelytoreportexcellentmentalhealththanareindependentsor
Democratsamongthosemakinglessthan$50,000ayear,andamongthosemakingatleast$50,000a
year.RepublicansarealsomorelikelythanindependentsandDemocratstoreportexcellentmental
healthwithinallfourcategoriesofeducationalattainment.
Thereisalotmoreinbothsources.Readthemforyourself.
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WhywouldRepublicansbehappierthanDemocrats?Heresmythought,Republicanstendtobe
conservativeorlibertarian(atleastwithrespecttominimizinggovernmentsroleineconomic
affairs).Ireferyoutoapost(http://libertycorner.blogspot.com/2004/06/libertarianconservatives
arefrom.html)inwhichIdiscussedThomasSowellsAConflictofVisions:
Hepositstwoopposingvisions:theunconstrainedvision(Iwouldcallittheidealisticvision)andthe
constrainedvision(whichIwouldcalltherealisticvision).AsSowellexplains,attheendofchapter2:
Thedichotomybetweenconstrainedandunconstrainedvisionsisbasedonwhetherornotinherent
limitationsofmanareamongthekeyelementsincludedineachvision.Thesedifferentwaysof
conceivingmanandtheworldleadnotmerelytodifferentconclusionsbuttosharplydivergent,
oftendiametricallyopposed,conclusionsonissuesrangingfromjusticetowar.
Idealists(liberals)areboundtobelesshappythanrealists(conservativesandlibertarians)
becauseidealistsexpectationsabouthumanaccomplishments(aidedbygovernment)arehigher
thanthoseofrealists,andsoidealistsaredoomedtodisappointment.
AllofthisisconsistentwithfindingsreportedbylawprofessorJamesLindgren:
[C]omparedtoantiredistributionists,strongredistributionistshaveabouttwotothreetimeshigher
oddsofreportingthatinthepriorsevendaystheywereangry,madatsomeone,outraged,sad,lonely,
andhadtroubleshakingtheblues.Similarly,antiredistributionistshadabouttwotofourtimeshigher
oddsofreportingbeinghappyoratease.Notonlydoredistributionistsreportmoreanger,butthey
reportthattheirangerlastslonger.Whenaskedaboutthelasttimetheywereangry,strong
redistributionistsweremorethantwiceaslikelyasstrongopponentsoflevelingtoadmitthatthey
respondedtotheirangerbyplottingrevenge.Last,bothredistributionistsandanticapitalistsexpressed
loweroverallhappiness,lesshappymarriages,andlowersatisfactionwiththeirfinancialsituationsand
withtheirjobsorhousework.(FromtheabstractofNorthwesternLawandEconomicsResearchPaper
0629,WhatDrivesViewsonGovernmentRedistributionandAntiCapitalism:EnvyoraDesirefor
SocialDominance?(http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=945932),March15,2011.)
THEBOTTOMLINE
IfyouareveryintelligentwithanIQthatputsyouinthetop2%ofthepopulationyouare
mostlikelytobeanINTJ,INTP,ENTJ,ENTP,orINFJ,inthatorder.Yourpoliticswillleanheavily
towardlibertarianismorsmallgovernmentconservatism.YouprobablyvoteRepublicanmostof
thetimebecause,evenifyouarenotacardcarryingRepublican,youareastaunchanti
Democrat.Andyouareahappypersonbecauseyourexpectationsarenotconstantlydefeatedby
reality.
***
Relatedpost:IntelligenceasaDirtyWord
(http://politicsandprosperity.wordpress.com/2011/07/08/intelligenceasadirtyword/)
***
Footnotes:
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*IapologizefornothavingdocumentedthesourceofthestatisticsthatIcitehere.Idimlyrecall
findingthemonorviathewebsite(http://www.us.mensa.org//AM/Template.cfm?Section=Home)
ofAmericanMensa,butIamnotcertainofthat.AndIcannolongerfindthesourcebysearching
theweb.Ididtranscribethestatisticstoaspreadsheet,whichIstillhave.So,thenumbersarereal,
eveniftheirsourceisnowlosttome.
**EstimatesofthedistributionofMBTItypesintheU.S.populationaregivenintwotableson
page4ofEstimatedFrequenciesoftheTypesintheUnitedStatesPopulation
(http://www.capt.org/products/examples/20025HO.pdf),publishedbytheCenterfor
ApplicationsofPsychologicalType(http://www.capt.org/).Onetablegivesestimatesofthe
distributionofthepopulationbypreference(E,I,N,S,etc.).Theothertablegiveestimatesofthe
distributionofthepopulationamongall16MBTItypes.ThestatisticsformembersofMensawere
brokendownbypreferences,notbytypes;thereforeIhadtousethevaluesforpreferencesto
estimatethefrequenciesofthe16typesamongmembersofMensa.Forconsistency,Iusedthe
distributionofthepreferencesamongtheU.S.populationtoestimatethefrequenciesofthe16
typesamongthepopulation,ratherthanusethefrequenciesprovidedforeachtype.Forexample,
thefractionofthepopulationthatisINTJcomesto0.029(2.9%)whenthevaluesforI(0.507),N
(0.267),T(0.402),andJ(0.541)aremultiplied.ButthedetailedtablehasINTJsas2.1%ofthe
population.Insum,therearediscrepanciesbetweenthecomputedandgivenvaluesofthe16
typesinthepopulation.ThemoststrikingdiscrepancyisfortheINFJtype.Whenestimatedfrom
thefrequenciesofthefourpreferences,INFJsare4.4%ofthepopulation;thetableofvaluesforall
16typesgivesthepercentageofINFJsas1.5%.
Usingthedistributiongivenforthe16typesleadstosomewhatdifferentresults:
Thereisa31%probabilitythatanINTJshisIQplaceshiminthetop2percentofthe
population.NextareINFJ,at14%;ENTJ,13%;andINTP,10%.(Thenexthighesttypeisthe
ENTPat4%.)Thefourtypes(INTJ,INFJ,ENTJ,ANDINTP)accountfor72%ofthehighIQ
populationbutonly9%ofthetotalpopulation.Thetopfivetypes(includingENTPs)account
for78%ofthehighIQpopulationbutonly12%ofthetotalpopulation.
FourofthefivemostintelligenttypesareNTs,asonewouldexpect,giventheprobabilities
citedearlier.But,intermsofthelikelihoodofhavinganIQ,thismethodmovesINFJsinto
secondplace,apercentagepointaheadofENTJs.
Inanyevent,thesamefivetypesdominate,andallfivetypeshaveapreferenceforiNtuitive
thinking.
Asbefore,personswiththeSpreferencegenerallylagtheirpeerswhenitcomestoIQtests.
***
Relatedposts:
IntelligenceasaDirtyWord(http://politicsandprosperity.wordpress.com/2011/07/08/intelligence
asadirtyword/)
IntelligenceandIntuition(http://politicsandprosperity.wordpress.com/2011/12/26/intelligence
andintuitio/)
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PostedinCultureLanguageTheArts,ScienceandUnderstandingandtaggedhappiness,
intelligence,iq,iqandpersonality,iqandpolitics,left,mbti,personality,politics,Republicans,
rightonJanuary4,2011byThomas.
BLOGATWORDPRESS.COM.THESUITSTHEME.
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