The Atlantic

How Intelligence Leads to Stereotyping

A new study complicates the trope of the stupid bigot.
Source: Steve Lazarides / Reuters

Upon seeing a young man hoisting a Hitler salute in 2017, most people likely do not think, “there goes a Rhodes Scholar.” Racists stereotype other people, for the most part, but there are also stereotypes about racists. And the stereotype about racists is that, well, they’re kind of dumb.

But a new study complicates the narrative that only unintelligent people are prejudiced. The paper, published recently in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, suggests smart people are actually more at risk of stereotyping others.

The study consisted of a series of experiments, all of which suggested that people who performed better on a test of pattern detection—a measure of cognitive ability—were

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