It’s rude to impugn voter smarts, but the National Institute of Education in Singapore has found low cognitive ability is associated with high conservatism.
At the individual level of analysis, conservatism scores correlate negatively with SAT, Vocabulary, and Analogy test scores.
At the national level of analysis, conservatism scores correlate negatively with measures of education…
The Conservative syndrome describes a person who attaches particular importance to the respect of tradition, humility, devoutness and moderation as well as to obedience, self-discipline and politeness, social order, family, and national security and has a sense of belonging to and a pride in a group with which he or she identifies. A Conservative person also subscribes to conventional religious beliefs and accepts the mystical, including paranormal, experiences. The same person is likely to be less open to intellectual challenges and will be seen as a responsible “good citizen” at work and in the society while expressing rather harsh views toward those outside his or her group.
Stuart Buck at Overcoming Bias asks “Why?”
“If people can’t think clearly about anything that has become part of their identity, then all other things being equal, the best plan is to let as few things into your identity as possible.”