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Right-wing ideology and numeracy: A perception of greater ability, but poorer performance

Becky L. Choma, David Sumantry and Yaniv Hanoch

Judgment and Decision Making, 2019, vol. 14, issue 4, 412-422

Abstract: Right-wing ideology and cognitive ability, including objective numeracy, have been found to relate negatively. Although objective and subjective numeracy correlate positively, it is unclear whether subjective numeracy relates to political ideology in the same way. Replicating and extending previous research, across two samples of American adults (ns = 455, 406), those who performed worse on objective numeracy tasks scored higher on right-wing authoritarianism (RWA) and social dominance orientation (SDO), and they self-identified as more conservative on general, social, and economic continua. Controlling for objective numeracy, subjective numeracy related positively to measures of right-wing ideologies. In other words, those who strongly (vs. weakly) endorsed right-wing ideologies believed they are good with numbers yet performed worse on numeracy tasks. We discuss implications for the opposing direction of associations between ideology with objective versus subjective numeracy and similarities with literature on overconfidence.

Keywords: cognitive reflection; overconfidence; political ideology; numeracy; right-wing authoritarianism; social dominance orientation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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Handle: RePEc:jdm:journl:v:14:y:2019:i:4:p:412-422