The Washington Post reports today that a new study shows that when people self-identify themselves as of a certain gender or race on tests, their performance deteriorates.
Women score much lower on math tests if they are first asked unrelated questions about gender issues. The phenomenon is called “stereotype threat” — a kind of performance anxiety discovered in 1995 when psychologists found that black students at Stanford University did significantly worse on intelligence tests if they were first asked to identify their race on the test form.
Since then, dozens of other experiments have confirmed that subtly cuing women or minorities to think subconsciously about their sex or race causes them do poorly in areas where the stereotype suggests they are weak.
Researchers building on this study have also found a correlation between people who identify with a certain political party and historical intelligence, although this study is secret and GOP operatives are hoping to bury the findings. Commonwealth Commonsense obtained a copy of this study after filing a Freedom of Information Act request with the Fox News research department, which reportedly employs dozens of female researchers, all reachable through 900 phone numbers. Bill O’Reilly uses their services often.
People were asked questions about history after they were asked to state whether they were a Republican or Democrat. The study found that those who answered “Republican” and had IQs at or above the norm (the study surveyed 47,564,058 Republicans before coming up with the required 300-person sample) had a peculiar sense of history. Following are some of the questions asked:
Which of the following political parties evolved into today’s Democratic Party?
a) Whigs b) Republicans c) Federalists d) Nazis
97% of respondents chose “d.” 3% chose all of the above.
Who is Saddam Hussein?
a) the past leader of Iraq b) Osama bin Laden’s son from his first marriage c) Muqtada al-Sadr’s father d) president of Hussein & Sons WMD, Inc.
83% said all of the above. 12% excluded “b” because Hussein is a bastard whose mother can’t remember his father, and 5% excluded “c” because they said Hussein is probably gay.
Who started the War of Terror?
a) Osama bin Laden b) Saddam Hussein c) His Bowl La, a terrorists group whose cover is a gay bowling alley in Arlington, Va. d) Democrats
97% of Republicans said this was a trick question because bin Laden and Hussein are Democrats. 3% said all of the above because if it’s a business in Arlington, it must be a gay Democratic front group.
Whatever happened to legitimate opposition to the Bush foreign policy strategy? They’ve become:
a) Communists b) Guantanamo guests c) reporters d) The “silent majority.”
93% said this was a trick question because there never was any opposition to Bush’s view of the world. 7% said all but “c” because reporters were never legitimate anything.
Who started the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?
a) Arabs who squatted on the Jewish homeland for 2,000 years in violation of UN resolutions b) Germans dressed up like Arabs c) Koreans and Arabs who wanted to establish grocery stores in the African-American section of Tel Aviv.
20% chose “a”; 15% chose “b”; 8% chose “c”; but most wrote in “Mel Gibson.”
Why didn’t George W. Bush fight in Vietnam?
a) He was saving himself for Saddam Hussein b) The jungle is too thick for biking trials c) Few Saigon bars knew how to fix a “Texas Twister,” which is a tequila drink with the glass rim dipped in cocaine d) Bush is a coward.
Most Republicans got this one right, choosing “d,” because most of them didn’t go to Vietnam either and in their hearts knew why.
Who did the Bush administration offer in exchange for the two journalists who were recently freed in Iraq?
a) Keith Olberman b) Ned Lamont c) Tony Armas and a player to be named later d) Karen Hughes.
Most Republicans didn’t get this one right. It’s Karen Hughes. Think about it: Have you heard of her doing anything lately, like winning the PR war in the Middle East? Actually, she volunteered to go so as to infiltrate the terrorists’ PR machine. Once she gets her hands on it, they’ll start losing the war.
Which PR firm did FDR hire to win World War II?
a) Lee Atwater, LTD b) K. Rove & Ancestors c) the same one employed by Paris Hilton’s grandfather d) None of the above.
Most Republicans left this one blank because they didn’t know who FDR was or why he was important or when WW II was (although almost half knew it was after WW I).
Who was Mohammed?
a) An Iraqi who died in a Baghdad bombing today b) An Iraqi who died in a Baghdad bombing yesterday c) An Iraqi who died in a Baghdad bombing the day before and the day before that and the day before that… d) The guy who nailed Christ to the cross.
Most Republicans weren’t sure of this one but guessed it must be “d.”
The lesson here is that when you take a history quiz, don’t admit you’re a Republican. It messes with your head.