We study the role of socioeconomic status as a mediator of the effect of cognitive ability on ideology based on two large representative database (n = 25,203 and n = 7668). Rather than treating socioeconomic status as an aggregate concept, we examine the different roles of its two components – income and education – in mediating the effect of cognitive ability on ideology. We find that the education-mediated effect of cognitive ability is on liberal ideology is positive whereas the income-mediated effect is negative. The implications of these results for the processes that shape political ideology are discussed.
- Political ideology
- Socioeconomic status