University of Oulu

Saarinen, A., Keltikangas-Järvinen, L., Dobewall, H., Cloninger, C. R., Ahola-Olli, A., Lehtimäki, T., Hutri-Kähönen, N., Raitakari, O., Rovio, S., & Ravaja, N. (2022). Does social intolerance vary according to cognitive styles, genetic cognitive capacity, or education? Brain and Behavior, 12, e2704.

Does social intolerance vary according to cognitive styles, genetic cognitive capacity, or education?

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Author: Saarinen, Aino1; Keltikangas-Järvinen, Liisa1; Dobewall, Henrik1,2,3;
Organizations: 1Faculty of Medicine, Department of Psychology and Logopedics, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
2Research Unit of Psychology, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
3Department of Clinical Chemistry, Fimlab Laboratories and Finnish Cardiovascular Research Center, Tampere, Finland
4Department of Psychiatry, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri
5Department of Internal Medicine, Satasairaala Central Hospital, Pori, Finland
6Psychiatric and Neurodevelopmental Genetics Unit, Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
7Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM), University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
8Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology, Tampere University, Tampere, Finland
9Tampere Centre for Skills Training and Simulation, Tampere University, Tampere, Finland
10Centre for Population Health Research, University of Turku and Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland
11Research Centre of Applied and Preventive Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
12Department of Clinical Physiology and Nuclear Medicine, Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.5 MB)
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Language: English
Published: John Wiley & Sons, 2022
Publish Date: 2023-06-08


Background: Low education, low cognitive abilities, and certain cognitive styles are suggested to predispose to social intolerance and prejudices. Evidence is, however, restricted by comparatively small samples, neglect of confounding variables and genetic factors, and a narrow focus on a single sort of prejudice. We investigated the relationships of education, polygenic cognitive potential, cognitive performance, and cognitive styles with social intolerance in adulthood over a 15-year follow-up.

Methods: We used data from the prospective population-based Young Finns Study (n = 960‒1679). Social intolerance was evaluated with the Social Intolerance Scale in 1997, 2001, and 2011; cognitive performance with the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery in 2011; cognitive styles in 1997; and socioeconomic factors in 1980 (childhood) and 2011 (adulthood); and polygenic cognitive potential was calculated based on genome-wide association studies.

Results: We found that nonrational thinking, polygenic cognitive potential, cognitive performance, or socioeconomic factors were not related to social intolerance. Regarding cognitive styles, low flexibility (B = –0.759, p < .001), high perseverance (B = 1.245, p < .001), and low persistence (B = –0.329, p < .001) predicted higher social intolerance consistently in the analyses.

Discussion: When developing prejudice-reduction interventions, it should be considered that educational level or cognitive performance may not be crucial for development of social intolerance. Adopting certain cognitive styles may play more important roles in development of social intolerance.

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Series: Brain and behavior
ISSN: 2162-3279
ISSN-E: 2162-3279
ISSN-L: 2162-3279
Volume: 12
Issue: 9
Article number: e2704
DOI: 10.1002/brb3.2704
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 515 Psychology
Funding: The Young Finns Study has been financially supported by the Academy of Finland: grants 322098, 286284, 134309 (Eye), 126925, 121584, 124282, 129378 (Salve), 117787 (Gendi), and 41071 (Skidi); the Social Insurance Institution of Finland; Competitive State Research Financing of the Expert Responsibility area of Kuopio, Tampere and Turku University Hospitals (grant X51001); Juho Vainio Foundation; Paavo Nurmi Foundation; Finnish Foundation for Cardiovascular Research; Finnish Cultural Foundation; The Sigrid Juselius Foundation; Tampere Tuberculosis Foundation; Emil Aaltonen Foundation; Yrjö Jahnsson Foundation; Signe and Ane Gyllenberg Foundation; Diabetes Research Foundation of Finnish Diabetes Association. This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreements No 848146 for To Aition and grant agreement 755320 for TAXINOMISIS; European Research Council (grant 742927 for MULTIEPIGEN project); Tampere University Hospital Supporting Foundation and Finnish Society of Clinical Chemistry.
Copyright information: © 2022 The Authors. Brain and Behavior published by Wiley Periodicals LLC. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.