Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Internet Stats Technology

Internet Explorer Users Have Low Risk Intelligence 264

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the lemmings-browsing-the-web dept.
First time accepted submitter benne2011 writes "A hoax report earlier this year claimed that people who used Internet Explorer had a lower IQ than those using other browsers. Inspired by this bit of fun, Projection Point decided to carry out a real study comparing the risk intelligence (RQ) of people using different browsers. We found that Internet Explorer users performed worse than everyone else; they had lower RQ scores and were grossly overconfident."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Internet Explorer Users Have Low Risk Intelligence

Comments Filter:
  • by EdIII (1114411) on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @01:15AM (#38352144)

    So first we called them stupid, and now they are grossly overconfident according to another study.

    I predict the next study will show that their mothers are fatter than average, and ugly.

    • by pipingguy (566974) on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @01:18AM (#38352154) Homepage
      Perhaps many IE users are at work and don't care...
    • by DigiShaman (671371) on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @01:24AM (#38352174) Homepage

      Lets go a step further. Droid users would rather vote for Ron Paul where as Apple users would re-elect Barack Obama. If you're going to throw gasoline onto the fire, at least learn to do it right.

    • by SeaFox (739806) on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @03:21AM (#38352666)

      So first we called them stupid, and now they are grossly overconfident according to another study.

      Don't worry. Most will have to ask someone what "grossly overconfident" means so few will feel the sting.

    • by Ihmhi (1206036)

      Once again, Slashdot continues the tradition of unnecessarily complex story titles. The word "Risk" is unnecessary.

    • by RoLi (141856) on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @04:33AM (#38352950)

      Well, Microsoft said they had "no obligation to return data" [in-other-news.com] to their customers.

      You have to be both grossly overconfident and very naive to do business with that company.

      And to all MS-apologists: No, it is not the case that "everybody does this". Most companies do provide guarantees to their customers, especially when it comes about handling data. What is the point of storing something in "the cloud" when the company boldly tells you that they have "no obligation" to even give you the data back? Of course there are some things where MS cannot be avoided, but it is your choice to minimize or maximize your exposure.

      So when MS screws you over [xda-developers.com], don't complain. Also I just don't get the philosophy to shut down all servers when some deadline runs out - it would cost MS practically zero to just keep the servers running - but no, they must turn everything off to inflict maximum pain for their (hopefully ex-) customers.

    • I predict the next study will show that their mothers are fatter than average, and ugly

      Well, stupid kids are likely to have come from stupid parents, and stupid people are too stupid to stop eating so much when they get fat. And getting fatter almost always makes you uglier. So I wouldn't be surprised by that outcome.

    • by Joce640k (829181)

      now they are grossly overconfident

      Hold my beer and watch this.... (mouseclick)

  • by solune (803114) <`moc.oohay' `ta' `weiveyesetep'> on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @01:17AM (#38352150) Journal
    ...Of my lack of faith in these studies.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Hey, folks! This one here uses Internet Explorer!

    • by michelcolman (1208008) on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @08:09AM (#38353702)

      Well, I've seen worse. It does contain some questionable questions ("There are 7 notes in an octave" is supposedly false, "Norway is the land of the midnight sun" is supposedly true even though the explanation then says that Norway is just one of several countries that bear the title, "Gout is known as the Royal Disease" is supposedly false, note the inconsistency between the Norway and Gout questions) but I e-mailed them and they immediately changed at least one of the questions. Very friendly people, and they confirm the test is still being worked on. They even thanked me for my input with a voucher for the expert test.

      As long as they only include uncontestable questions, I think this idea is actually pretty good and I would expect the results to be a lot more accurate than most other personality tests (which are usually complete rubbish).

  • Where's the test? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cowtamer (311087) on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @01:20AM (#38352164) Journal

    This study would be a lot more believable if they didn't use phrases like " users of monopoly software" and actually linked to the test they gave.

    (For the record, I'm not an IE user either. But the article isn't too far from spelling Microsoft with a dollar sign)

    • by GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @01:37AM (#38352224)
      Yes, why do we care if they're good at Monopoly when that has completely different rules than the Risk?
    • by fluffy99 (870997) on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @02:18AM (#38352394)

      This study would be a lot more believable if they didn't use phrases like " users of monopoly software" and actually linked to the test they gave.

      (For the record, I'm not an IE user either. But the article isn't too far from spelling Microsoft with a dollar sign)

      And perhaps they could give the error margins for their results. I'd put money on the error margin being a lot bigger than differences in the user group results.

    • by LordLucless (582312) on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @02:29AM (#38352444)

      It's not a study. It's an online poll. The participants self-selected

    • by billstewart (78916) on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @03:53AM (#38352808) Journal

      Ok, it's not strictly instead of Firefox and Chrome, but it's my default browser on my primary work machine. I'm currently running VMware Player, with a Linux machine on it, and that runs Firefox, which crashes Way Way Too Often, usually because of Flash. I do most of my web browsing there, and have NoScript, Ghostery, and AdBlock Plus, and usually a couple of other safety tools. And I keep another Virtual Machine around, with a stripped-down Linux distro with Firefox in Private Browsing Mode, which I use to read Facebook, because I don't want Facebook contaminating anything else, stealing cookies and history files, or whatever. (If there's a way to keep VMware Player paged in, using the whole 1GB I have allocated for it, instead of swapping itself out when it's not busy even though there's spare hardware RAM left, I'd appreciate pointers; I haven't found them.)

      I'm also running Chrome natively, mostly for a bunch of electronics blogs like Hackaday, and occasionally for Gmail, and it's really bloated - burns almost 2GB if I have it turned on with my usual set of tabs. I'm not sure I entirely trust Google to behave themselves with Chrome, but they already know everything about my Gmail account (which I don't use for anything sensitive), and the electronics stuff doesn't get much personal information except when I'm buying equipment.

      I used to run Firefox natively as my default browser, but there are a couple of problems with it - it Crashes Way Too Often, and it's also a memory hog (though better than it used to be, and not as bad as Google), and there are a couple of work applications that don't run cleanly except on IE. Until recently, it was my default browser, so if I clicked on a link in an email message, FF would either start from scratch or open another tab, spin the disk for a while while it sucked down memory, and then run, hopefully without crashing itself or crashing something else by hogging memory, and then be its usual friendly self. But I found that usually when I'm clicking on links from my work email, they're either sites I trust, or else they're work related sites like the HR website or web conference bridge that are happier running in IE, and I got tired of that.

      That takes us to IE. It's IE7 because the Desktop Support department at work finally let us use IE7 instead of IE6, but is too scared to go to IE8, at least on Windows XP, and they made their saving throw against Windows Vista a couple of years ago - my next set of hardware will run Win7. And it has tabs, so it's not totally obnoxious to use, and it really doesn't crash much, so it's less obnoxious than Firefox, and it usually doesn't use a lot of memory, because I don't usually let it keep more than a couple of tabs open at a time, though it would happily be a memory pig if I let it.

      (And then there's Safari and Opera, which I used to have installed - the IT department run little scanning robots that rat you out within a day if you install them, for reasons that sound more like the Software License Police rather than the IT department's normal reticence to have useful software running on our machines, and you get a call from some guy in India who's going to walk you through uninstalling them whether you like it or not. So I no longer run them.)

      I suppose there's also Konqueror or other Linux-oriented browsers that I could be running in the Linux VM - are there times it's worth using them instead of Firefox?

      • Memory is there to be used. Are you saying that firefox actually takes memory away from a needy app?
      • I'm currently running VMware Player, with a Linux machine on it, and that runs Firefox, which crashes Way Way Too Often, usually because of Flash. I do most of my web browsing there

        ...followed by...

        I'm also running Chrome natively, mostly for a bunch of electronics blogs like Hackaday, and occasionally for Gmail, and it's really bloated

        ...damn near made my head explode. Chrome is a greater memory hog than running Firefox inside a VM? There's no way you can make me believe that. Unless you're surfing child porn, your browsing setup is way over-paranoid for your stated goals. And if you are chasing unsavory content, then you've built a nice "LOOK AT ME I'M OVER HERE!" system for the authorities to dig through.

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        Um, your experience doesn't mirror mine at all. FF crashes on both Linux and Win 7, but only when Flash is running. Open your task list in XP, open TWO (you don't need any more) tabs with Yahoo News and your memory useage is pegged at WAY over a GB; we have IE7 on XP at work and three open yahoo news tabs locks the computer up.

        And you know what? I don't believe you're running IE7 because slashdot is almost completely hosed in IE7. Go to slashdot.org/journal.pl?op=list&uid=[your user ID] ande play "catch

    • The link to the test is at the bottom of the article.

      Problem with the test however is that it is American centric, lots of stuff a non-American is less likely to know like the starting line of the decleration of independence. I guessed that the given sentence is not it because that is what everyone thinks and in these kinds of things, what everyone thinks is always wrong but it was a guess, not something I actually once learned in school or read because it was relevant to me... oh wait, that is just like an

      • by cowtamer (311087)

        The link to the test is at the bottom of the article.

        They must have put it up after the article posted on Slashdot -- I do not believe it was there before. Or perhaps it's hidden from my version of Chrome! :)

      • Knowing the answers to the questions doesn't affect the outcome of the test.

      • Which is funny because they are actually based in Ireland. Not that it matters that much: if you don't know the answers, you just reply 50% and this will actually improve your score. In fact, you might even say it gives a disadvantage to Americans!
    • Yes, especially because apparently Safari users came out on top above FireFox and others. Monopoly software? Not that I consider Apple to be a monopoly, but I would give it a higher "percentage" than FireFox.
  • {Shudder} (Score:4, Funny)

    by Black Parrot (19622) on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @01:22AM (#38352168)

    What if some of them also watch FOX News?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by smart_ass (322852)

      Watching is OK ... its believing that can get you in trouble.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Mashiki (184564)

      I think it'd be more of an issue for the masses that watch MSNBC, or listen to NPR.

      • by T.E.D. (34228)
        "Masses?" Both of those networks combined have lower ratings that any aired episode of "Hello Larry".
  • Of the people that bought cars this last year, the ones that bought electric cars are more educated on environment issues than those that bought sports cars.

    • by Dracos (107777)

      So how do Tesla Roadster buyers fit into that?

    • by fotbr (855184)

      Educated and caring are two different things.

      In my case, I simply don't give a rat's ass, and will have the car that's actually fun to drive -- and also still happens to manage 30+ mpg combined highway & city.

      Then again, if by "sports cars" you mean the return of ill-handling V8 powered land yachts, you may very well be right.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @01:24AM (#38352182)

    firefox users think they are smart,
    chrome users are the douchebags of the internet,
    opera users are superficial,
    safari users are fashion hippies with deep pockets or high credit bills
    and ofcourse....
    netscape users are still on dial-up and
    bbs users have something naughty to hide

  • Not fair. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by slackware 3.6 (2524328) on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @01:31AM (#38352210)
    Most of your Window users are technologically illiterate. IE is there it works why fart around with it. To use a sort of car analogy how many people look under the hood of their car? Never mind improve it beyond stock. Now I bet the guys that heavily modify their cars have higher intelligence than the average stiff. Any person inclined to tinker with or improve things most likely is smarter than the average Joe. Average Joe is most likely to push the largest shiniest button with a flashing red light whatever the case may be, especially is the button say "Do not touch".
    • by bmo (77928)

      To use a sort of car analogy how many people look under the hood of their car?

      Wait, what? I thought this is a rite of passage for anyone buying his first car and showing it off to his buddies - pop the hood and everyone stands around looking at the engine. Beer in hand.

      Not that half the people looking know what they're looking at, but that's besides the point.

      Now I bet the guys that heavily modify their cars have higher intelligence than the average stiff.

      It's got nothing to do with intelligence, and ever

      • I thought this is a rite of passage for anyone buying his first car and showing it off to his buddies - pop the hood and everyone stands around looking at the engine.

        That's kind of pointless these days. If you open the hood on a modern car, usually all you get to see is a big piece of black plastic covering up anything of interest. I'm not sure why.

    • Re:Not fair. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by jrumney (197329) on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @02:56AM (#38352556) Homepage

      Most of your Window users are technologically illiterate. IE is there it works why fart around with it.

      Yes, but ... I'd have expected the opposite result myself - technologically illiterate people who are risk adverse would be more likely to not try installing third party software on their PCs. Overconfident types would install every browser from everywhere without consideration for where it came from and what trojans it might harbour.

      Of course, it could be that this study is just as much of a hoax as the original.

    • by JWSmythe (446288)

      Hey, I resemble that remark. :)

      As a matter of fact, I ordered parts to upgrade one of my cars, which hopefully will be here by the weekend. And ya, I tune my PCs and their OSs to work better than average. And if I ever found a button that said "Do not touch", I'd probably just ask why, and/or investigate the reason for it. No button would ever be installed to never use. Obviously that switch has a purpose, and an intended time to be used. :)

      Average Joe wou

    • To use a sort of car analogy how many people look under the hood of their car?

      So you can open the cover of your car? Doesn't that void the warranty?

      • by lennier1 (264730)

        Better to wait until Apple produces a car where you can't even open the hood.

        • Volvo is way ahead of you with the YCC [bbc.co.uk]:

          The whole front of the car is moulded in one piece which can be removed only by a Volvo mechanic.

          In fact, a Spanish software magazine had an editorial article where they used it for a car analogy with MS ;)

    • by dbIII (701233)
      Since most of the results of intelligence are really a sign of getting out there and doing something you do have a point. People that know shitloads about modifying cars are people that have gone to the effort to know shitloads about something.
  • by Pubstar (2525396) on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @01:40AM (#38352232)
    From Wikipedia: The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which unskilled people make poor decisions and reach erroneous conclusions, but their incompetence denies them the metacognitive ability to recognize their mistakes. The unskilled therefore suffer from illusory superiority, rating their ability as above average, much higher than it actually is, while the highly skilled underrate their own abilities, suffering from illusory inferiority. Dunning-Kruger Effect [wikipedia.org] Study was done in 99, so they are only 12 years late on this one.
    • by fluffy99 (870997)

      From Wikipedia:
      The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which unskilled people make poor decisions and reach erroneous conclusions, but their incompetence denies them the metacognitive ability to recognize their mistakes. The unskilled therefore suffer from illusory superiority, rating their ability as above average, much higher than it actually is, while the highly skilled underrate their own abilities, suffering from illusory inferiority.
      Dunning-Kruger Effect [wikipedia.org]

      Study was done in 99, so they are only 12 years late on this one.

      So that explains why 85% of drivers consider their driving skills to be above average.

    • by mcrbids (148650) on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @02:48AM (#38352532) Journal

      The Dunning-Kruger effect is perhaps the most useful effect to use when trying to make sense of modern politics. Listen to any die-hard politico, and the more sure they are of their response, the more certain you can be of how inexperienced they are.

      In today's politics, a sure, unwavering certainty is almost a sure sign of success: a "flip flopper" will get nowhere, (Mitt Romney, John Kerry take note) while idiots who never change their opinions (EG: George Bush Jr) get lots of press for "holding true" despite all the evidence to the contrary.

      So, the loudest political advocates are either the idiots, or somewhat less loudly, those who actually have some idea what's going on. For those who just want to "do the right thing", without a lot of effort, it's damnably difficult to tell the difference.

      • "The Dunning-Kruger effect is perhaps the most useful effect to use when trying to make sense of modern politics."

        That's one part of the equation, here is the other - human reasoning doesn't work like the enlightenment thought it did:

        http://bit.ly/dYaWUc [bit.ly]

      • I'm not sure that that is inevitable though. I think it would be possible for a politician to be successful and still avoid perpetually lying. Most political lies come about because politicians promise something and then it turns out for various reasons that they can't deliver on it, or they end up bargaining that promise away in exchange for achieving something else that they consider has a higher priority. But think it would be interesting if politicians started using different language; "I'll do my b
  • I'm sure Opera is missing because all 17 users saw no point in taking the test. -posted from Opera Mobile
  • by UBfusion (1303959) on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @02:26AM (#38352424)

    From their website: "We define Risk Intelligence as the ability to estimate probabilities accurately."

    Are they not aware of the pioneering and Nobel prize awarded studies of Tversky and Kahnemann in the 70's which demonstrated beyond any doubt that humans are terrible at estimating any kind of probability (especially risk-related ones)?

    What about the 10-step percentage scale they used? Seriously, is any person able to differentiate between being "70% sure" and "80% sure" regarding any statement?

    What about latent variables like the OS used? How can one possibly compare any feature of a Windows user with features of Mac or Linux user?

    I can't locate any samples of the questionnaire used and I don't need to see any, because I'm 89.345943% sure they don't know what they're talking about.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      What about the 10-step percentage scale they used? Seriously, is any person able to differentiate between being "70% sure" and "80% sure" regarding any statement?

      I play a lot of DnD, and it's amazing how useful knowing that sort of shit is for your saving throws.

    • by binarstu (720435)

      I can't locate any samples of the questionnaire used and I don't need to see any, because I'm 89.345943% sure they don't know what they're talking about.

      Not only that, but I didn't see anything about how the study subjects were selected or how balanced the numbers of subjects in each category were. And there appeared to be no real statistical analysis of the results at all. Without a lot more information, I don't see how this qualified as front page material on Slashdot.

  • If there is any validity to this kind of study, it is merely detecting that people who use IE tend to be late adopters to new technology and that late adopters have many other properties, including low "risk intelligence". I'd also expect them to be outside of the 18-49 demographic.
  • by queazocotal (915608) on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @03:39AM (#38352756)

    The study size was 350 participants.

    If you break down the percentages, they are variations of two or three people in each sample.

    This is so far from statistically significant, it's laughable.

  • I do not believe that his anything to do with users' IQ.

    I believe it has everything to do with this [linuxinsider.com].

HOLY MACRO!

Working...