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The Internet Idle Technology

Study Compares IQ With Browser Choice 380

rennerik writes "A recent study of 100,000 people taking IQ tests compared the scores with which browser the person uses on a regular basis. On average, Internet Explorer users fared the worst, with IE6 users at the bottom of the pile and IE8 users performing slightly better. Firefox, Chrome and Safari fell in the middle with little difference between them. IE with Chrome Frame and Camino landed on top, along with Opera, whose users scored the highest"
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Study Compares IQ With Browser Choice

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  • by Sun ( 104778 ) on Sunday July 31, 2011 @01:30PM (#36940022) Homepage

    The smaller the sample group, the more intelligent the average in it, in all recent "technology vs. intelligence" studies. Can we just deduct that the less intelligent flow with the crowd, the more intelligent actually pick what's best for them, and call it quits?


    • No. If it makes me feel superior to IE users, the story must run.

      • We already know we're "superior". We're geeks: we're smarter than average (in terms of IQ at least) basically by definition. The more obscure and geeky the browser, the better the mean IQ of the userbase.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 31, 2011 @02:05PM (#36940274)

          Smarter by ego, not by definiton.

        • by Jurily ( 900488 ) <jurily&gmail,com> on Sunday July 31, 2011 @02:27PM (#36940410)

          > We're geeks: we're smarter than average (in terms of IQ at least) basically by definition.

          Bullshit. We've just invested significant time and effort into understanding computers. Does that make us smarter than people getting really good at other areas of their life?

          • by Spy Handler ( 822350 ) on Sunday July 31, 2011 @02:47PM (#36940542) Homepage Journal
            no, but it does put us in a group which develops a good understanding of something. So while we might not necessarily be smarter than the medical group or the junk bond group, we're definitely smarter than the average joe that doesn't have a good understanding of anything.
            • by Zencyde ( 850968 )
              Well played, sir.
            • by woolio ( 927141 )

              The average joe probably knows all the details of the a particular play during 1984 by a Pittsburg NFL team.

              [I for one, have no understanding of why the rest of the United States is so damn fond of watching 'football']

              • by RazorSharp ( 1418697 ) on Sunday July 31, 2011 @09:47PM (#36942950)

                [I for one, have no understanding of why the rest of the United States is so damn fond of watching 'football']

                Do you understand why many geeks are so fond of chess? How about Starcraft? It's the same reason football is so popular. Believe it or not, these games have a whole lot in common. In each case Sun Tzu's Art of War can be used as a strategy guide. Football fans are no different than S. Korean Starcraft fans despite the vast differences in lifestyle.

                People - men in particular - love simulating war.

                • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                  by rtb61 ( 674572 )

                  The reality is they have very little in common. Computer games are all largely participatory based, participation being largely driven by enjoying the game play. Jock strap games are largely spectator based, with spectator numbers largely driven by mass marketing (you know the crap, watch the "heroes", watch the ladies in revealing outfits, drink beer, drink more beer, drink even more beer and pretend your a hero out there on the field). The pretending for mass media jock strap games doesn't even stop ther

                  • by ceoyoyo ( 59147 )

                    Sure, because none of those South Korean games plays for an audience, and nobody plays sports without an audience and mass marketing. You have a strange view of the world.

            • we're definitely smarter than the average joe that doesn't have a good understanding of anything.

              And what sorts of 'average' joes are those? The guy who fixes your car, your HVAC system, finds you the right kind of insurance, keeps the supply lines operating to your grocery store, does the lighting for the TV show you're watching, or does the hiring for your local hospital?

              If you mean 'hamburger flippers and grocery store clerks', fine, but they're well below average. The middle class is what keeps a soci

        • We only think we're smarter because we know how to make the blinky lights come on. Really it's all about interest level.

    • by vlm ( 69642 )

      The smaller the sample group, the more intelligent the average in it, in all recent "technology vs. intelligence" studies. Can we just deduct that the less intelligent flow with the crowd, the more intelligent actually pick what's best for them, and call it quits?


      Begin "social media" Facebook vs G+ flamewar in 3... 2... 1...

      • The smaller the sample group, the more intelligent the average in it, in all recent "technology vs. intelligence" studies. Can we just deduct that the less intelligent flow with the crowd, the more intelligent actually pick what's best for them, and call it quits?


        Begin "social media" Facebook vs G+ flamewar in 3... 2... 1...

        I use usenet, you insensitive clod! I out-think you all! Muahahahaha!

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The last paragraph sums it up nicely.

      Whatever the reason for these results, I wouldn't take them too seriously. They are, after all, comprised only of people who feel compelled to take IQ tests. But if you ever want to argue that Internet Explorer 6 users are too stupid to upgrade, at least now you've got some empirical evidence.

    • by sakdoctor ( 1087155 ) on Sunday July 31, 2011 @01:41PM (#36940118) Homepage

      How do you explain the change over time then?
      There is only one conclusion: Using IE6/7 actually reduces your intelligence by around 5 points per year.

    • by JamesP ( 688957 )

      Well, they forgot lynx users...

      Unless it was a web-based IQ test

    • So they should show the IQ breakdown by operating system. Vista would be lowest. I think 7 and XP about equal... Mac slightly above. (Smaller group but those that like simple... Tough call) And Linux and BSD users are freaking brilliant!
    • by cgenman ( 325138 )

      Or, that the kind of people who score higher on standardized IQ tests are the kind that are likely to interact with people who talk about alternatives to default. Or that technical web developers generally score higher on IQ tests, and they tend to use Opera for flexibility and power. Or that people in cities make IQ tests, and people in cities tend to use other browsers. Or that Opera is has become so damned complicated that only the super freaking brilliant would willingly subject themselves to it.


    • Exactly. It is also one of the reasons why some sites such as reddit start out being genuinely intellectual and as the user base grows, they progressively become just banal - which is what reddit is today.

      The study in TFA indicates nothing.
      • I knew I wasn't the only one who noticed that. I could only go on reddit a couple of times before I started feeling dumb.

    • Can we just deduct that the less intelligent flow with the crowd...

      I'm sure we can deduce this, but am not sure how subtraction will help.
      [ Isn't vocabulary fun? ]

    • by micheas ( 231635 )

      We can probably draw more conclusions than that from this study. The average IQ of IE users is probably influenced by the assistive technology extensions for internet explorer that are actively sold by companies that know how to navigate the government procurement process.

      This is more of, if you have learning disabilities you probably use Internet Explorer.

      Opera use is skewed toward mobile devices, which means that mean IQ of mobile device users is higher than the mean IQ of desktop users. This seems reas

    • The smaller the sample group, the more intelligent the average in it

      So the users of IE for MacOS are both supergeniuses...

  • by will_die ( 586523 ) on Sunday July 31, 2011 @01:30PM (#36940026) Homepage
    They break up the different versions of IE, if you combine all the IE versions then the IQ levels exceed the others.
    • Re:Flawed study. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Teun ( 17872 ) on Sunday July 31, 2011 @01:35PM (#36940058) Homepage
      According to your grasp of Lies, Statistics and more Lies you are either running IE6 or Opera.
    • It's an average, not a sum.

      (or was that a big "whoosh" I just heard?)

    • Shut up stupid!
    • By the same token, I use IE 6 at work as part of the corporate build, Firefox for browsing external sites, Chrome on a netbook, Opera mini on my phone, By your logic adding scores for different versions, I should be a Mensa club member. I use all of them regularly. I only use IE for the corporate environment as it is the IT build. There are plans to migrate off that soon as the corporate applications are upgraded. They are skipping Vista entirely in the upgrade. That has been a good call.

    • Que all non-opera users complaining the study is flawed.

      Me? I used Opera when it was still pay-to-be-awesome.

      It is simply the best browser for browsing. Firefox for development and Chrome for when I want to watch a Google Chrome only demo.

      And like Debby, I don't do windows.

      • I wonder what it means if you happen to use all three (Firefox, Chrome, and Opera), often at the same time? Triple the IQ? Sadly, I don't think it's additive. Oh well.

        On the plus side, studies such as this one give Opera users some validation. I don't like Opera, I've tried it numerous times, and it's just not a browser I'm fond of. Nevertheless, it's good to see the underdog get positive press coverage even if most of the posts here are likely to be flamebait.

  • by vlm ( 69642 ) on Sunday July 31, 2011 @01:34PM (#36940048)

    I read this a couple days ago (days ago? Come on /.) and I still don't know if they corrected for income.

    Dumb people tend to end up poor. Poor people use older stuff because thats all they can afford.

    Not thinking its insightful to learn that poor people have cruddier older hardware.

    Also smarter people are more likely to admin their own computer, thus be permitted to upgrade... Not sure how or if they accounted for that.

    Its possible, that above and beyond the effect of poverty or work I.T. configuration, dumb people do dumb things, but i dunno; that's a pretty cutting edge idea worthy of a Nobel.

  • Conclusion (Score:5, Funny)

    by El_Muerte_TDS ( 592157 ) on Sunday July 31, 2011 @01:37PM (#36940086) Homepage

    Internet Explorer makes you stupid.

    This is how statistics work, right?

    (Typed in Internet Explorer)

  • have pegged the meter...

    Still the best

    • Agreed, still the browser with the best interface for me. Unfortunately SeaMonkey started having random crashes with 'RenderBadPicture' in the X Window error at least a few times a day, so I had to abandon it for Firefox a few months ago :(

    • Why Seamonkey?

      I haven't got around to trying it, but I thought it was basically just Firefox, Thunderbird, and a few other odds and ends, with a common menu system. I used the Mozilla Suite ages ago, which was fine, but I didn't see any particular benefit to that arrangement.

      It does seem like Seamonkey has some committed partisans, so there must be some advantage, but I don't know what it is.

  • Losers (Score:4, Informative)

    by wumpus188 ( 657540 ) on Sunday July 31, 2011 @01:39PM (#36940096)

    I use lynx. Does this make me a God?

    • by Dan667 ( 564390 )
      I think it is probably only a predictor that the MMO games that you play are mostly MUDs.
    • Re:Losers (Score:4, Funny)

      by Urkki ( 668283 ) on Sunday July 31, 2011 @02:12PM (#36940320)

      I use lynx. Does this make me a God?

      Yes, absolutely! Now wait there while your IP is tracked, and nice people dressed all in white will come and take you to meet other deities in... Mt. Olympus institute for... gods.

    • It's more likely that you suffer from some form of mental illness...

    • "I use lynx. Does this make me a God?"

      Your ideas intrigue me and I would like to subscribe to your religion.

      (Browsing from Lynx, now.)

    • I use lynx. Does this make me a God?

      Only if you'd first downloaded lynx using a direct HTTP/HTML incantation into netcat, followed by a hand scripted decode to an executable file.

  • by Teun ( 17872 ) on Sunday July 31, 2011 @01:39PM (#36940102) Homepage
    My first thought was, yeah sure, of course those running Linux compatible browsers are smarter!

    But then I realised of all IE browsers it's IE6 that runs on Linux...


  • The full report can be found here [aptiquant.com].
  • In the vast majority, over 90%, of the calls I make to people's houses to clean infected PCs the browser most often used is IE. I realize part of this is their larger market share but I also wonder if a higher percentage of regular IE users are more easily tricked into clicking on links they shouldn't.

  • ...for porn. Sooo; intelligent and turned on. Good combo.
  • I have to use everything on that list (other than IE6) to test my web programming. Does that mean I get to add them all up or do I have to "not cheat"?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 31, 2011 @01:47PM (#36940174)

    As a professor of psychology who has used intelligence tests in research, have given them clinically, and have taught students to use them, I just wanted to say to be very skeptical of this report.

    The report is very sketchy.

    It claims, for example, to have given the WAIS-IV online, the WAIS-IV being probably the most commonly administered intelligence test in existence.

    The problem with this claim is that the WAIS-IV can only really be given in person, by a trained examiner. There are subtests on the WAIS-IV that would be impossible to actually give online. I.e., not only would it be a bad idea to not given them online, without a trained examiner, it would be physically impossible.

    It's possible the firm claiming this study gave tests similar to the WAIS-IV, or gave portions of the WAIS-IV, but it is actually not possible to do what they actually claim in the report. They also don't give enough details to actually know what they really did, either, so you can't know.

    I actually think the results they report are what I would expect, if I were forced to make a prediction, but the whole thing has a cloud cast over it by the fact they're claiming methods that are impossible (and actually perhaps illegal, given that the WAIS-IV is copyrighted and strictly controlled).

    Keep in mind this report is being released by a for-profit company trying to benefit from publicity, using methods that are sketchy at best. Take it with a huge grain of salt, if at all.

    • It's beyond sketchy. From the report: "The age-appropriate Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (IV) test was given. Mazes, an optional subtest, was omitted from the WISC-iV [sic]." Which is it, the WAIS (adult intelligence scale) or the WISC (intelligence scale for children)? They are for different age groups (adults vs. kids). Further, Mazes was from the WISC-III, not the WISC-IV (it wouldn't be given to adults in the first place).

      Some of the WAIS-IV could be given in an online format but it hasn't been de
  • LOL! Has that been upgraded lately? LTIC it was dog slow compared to Chrome, and ISTR that it wasn't terribly well threaded (loading in one tab cold slowdown loading in other tabs).. Has it kept up with Firefox Gecko?

  • Since I have 4 browsers on my PC
    - If I want to appear very smart, I should use Opera
    - Smart, but not frightening (when looking for a date ?) = Chrome
    - Bland = IE

    and if I want to crash, I'll fire up firefox !

  • Let's assume, for sake of argument, that the browsers mentioned are all of equal quality, and each can be used for every browser application, but each is slightly better than others for some specific application. It would follow that for any specific application, one has a choice of using the default browser, or installing some other browser; let's assume that knowing which browser is better for a specific application is an indication of intelligence, and the more obscure the browser, the more intelligence

  • by westlake ( 615356 ) on Sunday July 31, 2011 @02:05PM (#36940278)
    This is a PR stunt by a company that wants to sell personality testing to your boss.

    Visitors arrived either through organic searches or through advertisements on other sites, and Aptiquant made a note of which browser each test taker was using.

    This is add-driven self-selected polling. Manipulative and fraudulent.

    The chats do not distinquish between the browser at home and the browser at work. That matters a lot when you looking at Internet Explorer.

  • So people that can afford a Mac or machine with a new version of Windows are smart, people that build their own machines are average, and people that have shitty old computers are stupid? Oooooh K.

    • ...and people that have shitty old computers are stupid?

      If they can not figure out how to download Firefox, yes...

    • Well, that actually kind of makes sense, doesn't it?

      It's only correlation and I haven't bothered reading up on their methodology but it does make sense, an individual with a low IQ is likely to have a lower income and also most likely not be as knowledgeable about computers as an individual with a high IQ. This doesn't mean every low IQ individual is poor and knows nothing about alternative browsers or software updates or that every high IQ individual has a high income and knows a lot about computers, just

  • "The study showed a substantial relationship between an individual's cognitive ability and their choice of web browser," AptiQuant concluded. "From the test results, it is a clear indication that individuals on the lower side of the IQ scale tend to resist a change/upgrade of their browsers."

    AptiQuant also conducted several studies looking into possible correlations between intelligence and beer choice and favorite ice cream flavor. Results forthcoming courtesy of News Corp.

  • Provided the stupid guys are using IE.
    Provided they are aware the smart guys are using Opera.
    Provided they are stupid.
    Provided stupids are the mass.

    Then, the stupid guys will switch to Opera over the next years in the hope to become smart or at least look smart.

    The next study will then show us stupid peoples are using Opera.

  • ...there's going to be some seriously ego-bloated Opera users who still love their one time ad-bloated fad from the 90's that couldn't properly spoof itself as IE or Netscape no matter how much they said it could. But I'm sure it's "Much better now!".

    Oh, yeah, and the trick about IE being the browser used by dumb people...well, duh. It comes preloaded with the operating system sold on the cheapest mass marketed PCs that don't give dumb people aneurysms looking at the boot screen.

    A step above that is
  • e.g.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110427171638.htm [sciencedaily.com]

    Unmotivated people are unlikely to screw around with their computers.

  • You might use Chrome but do you know what a Quarter Pounder with cheese is in French?

  • The group with the lowest IQ of all is the group that actually believes this study, regardless of browser type.
  • I don't even need a browser, I just read what the internet has to say via my direct neural connection.

    You lamebrains with your screens and mechanical input devices.

  • Could it be that switching away from the standard choice preinstalled on your computer requires understanding on why you invest the time?

    Could it be that you freedom in the job correlates with your intelligence?

    Could it be that intelligent people earn more and have more mobile devices (e.g. opera)?

    My hypothesis is that if you would install firefox as the default browser and put ie on expensice mobile devices, the picture would be reversed.

  • by fuego451 ( 958976 ) on Sunday July 31, 2011 @03:37PM (#36940836) Journal
    Next up: Comparison of penis length and brand of toothpaste. Don't ya love 'science'?
  • by jorlando ( 145683 ) on Sunday July 31, 2011 @06:53PM (#36941946)
    The "study" was realeased one week after the domain being created, by a gatech student. This guy must be ROFL.. look at this: Domain Name: aptiquant.com Registered at http://www.dynadot.com/ [dynadot.com] Registrant: Gill Web Services Tarandeep Gill 7867 138 St. Surrey, BC V3W7b5 Canada Administrative Contact: Gill Web Services Tarandeep Gill 7867 138 St. Surrey, BC V3W7b5 Canada taran@gatech.edu +1 7782429002 Technical Contact: Gill Web Services Tarandeep Gill 7867 138 St. Surrey, BC V3W7b5 Canada taran@gatech.edu +1 7782429002 Record expires on 2012/07/14 UTC Record created on 2011/07/14 UTC
  • by Rhabarber ( 1020311 ) on Sunday July 31, 2011 @09:17PM (#36942782)
    Here is the actual report: http://www.aptiquant.com/IQ-Browser-AptiQuant-2011.pdf [aptiquant.com]

    Yes, the whole thing is a PR stunt. So what. It made me smile ;)

    The summary is a summary of a summary. Figure 2 in the original report is much more informative. The majority of the highest scoring people use Firefox (35%) or Chrome (20%). The majority of the lowest scoring people use IE7 (35%) or IE9 (20%). Opera and ChromeFrame are not used by people scoring lower than average.

    As for correlations I would guess the following:

    IE7 -> low score.
    Firefox -> average to high score.
    Opera and ChromeFrame and Camino -> high score.
    Safari -> not much correlation at all.
    Other IEs -> not much correlation, tendency to lower scores.

    Anyways, it's nothing but a joke.

"If it's not loud, it doesn't work!" -- Blank Reg, from "Max Headroom"