IQ level tied to choice of internet browser

Aug 01, 2011 by Bob Yirka weblog

In a study that is likely to incite controversy, AptiQuant, a Vancouver, British Columbia based Psychometric Consulting company has released a report that it says shows users of Microsoft Internet Explorer have lower Intelligence Quotient’s (IQs) than do users of other internet browsers. The company is basing its claims on scores online users received when taking the online Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (IV) test.

The results were collected from over 100,000 English speaking people from New Zealand, Australia, the UK, Canada and the United States, over a span of four weeks and the score results were compared with the browser used to reach the site offering the test, which were offered free to random users.

In its report, AptiQuant describes how those that took the test found it via search engine queries or ads placed on other sites, meaning that they were looking to take such a test, and those who indicated they were under 16 years of age were sent to another site and were therefore excluded. Once logged in users were asked their age and sex and were then given the IQ test pertinent to their group.

After the four week trial period, test scores were correlated with browsers and AptiQuant says that the results very clearly show (via graph) that people who scored higher on the test were moving away from to other available browsers such as Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Camino and Opera. In addition to labeling those who scored lower as less intelligent, the AptiQuant authors also suggest that such visitors were also likely more resistant to change, which they suggest would probably be the case with any other software on the market as well.

One interesting aspect of the report is in how scoring results are interpreted as either “higher” or “lower,” rather than as above or below average, a term more often seen in such types of study; the reason being that the former denotes a sense of judgment, while the latter does not. Thus, in their findings, the authors find some of its test-takers to be of higher or lower intelligence, than others, rather than finding some of the test-takers to be of higher or lower intelligence than average, which is a marked distinction.

An interesting twist to the story is that a group of loyal Internet Explorer users are apparently banding together to sue AptiQuant over its report and company CEO Leonard Howard has reportedly said that his company has received a lot of hate mail as well.

Update: Study linking browser choice and IQ level a hoax

Explore further: Instagram launches time-lapse video app for iPhone

More information: www.aptiquant.com/IQ-Browser-AptiQuant-2011.pdf

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User comments : 58

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Guy_Underbridge
5 / 5 (32) Aug 01, 2011
Cool! I'm smarter at home than I am at work!
dutchman
3.3 / 5 (12) Aug 01, 2011
I wonder if the fact that many (if not most) IT departments insist on the use of IE, is an attempt on their part to bring everyone else down to their level?
Nikola
5 / 5 (3) Aug 01, 2011
Opera baby!
socean
5 / 5 (7) Aug 01, 2011
IE = -IQ
Expiorer
3 / 5 (4) Aug 01, 2011
IE takes too much IQ to upgrade to latest version. It is easier to switch browser. I like chrome and IE9 but I use Firefox because I am a web developer and I need many addons.
Nik_2213
3 / 5 (2) Aug 01, 2011
Just wondering: Did this account for the version of such software ? Or the counter-intuitive effect of 'early uptakers' and their peroptimistic but wasted effort 'beta testing' new versions ?
I'm told I rank 'HI' on such tests --Which results I discount-- but stay with stable versions until compelled to move on and accept a different interface plus inevitable bloat...
FWIW, I run Chrome on this minimal Browser_PC, plus old IEs on our tower_PCs and a recent IE on new lap-top's Win7...
Pkunk_
3 / 5 (10) Aug 01, 2011
IE takes too much IQ to upgrade to latest version. It is easier to switch browser. I like chrome and IE9 but I use Firefox because I am a web developer and I need many addons.


Even the act of switching to Firefox requires a certain minimum IQ.
We're talking about users who don't even know what browser their using, and even if they wanted to , don't have a clue on how to get another browser. They are the kind of users who unfortunately for MS distort the IQ results against IE .

krundoloss
3.1 / 5 (7) Aug 01, 2011
Well DUH! It takes intelligence to change your browser from the default that comes with your computer! This study would make sense, except for that simple fact, The computer comes with Internet Explorer on it, ready to go! Also, users of Safari are probably more intelligent because you have to be a Doctor or Lawyer to afford a Macintosh computer, which does not have Internet Explorer. This study is just so obvious, like saying that "People who dont customize thier Android phone have lower IQ's"! DUH it takes intelligence to customize it, just like changing your web browser.
Bitflux
4.3 / 5 (6) Aug 01, 2011
Dear Dutchman
I run an IT department and the fact is that most browser based software used in corporations, is utter crap that was built to run only on Microsoft browsers - which by the way, have been the last ones, to align with the standards most browsers has agreed upon.
Oh the so called crap is what is dictated by the business - in other words the management and the users. It was probably programmed by guys spending their whole day being clever on forums - quick and dirty and only taking half the reported time to make.
Have a great day.
mrcoldheart
4 / 5 (1) Aug 01, 2011
Willingness to change with concern to internet habits could be seen as a mark of intelligence.
I use Firefox because the of popularization of add-ons. I tried Chrome back when it was in early Beta but got turned off because of the compatibility of certain websites. Which I'm sure has been resolved but not quick enough for me to resort back to Firefox.
I next time I use Chrome will be when Google laptops go on sale this Xmas 'hopefully' the tablet craze hasn't changed their intended schedule for people like me not willing to give up physical keyboards.
Guy_Underbridge
5 / 5 (3) Aug 01, 2011
Long live Netscape!
Royale
2.5 / 5 (2) Aug 01, 2011
As an IT professional, I use FireFox, for myself because I NEED adblock, and the other nice plugins. Chrome for speed sometimes. The main reason other than what bitflux mentioned for using it at an enterprise level is that you can push out settings, force proxies etc, all through standard Group Policy. In a school environment like I'm in we don't have the monies to add all the fancy pants 3rd party stuff. (I do, by the way, set Firefox as default every time I'm fixing a users computer! Maybe I can raise their IQ a bit.)
that_guy
5 / 5 (2) Aug 01, 2011
Just wondering: Did this account for the version of such software ? Or the counter-intuitive effect of 'early uptakers' and their peroptimistic but wasted effort 'beta testing' new versions ?
I'm told I rank 'HI' on such tests --Which results I discount-- but stay with stable versions until compelled to move on and accept a different interface plus inevitable bloat...
FWIW, I run Chrome on this minimal Browser_PC, plus old IEs on our tower_PCs and a recent IE on new lap-top's Win7...


I saw another version of this article elsewhere that specifically points out IE6 as being the outlier. Those still on IE6 average about 80IQ. The higher versions of IE correspond to higher steps in intelligence.

One thing that all of you missed. Work *generally* will not be counted, except for those who are dumb enough to take stupid IQ quizzes and surveys while on the clock...so I'm sure IE suffers from that trend...

also, few businesses are left on IE6
jamesrm
not rated yet Aug 01, 2011
"I NEED adblock"

Operas content block is much simpler
right click> Block Content>click offending ad/image etc (selectable items are shaded)
Click on "Done"

rgds
james
jamesrm
5 / 5 (3) Aug 01, 2011
"An interesting twist to the story is that a group of loyal Internet Explorer users are apparently banding together to sue AptiQuant over its report and company CEO Leonard Howard has reportedly said that his company has received a lot of hate mail as well."

Thus providing proof of IE uses stupidity.
M$ might gives them some cash, never said their lawyers were stupid.
NickFun
1 / 5 (1) Aug 01, 2011
I must be BRILLIANT!!!
la7dfa
5 / 5 (1) Aug 01, 2011
This result is as expected. Lot of people hardly know they are using a web browser... I am testing Chrome, Opera and IE from time to time, but love my Firefox addons too much. I would probably switch to Chrome if I did not have Firefox or had to run a very simple computer.
Newbeak
not rated yet Aug 01, 2011
I've used FF forever,it seems.I have Chrome on my desktop,but have been too lazy to accessorize it.The odd website renders best in IE,and for that reason I have the FF add-on IE view.My company has loaded both IE and FF on our desktops,and I almost always use FF.
Moebius
1 / 5 (3) Aug 01, 2011
Would we be happier using IE?
Etreum
3.7 / 5 (3) Aug 01, 2011
Maybe the same applies to OS? I use Linux...
bottomlesssoul
not rated yet Aug 01, 2011
IE is amazing and I'm grateful to MS for putting so much effort into it. It allowed my otherwise IT helpless 70 year old mother to freely communicate with friends and family around the world.

We need these things.
komone
not rated yet Aug 01, 2011
Funny, but not really surprising!
tigger
not rated yet Aug 01, 2011
Chrome is where it's at... a web browser that gets out of the way and is really fast. Can't stand the way Firefox loads images... looks crap. Chrome has a much better interface if you've got enough brain cells to learn a few tricks... that "address bar" isn't just for web addresses ;-)
Newbeak
not rated yet Aug 01, 2011
Chrome is where it's at... a web browser that gets out of the way and is really fast. Can't stand the way Firefox loads images... looks crap.

I don't care,I have FF tricked out just the way I like.
Dug
2.3 / 5 (3) Aug 01, 2011
Something most of us who abandoned MS - especially IE virus susceptible products long ago - suspected.
Lordjavathe3rd
5 / 5 (2) Aug 01, 2011
I might have brought down the rating for Opera a little. Sry guys
aroc91
not rated yet Aug 01, 2011
"I NEED adblock"

Operas content block is much simpler
right click> Block Content>click offending ad/image etc (selectable items are shaded)
Click on "Done"

rgds
james


Not really. You'd have to do that for every ad you come across, correct? Ad block does it with a compiled list you put in when you install it. You don't have to manually click on ads and block them. What's harder about that?
KomMaelstrom
not rated yet Aug 01, 2011
Chrome consumes the smallest amount of screen reserves, is relatively fast, and renders text the best (Firefox 5 has problems if Hardware Acceleration is on).

Opera and Firefox seem the same to me, otherwise. And I just hate Microsoft, so no IE.
No love for Wyzo?
Newbeak
not rated yet Aug 01, 2011
Chrome consumes the smallest amount of screen reserves, is relatively fast, and renders text the best (Firefox 5 has problems if Hardware Acceleration is on).

I went back to FF 5 from FF 6 beta recently-half my add-ons stopped working.Too bad they can't hold off till the add-on developers catch up.
Sinister1811
1 / 5 (5) Aug 01, 2011
Internet Explorer doesn't even block popup windows. At least, not as well as Firefox.
Pete1983
not rated yet Aug 01, 2011
Chrome is where it's at... a web browser that gets out of the way and is really fast. Can't stand the way Firefox loads images... looks crap. Chrome has a much better interface if you've got enough brain cells to learn a few tricks... that "address bar" isn't just for web addresses ;-)


Chome is easily the best for quick browsing, but when it comes to having over 30 pages open, and when it comes to web development, there is simply no alternative to Firefox as yet.
Skepticus_Rex
1 / 5 (5) Aug 01, 2011
Hrumpf...no category for Lynx?!?

And what about people who use just about all the browsers? :)
Expiorer
3 / 5 (6) Aug 02, 2011
Another test could prove:

Mac OS - rich people
Windows - average people
Linux - poor people

LOL
default_ex
not rated yet Aug 02, 2011
I used to think along such shallow lines as software choice denotes intelligence, but after having picked up such a large client base for my computer repair/build business I have to disagree. There are plenty of very intelligent people that barely understand the basics of computers, let alone the huge range of choices they have available. Thought it is usually the intelligent clients that are the ones whom tend to lean toward using open source software unless there is some massively beneficial feature that commercial software offers over the open source alternatives.
Gilbert
5 / 5 (1) Aug 02, 2011
I wonder if the fact that many (if not most) IT departments insist on the use of IE, is an attempt on their part to bring everyone else down to their level?


After having worked in an IT dept I can defiantly say with confidence that if a business' management actually let there be a choice, they would NOT be using IE...(or go near a mac)

BenjaminButton
not rated yet Aug 02, 2011
Personally I switched because IE just plain sucks...it's easy to see by just using a speed tracker. Although I like the results...it's a funny report...I don't think it's well defined, rather than a question of intelligence I'd say it's about priorities. I only switched once I began using the internet alot for work, before that it wasn't a priority. It's hardly a stretch to believe that there are very intelligent people who just don't care about their browser because they have more important things to think about.
HealingMindN
not rated yet Aug 02, 2011
Another test could prove:

Mac OS - rich people
Windows - average people
Linux - poor people

LOL


Except in the case of Hollywood and their studio pipeline software on a linux platform. Maya is an exception, of course.
rab96
5 / 5 (1) Aug 02, 2011
The relation between IQ and intelligence is questionable. It is a selection procedure that got accepted during WW1.
_nigmatic10
1 / 5 (1) Aug 02, 2011
So whats the story on IQ if you use all the browsers regularly?
Ricochet
3 / 5 (2) Aug 02, 2011
Would we be happier using IE?

Yes, but only because ignorance really is bliss...
that_guy
not rated yet Aug 03, 2011
The relation between IQ and intelligence is questionable. It is a selection procedure that got accepted during WW1.

If you are online enough to participate in this study, and you are still on IE6, despite all the viruses, incompatibilities, and horrible interface/missing features, then yes, you are probably a straight up idiot.

You probably know very few people on IE6 for that reason. IE 7 will have a similar correlation, albeit not as bad.

Seriously people? That's an obvious cause for the results. Someone who just doesn't use the computer much and never bothered to upgrade is probably just emailing or still on aol...they're not on there taking iq tests, etc.

It's not that Internet explorer users are inherently stupid, it's primarily that the un-upgraded users are a function of intelligence - which brings down the entire IE category.
jamesrm
not rated yet Aug 03, 2011
Not really. You'd have to do that for every ad you come across, correct? Ad block does it with a compiled list you put in when you install it. You don't have to manually click on ads and block them. What's harder about that?

I like it both ways (stop sniggering)

http://my.opera.c...ad-block
including
"The following will block most of the counters. Don't add the following filters if you want to show Opera in browser statistics."

I also like Operas ability to pretend to be FF or IE so some less enlightened sights will let me in.

As I use linux (Pinguy OS so I don't have to deal with Vista/Ubuntu, they call it Unity) IE isn't that easy to install.

Rgrds
James
that_guy
5 / 5 (5) Aug 03, 2011
And...this study was all a hoax.
http://www.bbc.co...14389430

I mean, regardless of whether IE users are dumber...this was not a legitimate study.

But it was fun to ponder.
Arn
3 / 5 (2) Aug 04, 2011
a lot of people here must be feeling stupid, and with far lower IQ than those maligned IE users.

that was funny: feeling superior and more intelligent than a group of people, based on a purported study that turned out to be a hoax.
Javinator
5 / 5 (2) Aug 04, 2011
that was funny: feeling superior and more intelligent than a group of people, based on a purported study that turned out to be a hoax.


Also known as a successful troll.
MP3Car
5 / 5 (4) Aug 04, 2011
Yes, it was a hoax, and physorg editors need to add an "update" to the story, considering this article will now be forever archived on physorg's website...
Au-Pu
1 / 5 (3) Aug 05, 2011
They are all dumb.
I continue to use the older Outlook Express.
Why?
Because all of my e-mail correspondence is actually stored on my computer.
ALL of the other systems store all of your records on their systems, shades of Big Brother watching you.
In other words all the other systems hold all your personal data and they or any one of their staff can access and use it as they wish and it can be accessed and used against you.
Just as the old adage says "All that glitters is not gold" so too "All that sounds more modern is not necessarily better".
sutendra
not rated yet Aug 06, 2011
It is wrong to associate one's intelligence with the preference of a particular browser. Actually it is the ease of accessibility, and less hang ups of the computers that determine the selection of a browser.
Mahal_Kita
not rated yet Aug 06, 2011
So this hoax is still out here, hm?

Mahal_Kita
5 / 5 (2) Aug 06, 2011
They are all dumb.
I continue to use the older Outlook Express.
Why?
Because all of my e-mail correspondence is actually stored on my computer.
ALL of the other systems store all of your records on their systems, shades of Big Brother watching you.
In other words all the other systems hold all your personal data and they or any one of their staff can access and use it as they wish and it can be accessed and used against you.
Just as the old adage says "All that glitters is not gold" so too "All that sounds more modern is not necessarily better".


Perhaps you should learn a thing or two about how email is propagated on Internet from sender to receiver. Plus that email is kept by ISP's for years by law. And that your email is scrutinized by SIGINT operations like Echelon et al. Probably you'll discover how dumb your remark here actually was...
beefchop
not rated yet Aug 06, 2011
Why is this article still here? The study has been revealed as a hoax by a guy trying to get people to change browsers.

Here'e one link, there are hundreds of stories on the hoax:

http://www.herald...08035021
MorituriMax
1 / 5 (1) Aug 06, 2011
Au Pu spewed incorrectly,
... ALL of the other systems store all of your records on their systems, shades of Big Brother watching you.

Really? Man, that is just so wrong.
Ricochet
not rated yet Aug 06, 2011
Why is this article still here? The study has been revealed as a hoax by a guy trying to get people to change browsers.

If they deleted the article then we'd lose all our posts in here...
Vendicar_Decarian
1 / 5 (1) Aug 06, 2011
H.O.A.X
Humpty
1 / 5 (2) Aug 08, 2011
Haaa I could have told you that - All Internet Explorer users ARE complete morons - just like their useless benefactors that make all the scummy crapware (TM) ---

MICROSOFT sucks, the dumbed down dumbware for dumb shits....
lengould100
1 / 5 (1) Aug 08, 2011
Just another self-reinforcing self-referencing advert for all the stupid MS hater kiddies.
paul_saute
not rated yet Aug 08, 2011
BIG H.O.A.X...

"AptiQuant, a Vancouver, British Columbia based Psychometric Consulting" is raally a French company!
komone
not rated yet Aug 08, 2011
But what if we actually did the experiment... what would the results be, I wonder?