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Study finds that users of Internet Exploder are dumb

QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 23,216

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

Apparently it's a site that does IQ tests online.  They decided to track results by which browser was used.  They could then average results across all people who used any particular browser.

Unsurprisingly, the lowest average score belonged to IE 6, followed closely by IE 7.  Then came IE 9, followed by IE 8.  Perhaps the surprise there is that users of IE 8 actually scored higher than those of IE 9.

Meanwhile, all of the other browsers that they measure have people substantially above average.  The top scorers are relatively obscure.

Now, the explanation for this is pretty simple.  It's not that Internet Exploder makes you stupid.  IQ isn't a perfect measure of how tech-savvy someone is, but they're fairly correlated.  For what it's worth, online IQ tests aren't a perfect measure of IQ, either, but online IQ test results are also correlated with how tech-savvy people are.

And how tech-savvy someone is is very correlated with browser choice.  People who know little to nothing about technology will have internet Exploder installed on their computer when they get it, and may not know that there are any other browsers out there.  About 80% of people who scored in the bottom few percentage points were using some version of IE.

Meanwhile, people who are very tech-savvy are likely to know of several browsers.  These are the only ones who make a meaningful choice.  Opera, Camino, and IE with Chrome Frame aren't even a statistical blip at the bottom 20%, but all are meaningfully representated among people who score high.

Even so, obscure browsers tend to be obscure for a reason, and the people with high IQs aren't necessarily stampeding to them.  Among people with the highest scores, Firefox was the most popular, then Chrome, even if you bundle IE 6, 7, 8, and 9 together as a single browser.  With the IE versions separated, IE 8 came in third among top scorers, followed by Opera.  Interestingly, IE 8 was more popular than all other versions of IE added together.

Does the study really mean anything?  Perhaps that having a program installed when you get a computer has more influence on people who aren't very tech savvy, though you could have guessed that.  But I still think it's interesting.

For what it's worth, the study doesn't really support the title of this thread.  But a provocative title will get more people to click on it, so I went with it anyway.  :D

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Comments

  • ProphecysProphecys Member UncommonPosts: 32

    Nice title, are you using Internet ExploRer?

     

    Nice find btw. Interesting read.

  • EliandalEliandal Member Posts: 796

      So, could I actually get smarter if I switched browsers?  (I do use IE8, I'm pretty tech savy, and most recent tests were 132-136 ;P)

  • zymurgeistzymurgeist Member RarePosts: 5,484

    Giive me a Government grant and I'll prove anything you like. It won't stand up to peer review but then neither will that one.

    "Today I made and appearance downtown

    I am an expert witness, because I say I am

    And I said, 'Gentleman....and I use that word loosely...I will testify for you

    I'm a gun for hire, I'm a saint, I'm a liar

    Because there are no facts, no truth, just data to be manipulated

    I can get you any result you like....what's it worth to ya?

    Because there is no wrong, there is no right

    And I sleep very well at night

    No shame, no solution

    No remorse, no retribution

    Just people selling t-shirts

    just opportunity t participate in this pathetic little circus

    And winning, winning, winning' " ~Don Henly





    It's pure preference sport. All browsers do the job more or less.

    "We have met the enemy and he is us." ~Pogo Possum. 

  • PainlezzPainlezz Member UncommonPosts: 646

    Maybe I didn't read the study closely enough... But where does it list how many people for each browser?

    It should be pretty obvious that if you have 100,000 people using IE take take the same IQ test.

    Then have 10 people using another browser take the IQ test.

    You're results are pretty much worthless.  Chances of the small group of 10 people all being above (or below) average are much greater than all 100,000 in the larger group.

    Again, I might have missed it, but this study is worthless unless they take the number of people from each group and run averages.

  • KaeriganKaerigan Member Posts: 689

    Sounds legit.

    <childish, provocative and highly speculative banner about your favorite game goes here>

  • WorstluckWorstluck Member Posts: 1,269

    Unfortuantely I have to use IE8 all day at work, I have no choice on the matter.  We use a browser based program with activex controls that not compatible with other browsers.  Sucks, but not much I can do about it.  I use Firefox 5 while at home :D

    I did not read the entire pdf, however I probably wouldn't  put much stock in the study.  I did see this though:

    "An online IQ assessment test was offered on our website. Most of the subjects came to the website either by

    organic searches from search engines, or advertisements put on various search engines for keywords

    targeting users who were looking for a free online IQ test."

    I would imagine the people looking for free online IQ tests are probably pretty dim to begin with, regardless of what browser they use.

    image

  • drake201drake201 Member Posts: 75

    Breaking news the majority of humanity is stupid. 

  • alakramalakram Member UncommonPosts: 2,301

    Originally posted by Quizzical

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

    Apparently it's a site that does IQ tests online.  They decided to track results by which browser was used.  They could then average results across all people who used any particular browser.

    Unsurprisingly, the lowest average score belonged to IE 6, followed closely by IE 7.  Then came IE 9, followed by IE 8.  Perhaps the surprise there is that users of IE 8 actually scored higher than those of IE 9.

    Meanwhile, all of the other browsers that they measure have people substantially above average.  The top scorers are relatively obscure.

    Now, the explanation for this is pretty simple.  It's not that Internet Exploder makes you stupid.  IQ isn't a perfect measure of how tech-savvy someone is, but they're fairly correlated.  For what it's worth, online IQ tests aren't a perfect measure of IQ, either, but online IQ test results are also correlated with how tech-savvy people are.

    And how tech-savvy someone is is very correlated with browser choice.  People who know little to nothing about technology will have internet Exploder installed on their computer when they get it, and may not know that there are any other browsers out there.  About 80% of people who scored in the bottom few percentage points were using some version of IE.

    Meanwhile, people who are very tech-savvy are likely to know of several browsers.  These are the only ones who make a meaningful choice.  Opera, Camino, and IE with Chrome Frame aren't even a statistical blip at the bottom 20%, but all are meaningfully representated among people who score high.

    Even so, obscure browsers tend to be obscure for a reason, and the people with high IQs aren't necessarily stampeding to them.  Among people with the highest scores, Firefox was the most popular, then Chrome, even if you bundle IE 6, 7, 8, and 9 together as a single browser.  With the IE versions separated, IE 8 came in third among top scorers, followed by Opera.  Interestingly, IE 8 was more popular than all other versions of IE added together.

    Does the study really mean anything?  Perhaps that having a program installed when you get a computer has more influence on people who aren't very tech savvy, though you could have guessed that.  But I still think it's interesting.

    For what it's worth, the study doesn't really support the title of this thread.  But a provocative title will get more people to click on it, so I went with it anyway.  :D

    Interesting document... I use Firefox.



  • PhryPhry Member LegendaryPosts: 11,004

    Amusing read... and oddly.. unsurprising..  that users of IE are less tech savvy than the ones that don't is something that you 'expect' given IE's poor history...  it always struck me as odd, that a company as 'tech savvy' as Microsoft, should be so far behind the loop on browsers..  image

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 23,216

    Originally posted by Painlezz

    Maybe I didn't read the study closely enough... But where does it list how many people for each browser?

    It doesn't give exact numbers, but you can get a pretty good approximation from the chart on page five.  The area under each curve, scaled appropriately, gives you the number of people using that browser.  Camino is the least popular, and it looks to me like they had several hundred who used that.  Presumably other browsers used the site, but if few enough people did, then they probably decided not to include the results.

    "Giive me a Government grant and I'll prove anything you like."

    It looks like it was a case of, they happened to have some data sitting there already, so they decided to compare across browsers and see if the results were interesting.  And if they are, then their site gets some publicity for it, through posts like this one.

    "Nice title, are you using Internet ExploRer?"

    Internet Exploder is in the time-honored tradition of giving derogatory names to something you don't like.  If you don't like that one, then do you prefer Internet Exploiter?

    -----

    If they restricted to users of Mac OS, then they'd likely see Safari trailing other browsers, for about the same reasons that Internet Exploder does on Windows.  Meanwhile, people who use Safari with Windows would have to go out of their way to get it, which would tend to pick out the people who are relatively tech-savvy.  Perhaps those effects roughly cancel each other off in the study.

  • bansanbansan Member Posts: 367

    Are IE users' IQ lower than the general average IQ?  I would guess not.  That's because IE is so popular that it has the full spectrum IQ's, while the obscure browers are more of a selective population.  IE probably has alot more non-adult users.

    With that said, I want very much to believe in your thread title.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 23,216

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-14389430

    It turns out that it was a hoax.  I'd bet that there is still some correlation in roughly the direction that they indicated, but much, much weaker than what they claimed.  As in, try adding a decimal point to the differences in claimed IQ scores.

    It was a pretty clever hoax, though.

  • PalebanePalebane Member RarePosts: 4,006

    Now I"ve heard it all. Your intellegence is guaged by what internet browser you use? Lol. People who use Windows instead of Macintosh are dumb for the same reason. People who fall for media hype are dumb.

    Vault-Tec analysts have concluded that the odds of worldwide nuclear armaggeddon this decade are 17,143,762... to 1.

  • maskedweaselmaskedweasel Member EpicPosts: 11,018

    Whaaf? Me use all time IE and  me am super smart.  

     

    ...Well,  actually I use chrome, but,  interesting article.  Bah - hoax.  well...   



  • IcewhiteIcewhite Member Posts: 6,403

    Originally posted by Quizzical

    IQ isn't a perfect measure of how tech-savvy someone is, but they're fairly correlated.

    And how tech-savvy someone is is very correlated with browser choice.

     

    Meh?  I'd love to see the documentation for either one of those claims.

    Are we making up statistics to match our preconceptions again?

    Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  • JammaslamJammaslam Member Posts: 265

    People who believed Internet Explorer IQ

    story to continue eating crayons

     

    "After it was revealed that the Internet Explorer IQ story was a hoax, those who believed it reacted by saying, ‘you should try the red ones, they’re a bit waxy but also very delicious’."

     

    http://newsthump.com/2011/08/03/people-who-believed-internet-explorer-iq-story-to-continue-eating-crayons/ 

  • IcewhiteIcewhite Member Posts: 6,403

    Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  • EvilGeekEvilGeek Member UncommonPosts: 1,258


    Originally posted by Icewhite
    http://www.cnn.com/2011/TECH/web/08/03/explorer.report.faked/


    Once I got this crayon out my nose I was going to get all smug about being an Opera user :(

    image
  • KabaalKabaal Member UncommonPosts: 3,042

    As preposterous as this is, I still laughed out loud.

  • GruntyGrunty Member EpicPosts: 8,657

    Study finds that most people think they are smarter than everyone else around them. More can be found here

    "I used to think the worst thing in life was to be all alone.  It's not.  The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel all alone."  Robin Williams
  • UnlightUnlight Member Posts: 2,540

    Anecdotally, it sounds quite feasible.  I wouldn't be a bit surprised if an actual study produced similar results.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 23,216

    Now I have to wonder how many more people will reply to say "it's a hoax" after I posted it in reply #13 on this thread.  :D

  • bezadobezado Member UncommonPosts: 1,127

    I never use IE, I did only when it was the only browser avialable but soon after other browsers became known I switched, that was years and years ago. I would also say that new computer users and other countries where computer use isn't that high would be using IE first. But to use IE long term without changing to something like firefox tends to backup that report of dumb people.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 23,216

    Originally posted by Icewhite

    Originally posted by Quizzical

    IQ isn't a perfect measure of how tech-savvy someone is, but they're fairly correlated.

    And how tech-savvy someone is is very correlated with browser choice.

     

    Meh?  I'd love to see the documentation for either one of those claims.

    Are we making up statistics to match our preconceptions again?

    I don't have a real study to back up either of those claims.  But I'd be surprised if they were essentially uncorrelated.

    For the second claim, people who are more tech-savvy tend to be aware of more web browsers.  That could be part of a measure of how tech-savvy people are.  People who don't know that there are multiple browsers will tend to use Internet Exploder because it's the default that comes with Windows.  People who are familiar with several browsers might still use Internet Exploder, or they might use something else.

    For the first claim, consider occupations.  People who go into the STEM disciplines for a career often have to be tech-savvy because it's their job.  I don't know of a study that directly links career with IQ, but people who go into the STEM disciplines do tend to have much higher SAT scores than people who major in, say, education or psychology, and that's probably also correlated pretty strongly with IQ.

    Perhaps I should back up a bit here and say that by a pretty strong correlation, I don't mean something like 0.9.  Something like 0.3 would still be pretty substantial.  I'm saying that I'd be surprised if the correlation is 0.01 or so, or even negative.  Of course, how tech-savvy someone is isn't readily quantifiable, so producing a particular number and saying, this is the correlation, would be nonsense.  But you can surely understand what I mean qualitatively.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 23,216

    Originally posted by grunty

    Study finds that most people think they are smarter than everyone else around them. More can be found here

    Actually, most people are smarter than most of the general population in the particular things that they care about.  If ten different people specialize in ten different things, they can each simultaneously be the smartest of the ten in the one thing that they really care about.

    The problem comes when people go from saying, "I'm good at this particular thing" to "I'm generally good at everything".  There aren't any people who are general experts and good at everything.

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