[UPDATE: The BBC has concluded that the story (along with the company behind it, AptiQuant) was bogus.
A number of outlets, including the BBC, CNN, CNET, the Daily Mail, the Telegraph, and Forbes (including me ... hence this correction!) reported on this story.
So we can now go back to a world where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the IE users have above average IQs!
... and it wasn't even April 1st!]
If you're an Internet Explorer user, then a recent survey suggest that you will have a lower than average IQ, while Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Camino and Opera users have an above-average IQ, according to psychometric consulting firm AptiQuant.
The only exception to the rule of IE users having below-average IQ are users that make use of the Chrome Frame tool.
Here's the data:
Click for larger image
These results are based on 101,326 individuals over the age of 16.
So, what's behind this trend? According to AptiQuant it's that people with a lower IQ are more resistant to change and stick with what they know rather than upgrade.
The study showed a substantial relationship between an individual's cognitive ability and their choice of web browser. 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. This hypothesis can be extended to any software in general, however more research is needed for that, which is a potential future work as an extension to this report.
One weakness of this report is that while Internet Explorer has been broken down into versions, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Camino and Opera aren't. This doesn't make sense to me. It's just as easy to grab the version numbers for these browsers as it is for IE, so why not?
Another concern of mine is how the individuals chosen for the study came to find the IQ test:
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.
So the test is geared towards people who:
- Want to know their IQ (which in my mind is one of those 'if you need to ask, you probably shouldn't' sort of thing)
- Click on ads for 'free online IQ tests' (again, not picking the cream of the crop here)
- Don't use ad-blockers
Already the bar has been set pretty low ...
I'd like to see the results for people who clicked on ads and those who found the test through a search separated out to see if there is a measurable IQ difference there.
If you're an IE user, don't take these results too much to heart, except for those of you out there still using IE6 ... ;) ... for you, take this as a wake-up call!