PC World reports that a “psychometric consulting” firm called AptiQuant gave free online IQ tests to 100,000 people, and then plotted the scores against the browser on which the tests were taken.
It found that Internet Explorer users scored lower than average, while Chrome, Firefox and Safari users were very slightly above average. Camino, Opera and Internet Explorer with Chrome Frame were scored “exceptionally” high.
“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.”
Some people have suggested that there may be other factors at work. Business Insider’s Matt Rosoff points out that since IE is the default browser for Windows PC users, anyone who doesn’t know how to download and install a new browser will be stuck with it – “which drags down the average”. And users of other browsers “include a disproportionate number of computer geeks”, which might bring their average up. Or, he admits, it might be that “IE users really are kind of dumb.”
Within the group of IE users, version 6 users score lowest, while users of version 8 do rather better.
The overall chart shows that Firefox has the smallest percentage of low-IQ users, and the largest of average or high-IQ users. A similar study five years ago found that users had broadly similar IQs.
Jared Newman of PC World said the results should not be taken too seriously. “They are, after all, comprised only of people who feel compelled to take IQ tests,” he said.
“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.” [via The Telegraph (UK)]