Monday, 8 August 2011

Internet browser versus IQ: The truth!

A new study has found that people who think that Internet Explorer users are dumber than users of other browsers are actually dumber than Internet Explorer users.

Researchers came to this conclusion after reviewing media reports, blog posts, comments, forums and tweets referring to the AptiQuant hoax; a made-up report claiming that IE users - and especially those using older versions - had average IQs up to 40 points lower than those using other browsers.

The researchers collected all online references to this study that were written in the two days before the hoax was exposed, and categorized the commenters into those who got "sucked in" and those who "called shenanigans".

Example comments for the sucked in group were
LOL turns out IE users are retards 
Ha! I always knew it, but now here's proof #IEsucks
and for those who called it correctly
What a load of bullshit! No way is this real 
What's a browser? 
The researchers then determined from which browser each commentary originated and calculated the percentage of users who got sucked in (Fig. 1).
Fig. 1. % of users of each browser who fell for the AptiQuant hoax.
They also used a newly discovered relationship between level of suckedinness, lameness of commentary and IQ (the gullibility-legibility scaleTM) to determine the true IQ of each commentator (Fig. 2).
Fig. 2. Average IQ (with standard deviation) of people commenting on or reporting the AptiQuant hoax, calculated using the gullibility-legibility scaleTM. Note, there were insufficient journalists in the IE user group to accurately calculate an IQ for this group.
Professional journalists and media organisations came out particularly badly. Not only were they almost universally not IE users (being predominanlty Mac users), they were almost universally sucked in, although their smugness tended to be tempered somewhat by their professionalism, and their IQs ended up slightly higher than those who blogged the story (use of the words "retard" and "fuckwit" negatively impact IQ scores on the G-I scale).

Dumbest of all were the non-IE using tweeters. Not only were they incredibly gullible, their IQ scores were negatively impacted by their lack of insight (e.g. RTs with a LOL added) and their inability to make their point in 140 characters using whole words.

IE users came out well ahead on both "calling shenanegans" and overall IQ.

Lead researcher Dr Foxy Fire adds "Non-IE users' smugness levels were off the scale, but we are still analysing this data and will publish a follow up shortly. Likewise, the IE users' ability to take a joke was possibly the lowest level ever recorded, but we are having this verified before commenting further".

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