What Does Your Web Browser Say About Your I.Q.? (Hint: I.E. Users Won’t Like the Answer)


See ADDENDUM (8-3-11; 9:13am EDT) below

A study by AptiQuant Psychometric Consulting finds that people who use Internet Explorer as their web browser are, on average, less smart than those who use other browers. As PC Mag reports:


Over a period of around four weeks, the company gave a Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) to users looking for free online IQ assessment tests, then recorded the results and browsers used for all participants above the age of 16.

Across the board, the average IQ scores presented for users of Internet Explorer versions 6 through 9 were all lower than the IQ scores recorded for Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Camino, and Opera users.

Furthermore, AptiQuant notes:

In addition, the results were compared to a previous unreleased study of a similar nature undertaken in 2006. The average IQ score of the individuals using the then-current version of IE was significantly higher than the individuals using the current version of IE now, implying that a lot of people with higher IQ are moving away from IE to other browsers.

There is of course much to quarrel with in such a study. Also: remember that IE is a Windows browser, so we are not talking about the Mac universe. As someone who used to use IE, I have to wonder: maybe it isn’t that less-smart people choose IE but that using IE is so frustrating that it robs people of IQ points?

This also reminds me of the research from a few years back about the socioeconomic level of MySpace users versus Facebook users — a finding that gets more and more interesting in retrospect.

(HT: Eric M. Jones)

ADDENDUM: It appears this study may have been a hoax.

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  1. Bill Rebholz says:

    It should not be surprising that users of the alternative internet browsers mentioned would score higher on an IQ test than would the users of IE. People who are more restless, inquisitive, and computer-savvy are the ones who would look for an alternative browser that may satisfy their demands. These traits can also be descriptive of people with higher than average scores on an IQ test. Meanwhile, those who are among the great mass of computer users (that is, the average people) would be content with using their default browser, IE.

    I assume your statement suggesting that IE “robs people of IQ points” has to be facetious.

    Incidentally, the only browser I use is IE.

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  2. Michael says:

    Seeing Opera at the top is no surprise. One of the hallmark traits of intelligence is curiosity; and Opera is pretty much designed to be highly customizable. It’s like a browser that’s also a toy!

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  3. commonsenseless says:

    This study makes way too many assumptions. First of all they dont tell you what version of IE was used.
    Also, I use IE9 because the new version has much better performance compared to Chrome and Firefox. Does that mean I’m stupid? No, because I actually researched about the Acid test among many other data before i switched from Firefox to IE9.

    Ofcourse, I’m not saying all IE9 users are like me but I’m just saying it is an absurd correlation when in fact there are numerous factors involved when individuals are making decisions. Facotrs more than just IQ.

    This is just the “hipster Apple/Google” attitude fad that everyone has been victim to. (atleast this decade).

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    • commonsenseless says:

      Also, just because an individual is not into “figuring out the codes with his/her browser” does not mean that they have lower IQ. It has nothing to do with their curiosity levels either.

      It just means that they like to streamline their attention and resources in fields other than technogogy and web deisgning.

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  4. Consumer says:

    Selection bias: non-IE users are more tech savvy and more educated in my experience. That correlates with a higher IQ.

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  5. IE User says:

    The study doesn’t seem to take into account basic differences within each of the (self-selected) populations, such as age distribution. I’d bet heavily that Chrome and Firefox skew heavily to the 16-25 year old population, while IE is over-represented in older folk.

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  6. Joel Upchurch says:

    At the place I used to work, the people at the bottom of the totem pole didn’t have admin rights to install software on their computer, so they had to use IE. Personally I use Seamonkey on my Nettop computer and Chrome on my faster computers.

    When I setup a computer for a friend of mine, I usually have the default set to Firefox or Chrome, so THEIR IQ doesn’t have much to do with the browser they use.

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  7. Padamus11 says:

    Internet Explorer is retarded.

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  8. law says:

    I’m almost loath to post this as I could easily agree with the conclusion the “report” comes to, but it’s been suggested that this is a hoax – the AptiQuant site has only been up for a month & a number of the images on it can also be found on a French Research companies site – see here:

    bbc [dot] co [dot] uk/news/technology-14370878#

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