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So Internet Explorer users have lower IQs?

Wednesday 3 August 2011

This one made me laugh when I read this on the BBC website this morning…

Internet Explorer users have a lower than average IQ, according to research by Consulting firm AptiQuant.

The study gave web surfers an IQ test, and then plotted their scores against the browser they used.

IE surfers were found to have an average IQ lower than people using Chrome, Firefox and Safari. Users of Camino and Opera rated highest.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-14370878

What did Mark Twain say?

“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics…”

What can you read into this survey?

Firstly, there are more people using IE (figures taken off the extremely ‘reliable’ Wikipedia site)

Source Internet Explorer Firefox Chrome Safari Opera Mobile Unknown
Net Applications 52.81% 21.48% 13.45% 8.05% 2.90% 5.47%
StatCounter 42.45% 27.95% 22.14% 5.16% 1.66% 7.02%
W3Counter 35.60% 27.70% 19.60% 6.40% 2.30% 8.40%
Usage share of browsers for July 2011

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_share_of_web_browsers#Accuracy

When doing a survey, does the sample size effect accuracy? Well yes. So was the proportion of people surveyed representative? Doubt it. Were some of the people volunteering, trying to massage the results? Probably.

One way of interpreting the results is that if these figures are true, Internet Explorer must be easier to use than other browsers as you obviously don’t need to be the sharpest blade in the cutlery draw to surf.

Alternatively, perhaps it’s too difficult for the majority of IE users to work out how to install an alternative browser and stop IE from being their default browser?

All in all, it’s a load of fun and a great example of how to potentially alienate a group of people through by spinning a negative vibe about how if a Neanderthal man was given the choice as to what their preferred OS and browser was it would most likely be Microsoft and Internet Explorer.

For info, as I am involved in the development of web applications, I use all of the above.

I’m not letting on what my IQ is and won’t be sitting the test myself — just in case I have a shocker and lose the ability to answer simple multiple-choice questions!

I will, however, be looking forward to hearing what further spin gets spun from the original article!

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