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Internet Explorer users have lowest IQ of all web surfers, study shows [updated]


Update: This so-called study was found to be a hoax by the BBC. Please, disregard.

Original text: A newly released study has found that users of Microsoft’s line of Internet Explorer browsers have the lowest IQs, on average, than people who regularly use other web browsers. Conversely, Opera users have the highest average IQ.

The study (PDF) comes via Vancouver-based “psychometric consulting company” AptiQuant, who tested 101,326 people, from English-speaking countries, over the course of four weeks, using the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale to determine their intellectual prowess.

“Because cognitive scores are related to tech-savviness,” the researchers write in the study, “we hypothesized that the choice of web browser is related to cognitive ability of an individual.”

While the study is not on par with, say, a scientific paper, and IQ is hardly the only factor in determining a person’s full intellect, the report certainly does a lot to make non-IE users feel good about themselves.


Perched at the pinnacle of brainpower are users of Opera, who scored an average IQ of 126.5. Mozilla’s Mac-specific browser, Camino, came in a close second, with a score of 124.4. As you might expect, the most widely used browsers fell somewhere in the middle: Safari users scored a 113.5; Chrome, 111.2; and Firefox, 108.7.

Crowded at the bottom of the brain heap are users of Internet Explorer. Of those, users of IE 9 had the best score, about an 87. And it just goes down hill from there, with each previous version’s users scoring worse and worse. The plunge ends with IE 6 users, who scored about an 82.

“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,” AptiQuant writes. The company also says that this information should add another nail to the coffin of the Internet Explorer line.

“It is common knowledge, that Internet Explorer Versions to 6.0 to 8.0 are highly incompatible with modern web standards,” the company writes. “In order to make websites work properly on these browsers, web developers have to spend a lot of unnecessary effort…. Now that we have a statistical pattern on the continuous usage of incompatible browsers, better steps can be taken to eradicate this nuisance.”

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Andrew Couts
Former Digital Trends Contributor
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