Tuesday, August 02, 2011

IE users have lower IQ study says

There has already been some evidence published which supports the idea that GMail users are more intelligent than users of other email services. But new research goes further and suggests the use of browser may also be an indication of intelligence.

Previous studies

According to a number of surveys conducted as recently as 2009 GMail users showed higher IQ ratings than those of Yahoo and Hotmail. Although the difference was marginal in tests carried out by one group, the results were nonetheless significant. According to IntelligentElite the average IQ of GMail users was 109 compared to 104 and 103 for Hotmail and Yahoo respectively.

An article in Mashable also alludes to the possibility that email preference may also reveal one's credit worthiness. According to Credit Karma, an online credit checking service, data from its some 20,000 users and split it up by email address, showed that Yahoo Mail users had the lowest credit scores of all. Bellsouth and Comcast users had the highest credit ratings, while GMail users ranked third. MSN, Hotmail and AOL users took 4th, 5th and 6th position respectively.

IE users have lower IQ

Now there is further evidence which adds weight behind the assertion that users of Google products may be brighter than the average Joe. Reports in several publications today [Tuesday 2nd August] says that Internet Explorer users are far less intelligent than those using Google Chrome, Safari or Firefox. The new study found that those with Internet Explorer 6 installed on their computer typically have an IQ barely higher than 80. By some rankings this would make them almost retarded! 

In comparison the IQ levels for those who used Mozilla's Firefox or Google's Chrome came in at around 110, while users of Opera or Camino were top with an IQ of around 120.

The survey was carried out by psychometric-assessment firm AptiQuant of a sample exceeding 100,000 people and showed a shift between IQ rating in 2006 and 2011. Five years ago the high IQ levels sat with Internet Explorer. However it appears the intellint Internet users have shifted to modern browsers leaving the less bright with older technology. However Even users of IE8 and IE9 do not fair well in the ratings both sets falling below a 100 IQ. In fact the only users of Microsoft browsers showing high intelligence levels were using Internet Explorer with Chrome Frame, whereby Google's Chrome browser is incorporated into IE [AptiQuant study - PDF].

Colourful headlines

Such revelations of course has created a plethora of colourful headlines. Register ran with "It's official: IE users dumber than a bag of hammers", the Daily Mail headlined with "Internet Explorer users are stupid" while CBS went with a slightly safer "Internet Explorer users 'are kind of stupid,' says study". The Daily Telegraph also played safe with its "lower than average" description.

Google Chrome use growing

Other statistics revealed this week was that Google Chrome was fast becoming the browser of choice for most Britons. Seemingly this would indicate the British, or at least its population of Internet users, are becoming brighter. Only three years after launch, Chrome last month secured 22% of UK market, marginally overtaking Mozilla's Firefox browser, this according to the web metrics firm Statcounter [Guardian].

Microsoft's Internet Explorer is losing to Chrome but still remains the most popular browser for British users with 45% of market share. Apple's Safari is UK number four, with a 9% share. Elsewhere in the world the division is far more stark. In China, Chrome takes only 5.4% of the overall market holding level with other browsers such as Firefox and the almost unknown Maxthon, according to Statcounter. Safari barely registers with less than 1% of the Internet population using the Apple Mac based browser. Internet Explorer is the browser of choice for most Chinese, particularly the older IE6. However it would be wrong to draw any conclusion from this. Many computers in China still come with XP preloaded, a preference for many, and as such comes with IE6. In addition many users are forced to stick with IE6 since many online banking services have failed to facilitate compatibility with newer browsers.

Chrome remains the number three browser worldwide and is expected to knock Firefox off its second position. However both browsers still fall behind Internet Explorer's 43% share. Microsoft benefits partly because IE is pre-installed in most computers. However, if the new study is to be believed, and the online population is becoming more intelligent and switching browsers, Microsoft may well be edged out of the game, and that only leaves one clear winner, i.e.: Google. You can take free IQ tests online at HighIQSociety and SpaceAndMotion.

tvnewswatch, Beijing, China

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