A recent study links intelligence test results with browser usage — and the results don’t look good for users of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, especially its older versions.
The study, titled “Intelligence Quotient (IQ) and Browser Usage” by Canadian company AptiQuant, compiled IQ test scores of 101,326 individuals older than the age of 16 and divided them into groups according to the browser they use.
The results are fascinating. Users of Internet Explorer 6 have an average IQ score barely more than 80; Firefox and Chrome users fare much better, with average IQ scores of around 110, while Opera and Camino users have an average IQ score more than 120.
It’s also interesting to note that average IQ scores of IE6 users were significantly higher in 2006, and that the IQ scores get better with newer versions of IE.
Internet Explorer 6 has long been a thorn in the side of developers who hated it for its non-compliance with web standards, while users struggled with its many security flaws. This new study will probably induce more mockery of the ancient (but still sometimes found on older computers) browser and its users, but it’s probably not telling us that much about the browser itself — it’s about unwillingness to upgrade to a new version of any software.
The study concludes that “individuals on the lower side of the IQ scale tend to resist a change/upgrade of their browsers.” It’s only logical that users with a higher IQ are more likely to experiment, choose a different software version or variant (notice that users of IE with Chrome frame score very high on IQ tests) or listen to upgrade suggestions and security advice.
In March, Microsoft started a campaign to get users to stop using Internet Explorer 6. But did it take into account the fact that many IE6 users tend to have lower than average IQ scores? Maybe that’s the key to finally getting rid of the world’s most hated web browser.
“Individuals on the lower side of the IQ scale tend to resist a change/upgrade of their browsers. … Now that we have a statistical pattern on the continuous usage of incompatible browsers, better steps can be taken to eradicate this nuisance,” the study concludes.