What Might Your Browser Say About Your Intelligence?

In an online poll of over 100,000 people, AptiQuant, a Canadian firm that provides online employment assessments found a relationship between IQ and browser choice.  In the report, AptiQuant finds that individuals with lower IQ scores are more likely to use Internet Explorer than other browsers, such as Google Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.

The authors of the study note that “Although observational findings linking resistance to change/upgrade software to scores on cognitive tests maybe distorted by a lot of factors, it has been suggested that individuals on the lower end of the IQ scale tend to keep using outdated versions of antique web browsers.”  They extend this observation to their hypothesis:

“Because cognitive scores are related to tech savviness, we hypothesized that choice of web browser is related to cognitive ability of an individual.”

What the study found is that:

  • A significant number of individuals with a low score on the cognitive test were found to be using Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) versions 6.0 to 9.0.
  • There was no significant difference in the IQ scores between individuals using Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Apple’s Safari; however, it was on an average higher than IE users.
  • Individuals using Opera, Camino and IE with Chrome Frame scored a little higher on an average than others.

From this, the study concludes that “… the IQ score and the choice of web browser are related.”

While interesting, the study does not establish browser choice as an indicator of IQ.  Rather, it does seem to support the general notion that intelligence relates to willingness to change and adopt new tools (in this case, software).

And, before you tease your IE-using friends, remember that this survey was far from scientific, with self-selecting users who responded to web advertisements for a free IQ test.