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.


I Love My New Chromebook, but …

As we prepare to offer Chromebooks to schools and SMEs, our first unit has arrived.  Never has setting up a new computing device been so simple.  Once you power up, the OS walks you through connecting to your wireless network and downloading the latest Chrome OS updates.

Enter your Google Apps username and password, and you are up and running.

We are using the Samsung 5 WiFi edition.  The keyboard is fine, but compact.  Performance is superb as is screen, audio, and video quality (through the built-in camera).  Boot up takes ~8 seconds and coming out of sleep is instant.  A far cry from the coffee break required when returning from Standby on my Windows laptop.

I love it, but ….  it does take some adjustment.

ChromeOS is an OS in a browser.  There is no “closing” the browser to see your desktop.  Your “desktop” is the new tab screen, with your applications listed in a logical order.

There is local storage, about 50GB, and the ability to use USB and SD cards for more space.  The local storage is not like a traditional hard drive.  There is no letter, it is simply accessed through the browser.

Google could make moving to Chromebooks easier with a few changes to Google Apps and Gmail in particular.   When composing emails, Gmail has an “Attach File” link that assumes you are loading a file from local storage.  I suggest that Gmail should also have a “Share Doc” link that lets you browse your Google Docs collections and select links to include/attach in the message.  If I am moving to the cloud, make sharing content from the cloud the default.

Aside from that, I find the Chromebook more useful for working on the go than my iPad, as I prefer the Chrome browser interface to the mail, calendar, and ‘mini browser’ interfaces on the iPad.

Let me know what you think.