PC World reports that a "psychometric consulting" firm called AptiQuant gave free online IQ tests to 100,000 people, and then plotted the scores against the browser on which the tests were taken.

It found that Internet Explorer users scored lower than average, while Chrome, Firefox and Safari users were very slightly above average. Camino, Opera and Internet Explorer with Chrome Frame were scored "exceptionally" high.

I have a feeling that this is nothing more than a marketing gimmick but is there any validity in in the study? Is there any independant data to back this up or refute? Can a anyone who takes and online IQ test really be allowed to score Exceptional?

  • 2
    Perhaps this indicates some browsers are foolproof and others not
    – Henry
    Aug 1, 2011 at 20:29
  • 6
    It wouldn't surprise me, because typically only the more "techy" people would use the other browsers. The average person just uses internet explorer. Assuming that "techy" people are in general smarter than average, then this would skew the results, even though it is likely that far more smarter people use internet explorer than all the others combined.
    – Dunk
    Aug 1, 2011 at 20:39
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    Since it is an IQ test on the internet, I'd go with your latter conclusion: The test is just stupid :)
    – Lagerbaer
    Aug 1, 2011 at 20:42
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    low score for IE is no surprise, it's preinstalled. Highscore for geeky browsers don't surprise either, geeks are on average bit smarter than Joe Sixpack. But it isn't something positive about browser. It might as well mean, that it's to complicated to use for normal folks. Note, that the top 3 by IQ have non-existent market share. In fact #2 nad #3 should be discarded as statistical noise.
    – vartec
    Aug 1, 2011 at 21:29
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    @sklivvz Bah i thought the other title was more fun.
    – Chad
    Aug 2, 2011 at 9:26

2 Answers 2


The 'study' has apparently since been exposed as a hoax:

A story which suggested that users of Internet Explorer have a lower IQ than people who chose other browsers appears to have been an elaborate hoax.

A number of media organisations, including the BBC, reported on the research, put out by Canadian firm ApTiquant. (sic)

It later emerged that the company's website was only recently set up and staff images were copied from a legitimate business in Paris.

But whois records - the database that lists who was responsible for a website such as its technical contacts and owner - and web content comparisons raised questions over the company behind the survey that was the subject of the story.

So currently there is no evidence to support a link between IQ and browser choice

Other sources:


The study by ApTiquant is bogus (as was pointed out by @Durathor); moreover, the differences the claim are to high to even look reasonable.

However, it does not mean that the effect (i.e. relation of one's IQ to the browser of choice) does not exist.

And actually, one other find this effect (and also differences in other psychological traits, no only IQ), see Do Internet Explorer users have a low IQ? on myPersonality.org:

IE’s average IQ is way below average, but Firefox’s is way above average. So actually ApTiquant’s fake results aren’t completely off the mark! However, the average IQ of people who like IE is around 93, and for Firefox it’s about 104, so the differences are a long way from the massive ones that ApTiquant fabricated.

It’s not all bad for people who like IE though. You can see from the profiles above that their life satisfaction is above average (Firefox’s is below average). IE likers also have more Facebook friends than Firefox ones.

Update: By the way, here’s the LikeAudience page for Chrome. Average IQ is ever so slightly lower than Firefox, around 103.

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