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Monday, August 8, 2011

A hoax correlation study: IQ scores and browser choice (amended 8th August 2011)


One of the news aggregators that I visit is Mashable, and recently they published the results of a false correlative study of browser use and IQ score, which supposedly used data from 100,000 users (and was run by a Canadian company).  Here's the link to the Mashable article.

Supposed correlation results from the published hoax:
The fictitious study's conclusion was that "“individuals on the lower side of the IQ scale tend to resist a change/upgrade of their browsers.” 

Since I blogged about it well before the false nature of the hoax was published, I've decided to keep an amended version up (thanks to Caesar for the comment). My own anecdotal impression had been that on corporate hardware, vestiges of IE6 uses was attributable to bigger bureaucratic organizations, who actually do exhibit tendencies to resist change. Another variable that has historically influenced rates of browser use of course, is factory settings. Microsoft's IE certainly enjoyed years of being the out-of-the-box default in the PC market.

I personally divide my time these days on my company-sanctioned flavour of Firefox, Opera and Chrome. And since my post about my audience and their browser use, I've been wondering why blogger counts SimplePie as a browser (it's an RSS reader) while Google Analytics doesn't.

Browser
None
[reverse sort direction]
Visits
Browser contribution to total:
1. 135 39.94%

2. 121 35.80%
3. 48 14.20%
4. 17 5.03%
5. 10 2.96%
6. 5 1.48%
7. 1 0.30%
8. 1 0.30%


About Mayo

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Professional: As "Senior Enterprise SEO Strategist" in IBM's Digital Marketing division, I provide consulting and training services for both internal and external clients. Formerly I was involved in Natural Language Processing, software localization, quality assurance and documentation authoring.
Personal: INTJ Nikkei Nisei ex-patriated Canadian who takes photographs and enjoys Baroque through late Classical music. The G+ page shares some of the "best of" photos.