Josh Millet and Eric Loken write:
You may recall the frenzy last summer when a phony report circulated that Internet Explorer users were less intelligent. That hoax should have been easily spotted because the fabricated data suggested a massive gap on the IQ scale. Anyone with any knowledge of psychological testing should have immediately understood that the data were impossible.
They then report on a new study with real results:
The CCAT is a timed test with maximum score of 50. Scores greater than 40 are rare, and the mean for our sample is in the low to mid twenties. (Keep in mind that on our website, this test is selected by employers trying to fill jobs with greater than average complexity and responsibility, so the pool is tilted to the upper end of the distribution already.) . . . Internet Explorer users are lagging Chrome, Safari and Firefox users by approximately a ¼ standard deviation. The difference is highly statistically significant . . . and it is of modest practical significance (it would correspond to something like 3 or 4 points on an IQ scale). . .
When we isolate the Mac OS X users from the rest of the pack (almost exclusively Windows), we see a similar and slightly stronger difference. The mean score for Mac users was 25.26 and the mean for the rest 22.83.
Millet and Loken conclude:
But let’s not get carried away with any of this. By definition Google and Apple are hungry for market share, and that means selling to everyone. Care to bet how things will look 15 years from now? It’s possible we’ll be saying “Google Chrome is the new IE,” and the tables in this post will look awfully out of date.