We’ve known for a long time that Fox News has the oldest cable audience (average age 65) and we know, too, that Fox has the dumbest and most misinformed audience. But are they really THIS DUMB?
A PRWeb press release reposted on Yahoo News, “Intelligence Institute Study shows Fox News viewers have an IQ that is 20 points lower than the U.S. National average.” is currently quite high on the hit parade at reddit/r/politics. I’d like to believe that’s true, but it’s very obviously a prank.
Although it admittedly does feel “true enough” to be plausible for a moment (or even two moments) if you do a search for “The Intelligence Institute” and “lead researcher, P. Nichols” you don’t come up with much. In this case, just a bunch of people who are either gullible lefties who want to believe this is true, reposting it frantically, or else people who simply find the writing hysterically funny.
I wonder who paid PRWeb to post this:The results of a 4 year study show that Americans who obtain their news from Fox News channel have an average IQ of 80, which represents a 20 point deficit when compared to the U.S. national average of 100. IQ, or intelligence quotient, is the international standard of assessing intelligence.Sweet Jeebus is that droll. But it’s still totally plausible isn’t it?
Researchers at The Intelligence Institute, a conservative non-profit group, tested 5,000 people using a series of tests that measure everything from cognitive aptitude to common sense and found that people who identified themselves as Fox News viewers and ‘conservative’ had, on average, significantly lower intelligent quotients. Fox Viewers represented 2,650 members of the test group.
One test involved showing subjects a series of images and measuring their vitals, namely pulse rate and blood pressure. The self-identified conservatives’ vitals increased over 35% when shown complex or shocking images. The image that caused the most stress was a poorly edited picture of President Obama standing next to a “ghostly” image of a child holding a tarantula.Test subjects who received their news from other outlets or reported they do not watch the news scored an average IQ of 104, compared to 80 for Fox News viewers.Admittedly. if they said the Fox News watchers had IQs of around 90, I could totally see that, but 80?Lead researcher, P. Nichols, explains, “Less intelligent animals rely on instinct when confronted by something which they do not understand. This is an ancient survival reaction all animals, including humans, exhibit. It’s a very simple phenomenon, really; think about a dog being afraid of a vacuum cleaner. He doesn’t know what a vacuum is or if it may harm him, so he becomes agitated and barks at it. Less intelligent humans do the same thing. Concepts that are too complex for them to understand, may frighten or anger them.”Sputtering with laughter on this end…
He continues, “Fox News’ content is presented at an elementary school level and plays directly into the fears of the less educated and less intelligent.”
The researchers said that an IQ of 80 is well above the score of 70, which is where psychiatrists diagnose mental retardation. P. Nichols says an IQ of 80 will not limit anyone’s ability to lead happy, fulfilling lives.
The study did not conclude if Fox News contributed to lowering IQ or if it attracts less intelligent humans.It’s the sort of thing that could have been written by jokesters on either on the right or from the left, it’s hard to tell what the motivation was here. I expect we’ll find out soon. Since it’s actually funny, I don’t think this is likely to turn out to come from a conservative prankster, but maybe it was.
P. Nichols concludes that he wasn’t shocked by the studies’ results, rather how dramatic their range. “Several previous studies show that self-identified conservatives are less intelligent than self-identified moderates. We have never seen such a homogeneous group teetering so close to special needs levels.”The email information leads nowhere, but if anyone calls the number and gets someone on the line, leave what happens in the comments [at DangerousMinds].
More info to this study can be seen here:
The Intelligence Institute
Wednesday, December 12, 2012