There's a story going round that reports that there's a poll which found that Fox News Viewers have an 80 IQ. That's 20 points below the average intelligence.
While most on the left probably think this study reinforces what they've believed, it looks like the report is a hoax.
The study was reported early on at yahoo news, with the title:
Intelligence Institute Study shows Fox News viewers have an IQ that is 20 points lower than the U.S. National average.
just below the title, the yahoo article, and others, list as a source " PRWeb"
PRWEB.com is a service that blasts out press releases for pay. That gives the news blurb some credibility. The problem is, the press release is not detectable doing a search of PRweb.
Googling the article, I found several links on google where the article had been posted and then removed, presumably because they figured out it was a hoax.
On dailykos, a member posted it but the members quickly found their BS detectors activated and commenters made it clear that the story
was not to be trusted.
Here's the report, in full, but don't get too excited about it. What may ring true to some readers, intuitively, just ain't so. It's a hoax.
Study shows that the Americans who watch Fox News have an average IQ of 80, whereas the national average is 100. Researchers were not "shocked" by findings.
Birmingham, Alabama (PRWEB) December 04, 2012
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.
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.
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."
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.
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."
More info to this study can be seen here
The Intelligence Institute
There are a number of problems with this. The phone number is one used for spam.
The link to email information does not at all make it clear what information is being requested. Searching PRWEB.com does not find the text used in the article.
Searching three sites that use intelligence institute in their domain name does not find any page with the words Fox News.
The link to more info does not provide more info on the study. I show a link to a huffingtonpost article
that reported that fox news viewers are the least informed.
So, the reports of the stupidity of Fox News viewers are a hoax. That doesn't make the claims of the hoax wrong, just the proof is not there as reported.
Bottom-line, it was tempting to run the story as others reported it. It's not as much fun to be a downer, reporting that it's wrong. But hopefully, doing the extra work WILL make a difference to our readers when it comes to trusting Opednews as a source of news that actually can be trusted.
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