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Hoax Portrays Fox News VIewers as Having 80 IQ

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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
P. Nichols
The Intelligence Institute
202-656-1746
Email Information
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.

 

Rob Kall is executive editor, publisher and website architect of OpEdNews.com, Host of the Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show (WNJC 1360 AM), and publisher of Storycon.org, President of Futurehealth, Inc, and an inventor . He is also published regularly on the Huffingtonpost.com

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Rob is, with Opednews.com the first media winner of the Pillar Award for supporting Whistleblowers and the first amendment.


With his experience as architect and founder of a technorati top 100 blog, he is also a new media / social media consultant and trainer for corporations, non-profits, entrepreneurs and authors.

Rob is a frequent Speaker on the bottom-up revolution, politics, The art, science and power of story, heroes and the hero's journey and Positive Psychology. He is a campaign consultant specializing in tapping the power of stories for issue positioning, stump speeches and debates, and optimizing tapping the power of new media. Watch me speaking on Bottom up economics at the Occupy G8 Economic Summit, here.

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Yes the story is false.The average Fox viewer's IQ... by kanawah on Sunday, Dec 9, 2012 at 7:22:17 PM
which means the numbers up or down rapidly increas... by Daniel Geery on Monday, Dec 10, 2012 at 6:55:34 PM
The IQ distribution follows a Gaussian, a.k.a. Nor... by Robert James on Monday, Dec 10, 2012 at 9:56:56 PM
IQ by ten points or so! With red face, I will go b... by Daniel Geery on Tuesday, Dec 11, 2012 at 6:03:01 AM
Wiki on the subject: click hereQuite fascinat... by Daniel Geery on Tuesday, Dec 11, 2012 at 6:26:19 AM
Myaelf to spearhead an actual study. Who's good at... by Don Caldarazzo on Sunday, Dec 9, 2012 at 7:49:48 PM
I'd figure it was an inside job at Fox, trying to ... by Jerry Wesner on Sunday, Dec 9, 2012 at 8:16:38 PM
The front row at a Glenn Beck road show.... by John Sanchez Jr. on Sunday, Dec 9, 2012 at 9:12:12 PM
A dynamic you touched on is perhaps worthy of much... by Rand Clifford on Sunday, Dec 9, 2012 at 9:39:45 PM
that we can't consistently put it to better uses.... by Daniel Geery on Tuesday, Dec 11, 2012 at 6:05:20 AM
I was so looking forward to rubbing  my conse... by Archie on Sunday, Dec 9, 2012 at 10:37:52 PM
But would like to point two things:   1. &n... by BFalcon on Sunday, Dec 9, 2012 at 10:59:49 PM
Well, if someone blindly believes all what Fox new... by Ash E on Monday, Dec 10, 2012 at 3:24:41 AM
I m quite certain that this study must be a hoax, ... by Woody Smith on Monday, Dec 10, 2012 at 6:27:05 AM
OK, IQ of 80 is too big a stretch, but see here fr... by Scott Baker on Monday, Dec 10, 2012 at 9:30:00 AM
but that retardatiion is deliberately self- develo... by Mark Sashine on Monday, Dec 10, 2012 at 9:57:02 AM
I recall that Rupert Murdoch's guidance to his jou... by Robert James on Monday, Dec 10, 2012 at 9:48:23 PM
I believe it. The only two Republicans I have met ... by molly cruz on Monday, Dec 10, 2012 at 1:23:03 PM
Study Confirms That Fox News Makes You Stupid - De... by Corey Mondello on Monday, Dec 10, 2012 at 6:09:28 PM
Well, Rob, by definition 100 is the median IQ of A... by Robert James on Monday, Dec 10, 2012 at 9:34:41 PM
Sorry to rain on this parade, but I DO know conser... by Rob Kall on Monday, Dec 10, 2012 at 11:22:00 PM
Intelligence, Wisdom, and Compassion are really th... by Kim Cassidy on Tuesday, Dec 11, 2012 at 12:18:14 AM
what to do about it. Oped is a good anti-dose--and... by Daniel Geery on Tuesday, Dec 11, 2012 at 6:09:54 AM
The real difference {in people} is not in int... by Ned Lud on Tuesday, Dec 11, 2012 at 6:24:29 AM
Some conservatives watch Fox news, but not all.&nb... by Scott Baker on Tuesday, Dec 11, 2012 at 12:20:14 PM
that in the recent political campaign, the only pl... by John Sanchez Jr. on Wednesday, Dec 12, 2012 at 4:11:30 PM
A poster claiming to be PNichols (pnicholsiii) pos... by Mike Kostich on Tuesday, Dec 11, 2012 at 2:30:16 PM