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Chrome Users Are Best With Numbers, IE Users Worst 203

New submitter dr_blurb writes "After reading about last year's hoax report 'Intelligence Quotient (IQ) and Browser Usage' I realized I was in fact already running a real live experiment measuring number skills: a site were you can solve Calcudoku number puzzles. I analyzed two years' worth of data, consisting of over 1 million solved puzzles. This included puzzles solved 'against the clock,' of three different sizes. For each size, Chrome users were the fastest solvers, Firefox users came second, and IE users were the slowest. The number of abandoned puzzles (started but never finished) was also significantly higher for IE users. Analysis shows that the differences are statistically significant: in other words, they did not happen by chance. I put up more details and some graphs, and also wrote a paper about it (PDF)."
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Chrome Users Are Best With Numbers, IE Users Worst

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  • 7th post! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jc42 ( 318812 ) on Saturday March 03, 2012 @06:06PM (#39234163) Homepage Journal

    Oh, wait ... Hmmm; this is a Safari window. I wonder how Safari users rank.

    Maybe I should switch to one of my Chrome or Firefox windows, then I might get it right.

    It might be interesting if we could get data on users that run multiple browsers. I have at least 10 browsers on this MacBook Pro, slightly fewer on my Ubuntu and Debian boxes, though I've previously found some that I didn't know I had, so I'm not sure how many more their might be. Lots of us developers collect browsers for testing against.

    Anyway, it could be interesting if people showed different math abilities when using different browsers. It'd imply that the differences are due to interference from the browsers' UIs, and not inherent in the individual users. I wonder how this study handle such possibilities. We already have good evidence that the programming language you use can help or hinder various sorts of reasoning ability, depending on the way they implement various capabilities. It wouldn't be too surprising if different browsers' UIs affected the ability of users to perform some mental operations. So we don't really know whether this study was comparing the users' math abilities, or the browsers' interference with their users' abilities.

  • Re:Wrong conclusions (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Samantha Wright ( 1324923 ) on Saturday March 03, 2012 @06:17PM (#39234223) Homepage Journal
    Then to avoid that contradiction, I propose a new hypothesis: IE users are the most likely to have something better to do than sit around all day solving puzzles. I think this really more suggests that Chrome users are the most bored.
  • Re:Inadequacy (Score:2, Interesting)

    by friedmud ( 512466 ) on Saturday March 03, 2012 @06:38PM (#39234351)

    Competition is a basic human need... the want to compete and come out on top is intrinsic in all of us. We want to come out on top of everything... including being associated with a group that comes out on top of another group.

    This competition is one of the reasons pure communism can never work. Despite what people say they don't really want everything to be "equal"... what they mean by that is that they don't want others to have more than them (ie they want _more_ than others! ;-)

    In the absence of competition you generate bored, unhappy people.... that will eventually tear down their own society...

  • Re:7th post! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Billly Gates ( 198444 ) on Saturday March 03, 2012 @06:58PM (#39234505) Journal

    Rule number one in science is never to form causation from generaliztion of data. Studies show that rap music makes you a better basketball player. Ice cream can give you heart attacks too. Why?

    Statistically most NBA basketball players who are African American listen to rap music, therefore rap music made them great basketball players. The ice cream study was based on very hot days in New York when the temperature soared over 100 degrees. People tend to eat more ice cream on those days and there was also a rise of heart attacks. Therefore ice cream gives you heart attacks.

    In Korea there are warning labels that fans give you heart attacks and there are settings to make sure they turn off at night as Koreans believe you can die if you leave the fan on at night. This is because when it is hot people have heart attacks and you can guess where the media made the conclusion.

    It is silly and dangerous to make assumptions. You need a full hypothesis and use the standard scientific method to reproduce the results.

    For all we know more old people use IE who are mentally further declined, or people went to that site at work when the boss wasn't looking and quickly alt tabbed and let the game time out when work needed them, etc. These are valid reasons and does not equate stupidity for people who use IE. Until we know more we just do not know. The work thing with IE is a very likely reason why a user would stop the puzzle as corporate America loves IE and users tend to hate work.

  • by dr_blurb ( 676176 ) on Saturday March 03, 2012 @07:09PM (#39234571)

    Possibly, but my guess is that I would have had complaints from people.

    Also note that this was data over two years, and I'm only using it from people who've successfully completed at least 10 timed puzzles of each size.

  • Re:Wrong conclusions (Score:5, Interesting)

    by marcello_dl ( 667940 ) on Saturday March 03, 2012 @08:04PM (#39234847) Homepage Journal

    Prejudice: An adverse judgment or opinion formed beforehand or without knowledge or examination of the facts.

    Facts, or better, google hits:
    ie.crashes -> 27800000 results
    chrome.crashes -> 35000000 results
    ff.crashes -> 4.740.000 firefox.crashes ->1.810.000

    So, according to Google itself, IE IS crashy, Chrome IS crashier.

I was playing poker the other night... with Tarot cards. I got a full house and 4 people died. -- Steven Wright