Start A Petition

Study: Fox News Viewers Have An IQ 20 Points Below US Average

Society & Culture  (tags: americans, children, corruption, culture, dishonesty, education, environment, ethics, family, freedoms, government, media, news, politics, religion, rights, society, violence, women )

- 1988 days ago -
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.

Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.


Kit B (276)
Sunday December 9, 2012, 12:11 pm
Image Credit: Fox News logo from RSN)

tudy 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.

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."

(See Also: Study Finds Fox News Viewers Least Informed of All Viewers)

By PRWeb | Reader Supported News |

Kit B (276)
Sunday December 9, 2012, 12:12 pm

This is funny - not that any one would be surprised by this study.

Hadschi Halef Omar (9)
Sunday December 9, 2012, 12:31 pm
i find it hard to believe that any CAN have an IQ 20 points below the average U$Amnesiac....

ooops, err, on second thought: not so, as IQ is defined so that 100 is average of those sampled

Robert B (60)
Sunday December 9, 2012, 12:40 pm
I have suspected this for a long time.

Roxie H (350)
Sunday December 9, 2012, 1:40 pm
The only question I have is this... now that we watched it... does this make our IQ go lower? UGH Thanks Kit!

Yvonne White (229)
Sunday December 9, 2012, 3:43 pm
It all sounds about right..but I'm not getting that odd stress test: "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."
I'm a Liberal, but I HATE spiders & it would upset me for a child (of any race) to bee holding one & be anywhere near the President! So I'm wondering what the point of that particular image was "shock-wise"???

Kit B (276)
Sunday December 9, 2012, 4:14 pm

I don't care much for that species of creature myself Yvonne.

I don't believe anyone needs to be worried that reading this will reduce their IQ if however, you do watch Fox News you might just be stupid. So reduced IQ is not a concern for you.

pam w (139)
Sunday December 9, 2012, 4:52 pm
Yvonne & need to visit me at the zoo & let me show you some LOVELY tarantulas! They'll win your heart!

Now....having said that....was there ever ANY allegation that FAUX NEWS audiences were intelligent?


Kit B (276)
Sunday December 9, 2012, 5:05 pm

Thanks Pam - so kind of you, I think I will take a pass on that invite.

JL A (281)
Sunday December 9, 2012, 5:08 pm
I'd like to read the results of the suggested follow-up study (was IQ lower before became a viewer) and noted the content level is lower than what was the target for daily newspapers (8th grade) last I knew. One methodological issue I wish had been mentioned is the typical age-IQ interaction where measurement is cued towards age level of early 20's so if younger and testing with vocabulary, etc. at that age results in a higher than average score--but the person in their 40's or 50's being tested usually will have a lower score than had they been tested in their teens.

Laura H (964)
Sunday December 9, 2012, 5:23 pm
One only has to read the posts from the Fox news 'fans' here on Care2 to see that this study is TRUE...

Kit B (276)
Sunday December 9, 2012, 5:28 pm

I think a few people on Care2 might just jump into one's mind.

Laura H (964)
Sunday December 9, 2012, 5:32 pm
You are SO right...or should I say~CORRECT Kit!!

Jim P (3257)
Sunday December 9, 2012, 6:00 pm
Yes. I am in agreement that the viewers who watch Faux Noise have a lower IQ.

After all, most of those viewers of faux noise have less than a 5th grade education.

Ty, Kit.

jo M (3)
Sunday December 9, 2012, 7:55 pm
And I thought you usually put a disclaimer on Onion type news, Kit. Sad to see there are apparently IQ's even smaller than the 80 that Fox News viewers supposedly have. Maybe this "research group" can next do a study on the average Obama voter and see if their average IQ manages to make it to the retarded level.

Michael Carney (217)
Sunday December 9, 2012, 8:21 pm
I can't say this comes as a Well, jo, you've proven the survey point...

Ashley N (17)
Sunday December 9, 2012, 9:32 pm
Hahahahahahaha! Thank you so much! I really needed that today. :)

Mike H (252)
Sunday December 9, 2012, 10:58 pm
From the article "PROBLEM WITH THIS STORY! We originally obtained this story from Yahoo News. While we published it in good faith there appears now to be serious doubt that the story is authentic. We advise caution in considering the claims made here. Quoting this report is not recommended. Our sincere apologies." I'm not saying Fox news is good or bad, this is what the article says

Elle B (84)
Monday December 10, 2012, 12:01 am
Ty Kit. Heard in news highlights but had not read any details. A few words from the witty and the wise. . .

". . .If we're looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn't test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power." ―P.J. O'Rourke

“The IQ and the life expectancy of the average American recently passed each other in opposite directions.”
― George Carlin

“If stupidity got us in this mess, how come it can't get us out.” ― Will Rogers

“Those at too great a distance may, I am well aware, mistake ignorance for perspective.” ― Carl Sagan

“Not ignorance, but ignorance of ignorance is the death of knowledge” ― Alfred North Whitehead

“If stupidity got us in this mess, how come it can't get us out.” ―Will Rogers


Geoff Carr (0)
Monday December 10, 2012, 5:49 am
The article is a joke (just like the stuff they put in the Onion and then we laugh because news agencies around the world take it as fact).

Ben O (171)
Monday December 10, 2012, 6:26 am
"Americans who watch Fox News have an average IQ of 80"...??? -I thought it was more like 40...
However; -Never underestimate the power of ignorant idiots in large groups!

jan b (5)
Monday December 10, 2012, 6:57 am
On Fox, subhuman hosts just keep pretending there’s nothing wrong with flip-flops, exaggerations or lies. . Remember—on TV they’re inventing news, not giving us the news. If you’ve been cast as one of the Noble Accusers, you can emit all the nonsense you want..... ( Noble Accusers can be any member of the GOP or some like Rove---or Coulter )

Vallee R (280)
Monday December 10, 2012, 7:18 am
Wonderful - stats = agree with Ben - 80 is below average in any case - not surprised but good question - does FOX attract those people or dumbs them down - would be interested in looking at other networks too

Kit B (276)
Monday December 10, 2012, 7:45 am

Not so fast there Alexandra - if that is where you gain your information.....

Alexa R (319)
Monday December 10, 2012, 8:01 am
Yes Kit Among others, that where I gain my information from ..

Kit B (276)
Monday December 10, 2012, 8:06 am

Thanks for that chuckle - well actually laughing out loud. There are real and factual news sources, though they may offer information that forces one to expand their thinking and knowledge base. Fox however, is not among those sources.

Geoff Carr (0)
Monday December 10, 2012, 8:14 am
And here's Fox being caught out faking some of its own news:

Theodore Shayne (56)
Monday December 10, 2012, 8:17 am
I can't say that CNN or any of the major news networks are any better. Who owns and controls the media? This is part of a programming scheme called Delphi Programming. We will tell you what to think; what to believe; how to behave and what is important. Eat your fast food; drink your sodas; smoke your cigarettes; have unprotected sex but for goodness don't smoke marijuana. It messes up the programming. Slime oozing out of your TV set indeed! Turn the damn thing off; get out and get some exercise; read a book and educate yourself. You might try and think outside the box and develop some morals and ethics?

Mitchell D (87)
Monday December 10, 2012, 8:35 am
Yes, apparently a hoax, but that does not mean that Fox provides authentic information! Fox News is overseen by (I forget his name) a fellow who was closely involved with the G.W. Bush administration, and is apparently interested in nothing more than putting out right-wing propaganda as news, He is the one responsible, he has been proud to say, for the totally misleading phrase "Balanced and Honest," or, that is what it is to the best of my recollection. This is an example of "The Big Lie," one of Hitler's favorite tactics. The idea being that the bigger the lie the less prone will people be to doubt it.
Fox news watchers may not have a 20 point lower IQ than average, but they may well have stopped using their innate intelligence.

Kit B (276)
Monday December 10, 2012, 8:36 am

I think any thing from any major TV news network should spark the individual initiative to search out real facts. You can be a fool and believe what is spoon fed or you can use the Internet, dig out some actual scholarly research - double check that even be ready to question your own long held beliefs. Books, scholarly journals, fact based articles, all should be used and all should be checked and double checked for accuracy. When I was in school we occasionally had to travel to use libraries in other states, now those same original documents are available by proper use of the Internet.

Elle B (84)
Monday December 10, 2012, 8:59 am
Ty again Kit. . . the recent humor is based on study released in 2012 [see below]. [There are other earlier less publicized studies with supportive findings...of course the neo Libertarian-Conservative academician influences subscribe to and purport the premise that "empirical information" is not of any particularly significant nor relevant anything...this group and their notions and subsequent dissemination of large and massive volumes of intentionally ideological [mis]information to contained and/or isolated social groups... is the subject that requires urgent in-depth studies... ]

"Bright Minds and Dark Attitudes: Lower Cognitive Ability Predicts Greater Prejudice Through Right-Wing Ideology and Low Intergroup Contact"

Gordon Hodson and Michael A. Busseri, Brock University in Ontario

Psychological Science, February 2012; vol. 23, 2: pp. 187-195., first published on January 5, 2012


"Despite their important implications for interpersonal behaviors and relations, cognitive abilities have been largely ignored as explanations of prejudice. We proposed and tested mediation models in which lower cognitive ability predicts greater prejudice, an effect mediated through the endorsement of right-wing ideologies (social conservatism, right-wing authoritarianism) and low levels of contact with out-groups. In an analysis of two large-scale, nationally representative United Kingdom data sets (N = 15,874), we found that lower general intelligence (g) in childhood predicts greater racism in adulthood, and this effect was largely mediated via conservative ideology. A secondary analysis of a U.S. data set confirmed a predictive effect of poor abstract-reasoning skills on anti-homosexual prejudice, a relation partially mediated by both authoritarianism and low levels of inter-group contact. All analyses controlled for education and socioeconomic status. Our results suggest that cognitive abilities play a critical, albeit under appreciated, role in prejudice. Consequently, we recommend a heightened focus on cognitive ability in research on prejudice and a better integration of cognitive ability into prejudice models."


Developmental antecedents of political ideology: a longitudinal investigation from birth to age 18 years.
Fraley RC, Griffin BN, Belsky J, Roisman GI.

1University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The study reported here examined the developmental antecedents of conservative versus liberal ideologies using data from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development and a follow-up study conducted when the sample was 18 years old. Specifically, we examined variation in conservative versus liberal ideologies at age 18 years as a function of parenting attitudes and child temperament during the first 5 years of life. Consistent with long-standing theories on the development of political attitudes, our results showed that parents' authoritarian attitudes assessed when children were 1 month old predicted conservative attitudes in those children more than 17 years later. Consistent with the findings of Block and Block (2006), our results also showed that early childhood temperament predicted variation in conservative versus liberal ideologies.

PMID:23054474 [PubMed - in process]


“Can`t you see that I`m only advising you to beg yourself not to be so dumb?” ―Titus Petronius Niger, 27-66 A.D.

“For at least two thirds of our miseries spring from human stupidity, human malice and those great motivators and justifiers of malice and stupidity, idealism, dogmatism and proselytizing zeal on behalf of religious or political idols” ― Aldous Huxley, Complete Essays 1, 1920-25


Kit B (276)
Monday December 10, 2012, 10:03 am

Extremely illuminating information, thank you Elle for expanding the research on closed minds.

Alexander W (53)
Monday December 10, 2012, 2:50 pm
Simple people, who want to see real facts and stores, watch Foxnews.

Those who want to see a perverted and twisted turn of events to puzzle themselves with the world conspiracies watch Al-Manar or CNN.


Thomas P (280)
Monday December 10, 2012, 3:38 pm
Noted. Bob A....I agree with you. Simple people watch Fox News. VERY simple people.

Elle B (84)
Monday December 10, 2012, 6:08 pm
Always Welcome Kit and Nancy. Wish time allowed for more. . .there is a long list of very relevant research and articles on this a topic and closely related subjects...[computer with easy access to files references are not as handy:)] Here is an interesting and brief article i read in Scientific American this past September on Naught News Broadcasters' highly inaccurate and convoluted reporting that misleads the viewers on "Climate Change." This level of inaccuracy more than qualifies what is being disseminated as "PROPAGANDA" to the serious detriment of the public. It is very sad and beyond shameful.

A few words for infotainment--Naught News broadcasters and the Libertarian-Conservative No-Think Tanks created to intentionally effect "culture changes" based on illusion and adventures in fantasy that the vast majority ....never asked for and... DO NOT WANT. . .quit masking your mucked and murky material. . .

“Your hypocrisy insults my intelligence.” ― Toba Beta

“I won't insult your intelligence by suggesting that you really believe what you just said.” ― William F. Buckley Jr.

"Only the mob and the elite can be attracted by the momentum of totalitarianism itself. The masses have to be won by propaganda." —Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism, 1951

Angelika R (143)
Monday December 10, 2012, 6:20 pm
Another hilarious thread here, thx for the pick, Kit! ( I believe the hoax here is that it's a hoax)

Kit B (276)
Monday December 10, 2012, 6:25 pm

Interesting that Climate Change comes up just now, there is an excellent but short article on Care2 that shows clearly that of 13,950 peer reviewed articles on global warming only 24 rejected the ideas or 0.17%.


Elle B (84)
Monday December 10, 2012, 6:31 pm
Here's the link i meant to includ for above mentioned article on Climate Change...thanks for Care2 Article link. . .

Kit B (276)
Monday December 10, 2012, 6:57 pm

Oh this classic Fox wonder the viewers are dummies!

The UCS found that, in 37 of 40 instances, Fox News programs misled viewers about climate science—mainly, by broadly dismissing it. As an example, the UCS quotes an on-air statement from April 11, 2012: “I thought we were getting warmer. But in the ‘70s, it was, look out, we’re all going to freeze.” (The report didn’t reveal the name of the actual source.) Fox News hosts and guests also mocked and disparaged statements from scientists and drowned out genuine scientific assertions with cherry-picked data and false claims.

Kit B (276)
Monday December 10, 2012, 7:00 pm

Actually in the 1970's a few scientists offered the opinion that should earth continue it's past cycles then in about ten thousand years we could have another ice age. But that was an assertion by some geologists or scientists and compared to Fox, what would they know?

Sheryl G (363)
Monday December 10, 2012, 7:20 pm
Only 20 points?

Kit B (276)
Monday December 10, 2012, 7:24 pm

Any lower and they would be referred for Special Education, though in some ways they do get that. Indoctrination education.

Lois Jordan (63)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 1:38 pm
The article stated an "average" I.Q. of 80. Then later stated, a score of 70 is where psychiatrists diagnose mental retardation. So, obviously, there are many who fall into that category.

Patrice M (84)
Sunday December 16, 2012, 3:53 pm
When the study can be duplicated by others with the same results, then it will carry some weight. I have no idea of the numbers of the entire test population because it doesn't say; I don't get the tarantula imagery with Obama at all. I found that part really funny. I think that I would also have an intense reaction to that photo - I am petrified of spiders. I am also a left wing liberal and proud of it.

The study notwithstanding, I do not believe Fox viewers use the intelligence God gave them to make decisions. Here you have working people who vote republican sticking up for increased tax breaks for the one percent. I ask you, how is that using one's intelligence? It's rooting for your own demise. Not smart at all.
Or, log in with your
Facebook account:
Please add your comment: (plain text only please. Allowable HTML: <a>)

Track Comments: Notify me with a personal message when other people comment on this story

Loading Noted By...Please Wait


butterfly credits on the news network

  • credits for vetting a newly submitted story
  • credits for vetting any other story
  • credits for leaving a comment
learn more

Most Active Today in Society & Culture

Content and comments expressed here are the opinions of Care2 users and not necessarily that of or its affiliates.

New to Care2? Start Here.