by Roxeanne De Luca | December 10th, 2012
An IQ of 80 is awfully low – representing somewhere in the range of the least intelligent 10% of Americans. (More, here.)
About thirty percent of Americans regularly watch Fox News. The Nichols study, cited above, claims that those thirty percent of Americans are, on the average, dumber than 90% of Americans.
Okay, I’m cracking up here. This guy’s claim is the opposite of Lake Wobegon, but just as mathematically inept: he’s saying that 30% of Americans are among the dumbest 10% of Americans. Not possible, kids, not possible. Basic pigeonhole principle.
At most, 20% of the population can have an IQ that averages in the bottom 10% of the population: every person with an IQ of 100 could be balanced out by someone with an IQ of 60. Since IQs are distributed on a bell curve, and less than 1% of people have an IQ of 60, you can only balance them out with an equal number of people who have an IQ of 100 to keep your average at 80. (Imagine reflecting the left-hand side of the bell curve over the average, and you have the highest number of people who can have that average IQ, and the ways that it is distributed.) Ergo, even assuming that every single Fox News viewer were among the dumbest in the nation, you can’t get more than 20% with an average IQ of 80. Sorry, liberals!
I will further note that even a small number of highly intelligent Fox News viewers will wreck havoc on the results (if the ‘average’ were taken to mean ‘the mean’) – you need quite a few people with IQs in the lowest 10% to balance out one Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, or Ann Coulter.
But keep remembering, my conservative readers, we’re the dumb ones. Those who look at a “study” like this and publish it on Yahoo News are smarter than those who can prove that said study results are mathematically impossible. Turns out, the joke is on them.