Doing some math, because I can and it embarrasses liberals

by Roxeanne De Luca | December 10th, 2012

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Doing some math, because I can and it embarrasses liberals

Glenn Reynolds linked to this debunk­ing of a study which claimed that Fox News view­ers have an aver­age IQ of 80. Yahoo News pub­lished the study.

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.

Glenn Reynolds linked to this debunking of a study which claimed that Fox News viewers have an average IQ of 80. Yahoo News published the study.

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.

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