Claim: According to a study by the Lovenstein Institute, President Bush has the lowest IQ of all presidents of past
Example: [Collected on the Internet, 2001]
President Bush Has Lowest IQ of all Presidents of past
If late night TV comedy is an indicator, then there has never been as widespread a perception that a president is not intellectually qualified for the position he holds as there is with President GW Bush.
In a report published Monday, the Lovenstein Institute of Scranton, Pennsylvania detailed its findings of a four month study of the intelligence quotient of President George W. Bush.
Since 1973, the Lovenstein Institute has published it’s research to the education community on each new president, which includes the famous “IQ” report among others.
According to statements in the report, there have been twelve presidents over the past
The study determined the following IQs of each president as accurate to within five percentage points:
147 .. Franklin D. Roosevelt (D)
or, in IQ order:
182 .. William J. Clinton (D)
The six Republican presidents of the past 50 years had an average IQ of 115.5, with President Nixon having the highest IQ, at 155. President
Among comments made concerning the specific testing of President GW Bush, his low ratings were due to his apparent difficulty to command the English language in public statements, his limited use of vocabulary (6,500 words for Bush versus an average of 11,000 words for other presidents), his lack of scholarly achievements other than a basic MBA, and an absence of any body of work which could be studied on an intellectual basis. The complete report documents the methods and procedures used to arrive at these ratings, including depth of sentence structure and voice stress confidence analysis.
“All the Presidents prior to George W. Bush had a least one book under their belt, and most had written several white papers during their education or early careers. Not so with President Bush,”
The Lovenstein Institute of Scranton Pennsylvania think tank includes high caliber historians, psychiatrists, sociologists, scientists in human behavior, and psychologists. Among their ranks are
This study was commissioned on
Origins: No, this isn’t a real news report, nor does it describe a real study. There isn’t a “Lovenstein Institute” in Scranton, Pennsylvania (or anywhere else in the USA), nor do any of the people quoted in the story exist, because this is just another spoof that
was taken too seriously.
The article quoted above began circulating on the Internet during the summer of 2001. In furtherance of the hoax, later that year pranksters thought to register www.lovenstein.org and erect a web site around it in an attempt to fool people into thinking there really was such an institute.
The piece is simply a political jibe, made obvious by its ranking all the Democratic presidents of the last several decades as having high (even exceptionally high) IQs (note that Bill Clinton’s IQ is listed as being exactly twice
[Some noticeable errors: Although the study includes Franklin D. Roosevelt, who died in office in 1945, the report is described as covering presidents in office “over the past
In any case, IQ is a dodgy enough concept even when measured by tests designed for the purpose — trying to guess not just relative rankings but specific IQ scores based solely on writings and speeches is bound to be error-prone. Based on President
Update: As obvious as this joke was, at least two publications were taken in by it: The [London] Guardian and the New Zealand Southland Times. Both ran the “Presidential I.Q.” tale as a factual item (on
Gary Trudeau’s 26 August 2001 Doonesbury comic strip features an invisible George W. Bush being told about his ranking on the presidential I.Q. ladder by an underling. (This strip appeared on the Doonesbury web site on
Last updated: 30 October 2007
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