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Hoaxes and Urban Legends: Bush IQ report / Lovenstein Institute

Whenever you receive an email that urges you to immediately forward that mail to everyone you know, there is a very good chance the email is a hoax. Please take the time to verify the message by doing a Google search before you send it on to anyone else. In most cases when you take an arbitrary sentence from the message and google for it you'll end up with many hoax warning pages as the result.

A chain mail making the rounds since 2001 claims that a study by the "Lovenstein Institute of Scranton, Pennsylvania" rated the IQ of all recent presidents and come up with a sub-average 91 for George W. Bush. There is no evidence for the existence of any "Lovenstein Institute of Scranton, Pennsylvania". It's a hoax. Major newsmedia such as the UK newspaper The Guardian have fallen for this one.

Please review:

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Example chain letter (May 2006):

The Presidential IQ Report

WASHINGTON --In a published report, the Lovenstein Institute of Scranton,
Pennsylvania has detailed findings of a four month study of the intelligence
quotient of President George W. Bush. Since 1973, the Lovenstein Institute
has published its 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 60 years, from F. D. Roosevelt to G. W. Bush who were all
rated based on scholarly achievements, writings that they alone produced
without aid of staff, their ability to speak with clarity, and several other
psychological factors which were then scored in the Swanson/Crain system of
intelligence ranking. The study determined the following IQs of each
president as accurate to within five percentage points:

147 Franklin D. Roosevelt (D)
132 Harry Truman (D)
122 Dwight D. Eisenhower (R)
174 John F. Kennedy (D)
126 Lyndon B. Johnson (D)
155 Richard M. Nixon (R)
121 Gerald R. Ford (R)
176 James E. Carter (D)
105 Ronald W. Reagan (R)
98 George H. W. Bush (R)
182 William J. Clinton (D)
91 George W. Bush (R)

The six Republican presidents of the past 60 years had an average IQ of
115.5, with President Nixon having the highest IQ, at 155. President G. W.
Bush was rated the lowest of all the Republicans with an IQ of 91.

The six Democrat presidents had IQs with an average of 156, with
President Clinton having the highest IQ, at 182. President Lyndon B. Johnson
was rated the lowest of all the Democrats with an IQ of 126.
No president other than Carter (D) has released his actual IQ, 176. 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," Dr. Lovenstein said. "He has no published
works or writings, so in many ways that made it more difficult to arrive at
an assessment. We had to rely more heavily on transcripts of his unscripted
public speaking."

The Lovenstein Institute of Scranton Pennsylvania think tank includes
high caliber historians, psychiatrists, sociologists, scientists in human
behavior, and psychologists. Among their ranks are Dr. Werner R. Lovenstein,
world-renowned sociologist, and Professor Patricia F. Dilliams, a
world-respected psychiatrist. This study was commissioned on February 13,
2001, and released on July 9, 2001, to subscribing member universities and
organizations within the education community.

Please review:

Known email hoaxes:
The AOL/Microsoft money giveaway hoax
The "809" area code hoax
The burned baby hoax
Amy Bruce / Make A Wish hoax
The "Invitation" virus hoax
The "Life is beautiful" virus hoax
The Oliver North / Osama bin Ladin / Al Gore hoax
Send spam to the South African police to save children
Exxon/Mobile gas boycott
Bush IQ report / Lovenstein Institute hoax

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