The Flynn Effect and Our Declining IQs

The Flynn Effect is the gradu­al rise of the aver­age IQ over gen­er­a­tions, and the reas­on why IQ tests are peri­od­ic­ally renor­m­al­ised to reset the aver­age to 100: an aver­age IQ in our gen­er­a­tion equals a high­er than aver­age IQ a gen­er­a­tion or two before­hand. Or does it?

Accord­ing to new research it appears that the Flynn effect is in reverse—or is at best cor­rect­ing itself.

The research­ers sur­mise that the per­form­ance decline is due to “some qual­it­at­ive change in the emphas­is on abstract reas­on­ing and prob­lem-solv­ing [with­in the edu­ca­tion­al sys­tem] or a decreased emphas­is on speed”.

This isn’t new, of course, and was noted almost two years ago with this inter­est­ing com­ment:

Does this mean we’re becom­ing less intel­li­gent? Prob­ably not. It likely reflects the fact that the skill set of pop­u­la­tion is chan­ging and that we become prac­tised at dif­fer­ent tasks at dif­fer­ent rates as mod­ern life devel­ops.

via Mind Hacks