2018-06-20 17:25:15 UTC
For most of history, humans got smarter. That's now reversing.
June 14, 2018 by BRANDON A. WEBER
The Flynn effect appears to be in retrograde. (Credit: Shutterstock/Big
There's a new study out of Norway that indicates our—well, technically,
their—IQs are shrinking, to the tune of about seven IQ points per
Scientists from Norway's Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research
analyzed 730,000 IQ tests given to Norwegian men before compulsory
military service from 1970 to 2009, and this is their conclusion.
If the trend continues—indeed, if it's even real—that means about 10
generations from now, we'll see a slow decline that actually means IQs
at the top end will drop from >130 ("Very Superior")," to <69
("Extremely Low"). Kinda terrifying, isn't it?
It's a reversal of what's known as the Flynn effect, named after the
psychologist who first noticed that IQs increased in at least the first
part of the 20th century.
There are a host of potential explanations that are still being
explored, all the way from environmental problems and diet to lack of
exercise and staring at screens.
But one that actually seems a more genuine culprit is this: IQ tests are
designed to rely more upon rote memorization whereas schools and even
electronic devices used by students rely on the ability to find things
via Google and other means, which may indicate there is no real change
in intelligence but rather in how younger people learn these days.
However, the scientists Bernt Bratsberg and Ole Rogeberg have written a
paper making the strong case that the decrease is environmental (and one
of them actually talks about the IQ test possibility).