From Smart Phones to Dumb People: Study Shows IQ Scores Declining Fast
Written by Selwyn Duke
Young people’s IQ scores have started to deteriorate after climbing steadily since Wold [sic. Note: This IQ decline may be affecting spelling ability as well!] War Two, a new study has found.
The fall, which equates to about seven points per generation, is believed to have begun with those born in 1975, according to the first authoritative study of the phenomenon.
The drop in scores marks the end of a trend — known as the Flynn effect — which has seen average IQs rise for the past 60 to 70 years by roughly three points a decade.
Scientists have described the results as ‘impressive’ but ‘pretty worrying’….
The decline is do with [sic] a difference in technique in the way languages and maths are taught in schools, scientists have suggested.
However, it could also be down to people spending more time on technological devices instead of reading books.
Newsweek provides more detail: “Researchers Bernt Bratsberg and Ole Rogeberg took test results from Norwegian men entering the country’s military draft born between 1962 and 1991. Boys born in the first observation period, 1962 to 1975, gained almost 0.3 IQ points per year, but those in the cohort born after 1975 saw a steady decline in scores.”
“The study attributed the decline to changes in quality of education, increased exposure to media and poor nutrition. Because they couldn’t find consistent trends among families, Bratsberg and Rogeberg argued that environmental family factors — such as parental educational attainment and family size, increased immigration and dysgenic fertility — were not significant causes,” the magazine continued.
Immigration is mentioned because average IQ varies among groups. “Dysgenic fertility” refers to the phenomenon whereby more educated Westerners with higher IQs have fewer children today than their less educated countrymen with lower IQs.
Demographic factors were not relevant, however, as Bratsberg told The New American that the “study population is restricted to Norwegian-born males born to two Norwegian-born parents.”
Note that the Norwegian researchers “aren’t the first to suggest a global dip in intelligence,” Newsweek further informs. “In 2009, James Flynn, for whom the Flynn effect is named, studied Piagetian test scores of British teenagers and found that the average 14-year-old’s IQ dropped by two points over 28 years, while the average middle-class child’s IQ dropped six points during the test period.”
The studies’ findings are alarming, but not hard to believe. While heredity appears a great factor in intelligence, it’s also true that IQ seems quite malleable within a certain genetically prescribed range. For example, research out of University College London found that, shockingly, a given individual’s IQ can vary by up to 21 points during adolescence; this is enough to move a person from the gifted to average category, or vice versa.
Moreover, studies indicate that immigrant groups that assimilated into modern US culture experienced a precipitous IQ increase. As an example, Irishmen have IQs markedly lower than Americans of Irish descent.
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