Skip to comments.Researchers say Western IQs dropped 14 points over last century
Posted on 05/26/2013 8:06:05 PM PDT by Slings and Arrows
A new study from researchers in Europe claims that the average IQ in Western nations dropped by a staggering 14.1 points over the past century.
"We tested the hypothesis that the Victorians were cleverer than modern populations using high-quality instruments, namely measures of simple visual reaction time in a meta-analytic study," the researchers wrote in the study, which was published online in the journal Intelligence on Thursday. "Simple reaction time measures correlate substantially with measures of general intelligence and are considered elementary measures of cognition."
The results were measured using data from 1889 to 2004 and were analyzed by Michael A. Woodley of Vrije Universiteit in Brussels, Jan te Nijenhuis of the University of Amsterdam and Raegan Murphy of the University College Cork in Ireland.
So why has there been such a steady drop? As UPI notes, previous research studies have found that women of higher intelligence tend to have fewer children on average, meaning that population growth may be driven by those with a lower IQ. And over time, the abundance of less intelligent offspring would affect the overall IQ average.
On average, the general intelligence of those populations measured dropped by 1.23 points per decade.
"These findings strongly indicate that with respect to general intelligence the Victorians were substantially cleverer than modern Western populations," the study says.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
***the average IQ in Western nations dropped by a staggering 14.1 points over the past century. ****
Now,what do we have that they didn’t have in the 1800s?
Movies and TV.
The worst part is that nowadays entire half the population is below the average IQ!
Something must be done to stop this trend.
the phrase is “deep SEATED thinking” not “deep seeded thinking.”
Meant to say “whites, Asians and Jews.”
re: first time I saw it I thought it was a comedy. Now I realize it is a documentary.
That is a good way of describing it!
I am trying to remember more of what I heard fairly recently, I think I had heard it on one of those expose type shows on coasttocoastam -
-—>>> Tests have shown FLUORIDE decreases IQ. Unquestionably.
- and as we all know, they are adamant in putting fluoride in our drinking water. It also is a dumbing down agent. (I might be remembering that Hitler baddies doing research here -—
(If trolls are still up and about at this time of night ... watch how they attack ...
American comic books were translated into every major language?
And how much did that low IQ grant cost?????
Flynn Effect seems to be about 3% per decade since the 1930s.
All since “reality TV” was invented.
I blame the Federal Reserve.
It was necessary to destroy our national intellect before they destroyed our money.
If we are to somehow believe the theme of this piece, it might be a good time to actually study what these smarter people believed.
1. They believed in God. The Judeo-Christian God of the bible, to be exact. They saw an orderly God in the sciences and His beauty in His Creation.
2. They believed that men and women were different, complemented each other, and were the fundamental basis for what we call a family. They could under normal circumstances, have children, and have them, they did.
3. They believed many sick and twisted crimes against others deserved capital punishment, as capital punishment is not only a justice method, but a societal preservation mechanism.
4. They did not believe in an endless welfare state, spending and living way, way, beyond ones means, and did not like to be known as recipients of others’ charity. It was embarrassing to have to take charity. They worked hard, did not expect anyone giving anything to them for free, did not feel they deserved anything just because they were a certain nationality.
5. They expected a lot from their children, and children were well-mannered because they knew how to raise kids and the proper use of discipline. What many learned by the eighth grade, surpasses what many today have absorbed through high school.
6. They did not send their kids to college to earn worthless degrees and piss away tens of thousands of dollars on worthless degrees.
7. They understood the Constitution of the United States better than the average person does, anecdotally confirmed many, many times for us by Jay Leno’s interviews of people on the street regarding politics and laws.
8. They did not believe anyone owed them anything unless they had an actual contract agreement.
9. They were planners, in the sense that they were their own first responders, first aid helpers, whatever. They had pantries full of goods, and root cellars. They knew how to can items and make preserves.
10. They were part of their community. They knew who was in the neighborhood. They had people they may help out, and there were others there that may step up to help them out if needed.
11. Cops were both good and bad, like today, but they were PEACE OFFICERS, not SWAT LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS. They did not regard all citizens as potential suspects and threats and did not shoot any dog in their own yard, leashed, for grins. They did not raid people’s homes and punt the family cat into the wall, saying “You’re lucky that’s not you.”
I’ll bet it was caused by “progressive” liberalism.
And over the past hundred or so years, increasing numbers of people spend most of their daily time in isolation: at a desk in the workplace or on a couch in front of a TV or Video game.
This results in a misuse of what the brain was designed for, and like any organ that is misued, damage likely will result, not just by making people socially retarded, but across the board retarded.
I tend to agree with Darwin on this point. I am not sure how Obama could have won the election without cheating and without a falling IQ.
No, I don't think so. More like IQ's have dropped 45-60 points in just my lifespan.
Cyril Kornbluth. One of the greats.
“This conflicts rather dramatically with the records of actual IQ tests, which have been increasing steadily in what is called the Flynn Effect.”
I see your “Flynn Effect”, and raise you “Smart Fraction” and “Regression to the Mean”.
“According to actual IQ tests, scores increase at an approximately equal rate in all societies. Ive personally never heard a really logical reason for this.”
The classes have been merging in these societies, and intelligence is a dominant trait.
Geez. Nobody read LILA?
“This conflicts rather dramatically with the records of actual IQ tests, which have been increasing steadily in what is called the Flynn Effect.”
That’s actually incorrect.
You see, the Flynn Effect is easily misinterpreted by people with little knowledge of the mathematics behind a normal distribution. Such misinterpretations are made worse by the heady, and beautiful egalitarian implications that the Flynn Effect would hold for our society and the world at large if it were indeed accurate AND was a trend that could be expected to continue indefinitely. To quote that bastard Lenin (the Brit, not the Russian) IMAGINE!
The simple fact is that if you look at the original data sets, you can see that the reported increases were chiefly confined to the lower half of the curve, and the upper end of the curve saw little significant increase. Such data would support a nutrition-based hypothesis for the observed effect - namely that post-war prosperity largely did away with childhood malnutrition and significantly reduced that factor’s influence on the intellectual development of generations of low-class individuals. Though a number of studies have tried to drive a stake through the heart of that idea and champion the ideal that human beings are infinitely plastic and interchangeable units entirely molded by their educational and cultural environments.
A recent Dutch study indicated that even that modest, low-end of the spectrum increase in IQ ENDED in the early 1990’s. Since that time averages have been falling. The possible causes are numerous, but assuming the new data is sound then the most likely initial suspects would be either dysgenic influence on the upper end of the curve, or possibly our modern education systems no longer offer any significant encouragement or challenges for the best and brightest, or perhaps a combination of those factors. Frankly, the Flynn Effect was widely misinterpreted during its heyday, and the Flynn Effect has long since stopped and has actively been backtracking.
Interestingly enough, common wisdom can provide an insight into such trends before the research journals catch a hint of it. How often have you heard, or even thought to yourself, that common sense was dying out? Well, in our society we have removed many of the historical impediments to genuine stupidity. In a world of litigious attorneys, victim advocacy groups, nanny-state government and non-judgmental education and employment policies, the simple fact of the matter is a greater number and greater percentage of stupid people are being employed, cared for, coddled, and allowed to live long and prodigiously “fruitful” lives.
For example, in ages past pouring boiling liquids on your genitals would stand a good chance of seriously reducing your employment and reproductive opportunities for life. Today, you can just sue a restaurant and get paid millions.
Regardless of whether such an influence might have an effect upon the gene pool the fact remains that when governments and societies subsidize a particular behavior you can expect more of said behavior. Likewise, when government penalizes a behavior by fining or taxing it, you can expect less of said behavior. At the end of the day, we really do subsidize stupidity and tax intelligence.
Study the elementary school books from early 20th century and you will see what children were expected to master: Shakespeare, the Bible, Tennyson, etc. Now the children read simplified texts, i.e. “Run, Spot, run!”
Also, children learned to read much earlier in those days, and reading is an activity that increases inductive reasoning ability.
“Ideocracy” is a prophetic movie. People who should be having babies aren’t. Those who should never produce are.
In immigration matters, we are importing dumber people than we used to. Finally, the welfare state has greatly reduced personal initiative and self-reliance. All of these factors have reduced our collective IQ with predictable results for our civilization.
I agree, an excellent remark.
>> I learned that Richard Feynman’s IQ was just 125.
A dubious number.
Biden says things like, “I ended up in the top 3/4 of my class.”
In other words, he wasn’t in the top quarter, he was somewhere in the top 75%, thus not in the bottom 25%.
No, they don’t. Sub-Saharan Africa borders on the moron scale.
Show me the number of 90-95 I.Q. people who have graduate with a four year degree with honors.<. Obama, Durbin and Biden became lawyers but that's an anomaly too. It is possible to be of lower I.Q. and earn a college degree.
Everyday I hear another report that so-and-so has a high IQ. Be it some Hollywood star, a silicon valley computer wizard, a serial killer or some crazy despot from a 3rd world country. Whatever.
Yet, I know no one who has ever taken an IQ test and I don't know of any organized systematic effort to test people. Further, if you have to go out of your way to be tested, it seems like only narcissists would take the test.
I've always just assumed test scores are being randomly assigned based on how smart a reporter thinks a subject is ... which would explain the near universal claim that Obama is a genius despite all evidence to the contrary.
TV + Video Games + Recreational Drugs = Idiocracy
Ididocracy makes this point that the high IQ women are being out bred by the low IQ ones
My guess is that Feynman didn't care much and basically flubbed the test on purpose or due to lack of motivation. That's why i've always been dubious of seeing this person or that person touted as the smartest in the world because of some IQ score: there are those who are highly motivated to score well and then there are others who are content to let their work testify to their genius. Feynman i'm sure was in the latter category and probably got a kick out of scoring only 125.
“Idiocracy makes this pint that the high IQ women are being out bred by the low ones.”
Women in the urban underclass are breeding at age 13 and becoming grandmothers by the time they are 30. Women in the urban upperclass are foregoing childbearing, or delaying it until their 30’s and early 40’s in order to pursue careers. The underclass mother at age 13 may be responsible for the production of 10 human beings in 2 generations before the upperclass woman has her first child.
We are experiencing the demographic implications of social policies which encourage sexual promiscuity and multiple births.
No worries. Obummer will create a federal program to fix it called “Let's Smart”
After 40 years, $1 Trillion and no results they will blame it on lack of funding caused by Republicans.
Thanks. Your points do not actually disagree with mine, which was that IQ tests have had to be recalibrated each decade since the 30s (which was about when they started being used widely).
You see, when I say “IQ scores,” that is exactly what I’m talking about. I’m quite agnostic on the issue of whether IQ measures “intelligence,” whatever that is.
It is reasonably obvious, at least to me, that a person’s potential IQ or intelligence is determined primarily by heredity. Environmental factors (nutrition, lead exposure, etc.) can easily keep a person from reaching that potential, but improving environment will quickly allow a person to reach full potential, and further environmental improvements will have little if any effect. This is similar to a person having genetic potential to reach a certain height, but that potential being easily stunted by environmental and other factor. Japanese people are today on average several inches taller than their parents or grandparents, almost certainly due to improved nutrition since WWII.
Also, I never claimed that the range of intelligence found in people was getting narrower, only that the average IQ was moving up.
Amd you may very well be correct that the effect is petering out and that improved nutrition, etc. is the reason. Certainly we’ve seen similar effects in average height, etc. Given the immensely improved economic conditions over the last few decades in most of the world (something nobody ever talks about), it is likely the effect will continue in much of the rest of the world for a few more decades and then start to taper off.
Eventually, we may have a world where most people reach something close to their full genetic potential, and then actual genetic differences between groups will be more readily discernible.
You misunderstand me. I did not say IQs are the same across groups, but rather that the average of each group has been increasing at about the same rate.
African and American averages can increase at the same rate for decades without changing the difference between those groups at all.
IQ tests by definition become wildly inaccurate when measuring the extreme upper end.
I once took two IQ tests in succession. 134 on the first (98.8 percentile) and 169 on the second (99.9997885357 percdentile) on the second.
The first IQ test was pretty standard, while the second involved the person administering the tests reading aloud a long involved essay on an obscure subject, then my taking a written test on the subject, which in this case was ancient Greek religion (cult and priesthood, etc.) as opposed to Greek mythology.
The problem was I’d just read a book on the subject. So I pretty much aced it and it wildly mismeasured my IQ.
Finally, a scientific explanation on how Obama won.
“Lets not bring up immigration...”
Exactly. That which must not be spoken in regard to IQ.
Today's test doesn't measure the same way as the IQ tests of twenty years ago. When I took the SAT tests, there was a direct correlation to that score and IQ. Because of the “gap”, they changed both the SAT/ACT tests and many of the more common IQ tests. And even with that, the test scores have been dropping (see this nice wiki article. Picked because it is a bit more neutral http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SAT#Correlations_with_IQ
I don't know where you seen that scores have been increasing. Much of the literature says the opposite. Of course part of the issue is who is getting the IQ tests, and why. Many states have moved their school testing away from anything that can be labeled “IQ” for the simple reason that they don't want to be sued for being biased. Again, ask any teacher.
IQ testing is a rather interesting study. For instance, there is no set model of what “IQ” means. Also, the base line keep shifting. By the old definition, a 100 IQ should be the mean. But few parents want their child to just be “average” so there has been a lot of pressure to inflate scores.
The IQ difference between races (and more dramatically) social classes have been the 600 lb bear in the room for some time. If you ask any teacher in a large district, they will tell you the same. A lot of it is home life, some is genetic. This doesn't mean that any individual is stupid because of who their ancestors were or what their home life is like, any more than athletic ability can be tracked that way. But if a student has a bad home life in a culture that actively attacks intelligence (which many inner city blacks and rural whites have), then it is no surprise that the test scores drop. In those areas, being perceived as "smart" is a fast tract to at least a beating, and in some cases worse.
People (even low-average people) figure out how to solve the problems on the IQ test.
That’s an average. I would bet in certain demographic circles it has dropped much, much more than that.
IQ tests aren’t designed to accurately measure the intelligence of people like Feynman.
In fact, they are seldom accurate for people more than about 1.5 standard deviations from the mean in either direction.
“Western IQs have NOT dropped. The West has been invaded by non-westerners!”
At the invitation of our treasonous “leaders”, both Repulsivicans and Dhimmicrats.
Good points, jameslalor.
Steve Sailer has chronicled no closing of the IQ gap among groups due to the “Flynn Effect.”
1. Better nutrition for everyone. There were words for people left retarded due to a lack of iodine - which no longer happens. Retardation due to a lack of protein is now rare, though you still see vision loss due to lack of vitamin A in parts of the developing world.
2. Lower disease burden. Vaccination has essentially wiped out scarlet fever and rubella, diseases that left many children blind, deaf or retarded after it fried their brains.
3. Smaller families, more investment in most children. As family sizes decrease, each child gets more food and higher quality food - so malnutrition doesn’t erode the brain development of children other than the oldest boy and child hunger is less likely to interfere with schooling.
4. More schooling for everyone. More kids worldwide in school instead of being pulled from school to earn a living. School rates are rising, though progress for girls’ education in Asia and Africa still needs to be made. Exposure to more ideas and people away from the immediate family helps improve the abstract reasoning of children. A girl who has never left her home will do poorly on IQ tests, relative to a child who has been with teachers and classmates from age 6 or 7.
IQ versus EQ or the emotional quotient is best demonstrated by “nerds” - those who are intellectually advanced and understand complex ideas (calculus, biology, mechanics) but rate poorly on social skills.
Adding EQ means that dumb kids who get along with others score higher on a composite test. And bright kids with great social skills score better than those with a high IQ but poor people skills.
Those with high IQ as well as high EQ tend to do best in life. Those with a low EQ often fair poorly, even with a high EQ. But you cannot replace IQ with EQ entirely, because a highly social person who doesn’t understand math or read will fail in today’s world. And even those with poor EQ can make a good living in engineering, IT or research with a high IQ and training.