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 ...
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.
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