New study suggests young people’s IQs are in decline

A new study, conducted by Norwegian scientists, shows that IQ scores of today’s young people are in decline, putting an end to the post-war trend of rising intelligence.

After the Second World War young people’s IQs were steadily rising. It was dubbed the Flynn effect after New Zealand intelligence researcher James Flynn. This phenomenon saw average IQ scores rise about three points per decade.

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But researches from the Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research in Oslo say the Flynn effect is now past its peak. In a paper, published in the PNAS journal, Norwegian scientists Ole Rogeberg and Bernt Bratsberg analyzed the data from standardized IQ tests of about 730,000 men, born between 1962 and 1991, who underwent mandatory IQ tests to join the national service.

The study revealed that the IQ points of those tested peaked among those born in 1975, while people born in 1991 scored five points lower. According to the scientists, this shift could be due to many factors, including the way children are brought up and educated. For example there is less drilling in subjects like mathematics and languages and the total amount of time spent watching television or using technology has increased.

However, Dr Ole Rogeberg emphasized low IQ should not necessarily be interpreted as stupidity, but rather children adapting to the new reality of digital technology, skills that cannot be so easily accessed or evaluated by a standardized IQ test.

READ MORE: 11yo British boy has a higher IQ than Albert Einstein & Stephen Hawking

“Intelligence researchers make a distinction between fluid and crystallised intelligence,” he said. “Crystallised intelligence is stuff you have been taught and trained in, and fluid intelligence is your ability to see new patterns and use logic to solve novel problems.”

One thing the study ruled out it is the progressing low IQ scores being linked to genetic mutations or stemming from a demographic shift. Norwegian researchers analyzed entire families and siblings in an attempt to find any common traits of mental decline, but failed to find any.


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  1. Indeed, to my mind IQ test (and there are many kinds of them) and education are different things. I don’t know about IQ tests, but the everage education became lower. As far as my collegues inform me from abroad. During the USSR, we had everything at school balanced. We didn’t have any tests demanding to answer Yes or No. We had to describe everything and prove our opinion. Now in modern Russia we condemn the so-called up-to-date (western)knowledge test system. The quantity of the material raised 10 times much and the pupils have to hire and buy additional knowledge from the commercial teachers. I have to say that our Russian teenagers are still pretty talented and smart, but total dependence on the hi-tech gadgets make them lazy. When i was a Soviet pupil at school, teachers prohibited us to use calculators. We had to calculate everything in mind or at paper, using methods and formulas.

  2. Necessity is the mother of invention, and we are in a time of superfluous abundance.

    We de-funded the arts at precisely the time we should have been feeding it. Now we have to wait for it to come around again, like a five part harmony that takes decades. Until then,… minutia.

    Also, try finding young folks who know how to run a business. Corporations have replaced the family businesses, and the weekly pay schedule makes for zombies.

  3. There is plenty of published data linking flouride levels to lower IQ. Cumulative ethylmercury intake also appears to lower it, but this is unpublished. I’ll leave the astute reader to infer the implications.

  4. Sounds like they are using some type of IQ test that is dependent on education.. And that’s not a real IQ test. I think most people will understand that real IQ has not been rising 3 points per decade. That would mean extremely low IQ levels in people before WW2. Most people will understand that is pure BS.
    Seems hard for some people to distinguish IQ from education…even among so called “scientists”.

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