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Can We Keep Getting Smarter?

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  • Can We Keep Getting Smarter?

    Preview of a longer article one must purchase on line.

    Source: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/can-we-keep-getting-smarter/?WT.mc_id=SA_DD_20150202



    Can We Keep Getting Smarter?

    Thirty years ago James R. Flynn, a researcher at the University of Otago in New Zealand, discovered a phenomenon that social scientists still struggle to explain: IQ scores have been increasing steadily since the beginning of the 20th century. Flynn went on to examine intelligence-test data from more than two dozen countries and found that scores were rising by 0.3 point a year—three full points per decade. Nearly three decades of follow-up studies have confirmed the statistical reality of the global uptick, now known as the Flynn effect. And scores are still climbing.

    “To my amazement, in the 21st century the increases are continuing,” says Flynn, whose most recent book on the subject—Are We Getting Smarter?—was published in September 2012. “The latest data show the gains in America humming right along at the old rate of three tenths of a point a year.”

    © Copyright Original Source

    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

    Frank

    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

  • #2
    We are, of course, assuming that our tests are measuring what we intend to measure -- which might not actually exist at all. As the old saying has it, whatever exists can be measured, but whatever can be measured doesn't necessarily exist.

    What we might be seeing is a gradual improvement in the ability to score on these tests, perhaps due to the similarity of those tests to the sorts of tests presented to students by educational systems in these countries. In other words, a practice effect. This isn't all so far-fectched, because far and away the thing best predicted by high scores on IQ tests, is the relative performance on IQ tests! There is some correlation with academic performance, and less correlation with success in live as measured by income and job level.

    What we know for sure is that we're slowly getting better at taking IQ tests.

    Comment


    • #3
      IQ tests are not a real reflection of what most would call intelligence. They strongly reflect educational levels.
      Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

      Comment


      • #4
        Also, I would add that the modern proliferation of IQ tests has led to a practice effect. People have practiced getting better at IQ tests.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by phank View Post
          We are, of course, assuming that our tests are measuring what we intend to measure -- which might not actually exist at all. As the old saying has it, whatever exists can be measured, but whatever can be measured doesn't necessarily exist.

          What we might be seeing is a gradual improvement in the ability to score on these tests, perhaps due to the similarity of those tests to the sorts of tests presented to students by educational systems in these countries. In other words, a practice effect. This isn't all so far-fectched, because far and away the thing best predicted by high scores on IQ tests, is the relative performance on IQ tests! There is some correlation with academic performance, and less correlation with success in live as measured by income and job level.

          What we know for sure is that we're slowly getting better at taking IQ tests.
          good observations.
          Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
          Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
          But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

          go with the flow the river knows . . .

          Frank

          I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

          Comment


          • #6
            Who's "we"?

            I stopped getting smarter quite a piece ago.

            K54

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by klaus54 View Post
              Who's "we"?

              I stopped getting smarter quite a piece ago.

              K54
              Not me. I am just smart at a slower pace in my old age.
              Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

              Comment

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