IQ scores are rising … here’s why.

Simple hypothesis: more folks are reading the Homa Files.

A more complex answer is offered by James Flynn is his book “Are We Getting Smarter? Rising IQ in the 21st Century”.


What’s his explanation?


Here’s an excerpt from the WSJ review

From the early 1900s to today, Americans have gained three IQ points per decade.

In 1910, scored against today’s norms, our ancestors would have had an average IQ of 50 to 70.

Our mean IQ today is 130 to 150, depending on the test.

Our ancestors weren’t dumb compared with us, of course. They had the same practical intelligence and ability to deal with the everyday world that we do.

Our lives are utterly different from those led by most Americans before 1910.

The average American went to school for less than six years and then worked long hours in factories, shops or agriculture.

The only artificial images they saw were drawings or photographs.

Aside from basic arithmetic, nonverbal symbols were restricted to musical notation (for an elite) and playing cards.

Their minds were focused on ownership, the useful, the beneficial and the harmful.

Rising IQ scores show how the modern world, particularly education, has changed the human mind itself and set us apart from our ancestors.

Our ancestors lived in a much simpler world, and most had no formal schooling beyond the sixth grade.

Modern people do so well on these tests because … we are the first of our species to live in a world dominated by categories, hypotheticals, nonverbal symbols and visual images that paint alternative realities.

A century ago, people mostly used their minds to manipulate the concrete world for utilitarian advantage.

Our minds now tend toward logical analysis of abstract symbols.

Today we tend to classify things … take the hypothetical seriously …and easily discern symbolic relationships.

Since 1950, there have been large gains on vocabulary and information.

More words mean that more concepts are conveyed.

More information means that more connections are perceived.

Better analysis of hypothetical situations means more innovation.

A greater pool of those capable of understanding abstractions, more contact with people who enjoy playing with ideas, the enhancement of leisure— all of these developments have benefited society.

Our mental abilities have grown, simply enough, through a wider acquaintance with the world’s possibilities.

Thanks to AR for feeding the lead.

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