It’s not your imagination, people are really getting dumber.

That’s the conclusion from a recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

The researchers that the  increase in population intelligence observed throughout the 20th century has peaked and has now gone into reverse.

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More specifically…

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As reported in Reason:

The average IQ for the 1975 birth cohort — i.e those born in 1975 — was 102.3.

The average IQ for 1989 to 1990 birth cohorts — i.e. todays late twenty-somethings — dropped to 99.5 … about 3%.

What’s going on?

The researchers conclude that their results are consistent with a number of common hypotheses of IQ decline:

  • changes in educational exposure or quality,
  • changing media exposure,
  • worsening nutrition or health, and
  • social spill-overs from increased immigration.”

As George Mason University economist Tyler Cowan pithily puts it, “We have started building a more stupidity-inducing environment.”

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