Arkanaut: vpb: Because we've gotten better at designing taking IQ tests?FTFY//134 IQ last time I took one
entropic_existence: draypresct: Do you have a link? The decreasing trend in math scores doesn't match what I've been able to find.Using NAEP scores (figure 2 of link), there has been a general upward trend in math, while reading ability has either increased or remained relatively constant in the US since 1971. It's difficult to interpret the trend, since I'm not familiar with the units used in NAEP scores (is a 5-point difference a lot?), but it's certainly evidence that there hasn't been an overall decline.Oh, and my guess for "why have IQ scores been increasing" is nutrition/willingness to educate the poor/more resources available (books, computers, etc.) across the economic spectrum*/the concept that education isn't just "stand up in front of the room and recite a memorized poem/fact/whatever"/immigration policies that bias towards highly-qualified people entering the country/etc.etc.etc.It was based solely on the Numerical Reasoning portion of the IQ tests, so it would likely overlap but not be identical to NAEP scores I would assume. And my bad, the study that showed a decrease in numerical reasoning was in Norwegians not the United states. (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160289604000522 )If you look at even the wiki entry for the Flynn effect a lot of your ideas are all considered part of it. People go to school for much longer on average now than ever before, we eat better, and more adults are in cognitively demanding jobs (cognitively demanding compared to stock manual labour that is).
doglover: LasersHurt: Could it be that health and nutrition, especially early in life, are hugely important?Not as much as you'd think.More likely IQ tests are just a fairly bad measure of real intelligence. That's why there's strong cultural biases.
INeedAName: Arkanaut: vpb: Because we've gotten better at designing taking IQ tests?FTFY//134 IQ last time I took oneI generally fall between 132 and 136. Though I haven't taken one in years, and I'm pretty sure I've gotten dumber lately.
draypresct: Thanks for the link (although I'm wondering if they've introduced bias by limiting their analysis to conscripts - the pool of Norwegians entering the armed forces over the years isn't necessarily constant).
CrazyCracka420: Being able to find information on Google doesn't make us more intelligent. Just easier to find that information.
entropic_existence: draypresct: Thanks for the link (although I'm wondering if they've introduced bias by limiting their analysis to conscripts - the pool of Norwegians entering the armed forces over the years isn't necessarily constant).Norway technically has a form of mandatory military service. While not everyone actually gets conscripted for service (making it in practice basically voluntary), all able-bodied men of conscription age have to meet before the draft board where they undergo psychological and intellectual examination. It makes Norway a pretty great source for the data because they are a developed nation and you get the majority of 18-20 year old men undergoing evaluation. It's introduces the least amount of sample bias possible.
czetie: I recall reading a study last year that said nearly all of the increase is in the spatial/perceptual parts of the test, relatively little in the math parts, and almost none in the language. One hypothesis is that our widespread exposure to media and technology is much better practice for those parts of the test than previous generations received.
jso2897: Race mixing. As humans become "mongrelized", we will get smarter and healthier, just like dogs do - diversity is the key to genetic success.
grimeystubs: I am calling BS. I have seen on the internet schoolhouse exams for 6th graders from the golden age of America individualism that show people were much smarter back then. This was of course due to the non-liberal education that has transformed America in to a bunch of commies or something.How many bushels are 3 hogsheads again?
Doc Daneeka: But but....Idiocracy. I've been assured by a million people on the internet that people are getting inexorably dumber over time.
Oysterman: It's not mentioned, so I'm going to assume if you score us against modern norms, we would have an average IQ of 65.
The One True TheDavid: Really we're getting dumber. They're just revising the curve so 80 is the new 100. Now everybody who can spell and define "antidisestablishmentarianism" is a SUPER-DOOPER genius.
Parthenogenetic: I'm curious how much of the effect is due to better nutrition, improved public health measures, prenatal care, and better medical technology.
chumster: Having recently read The Republic, I think that the most intelligent people of that era and the most intelligent people of this era would be in the same peer group.
Parthenogenetic: I'm curious how much of the effect is due to better nutrition, improved public health measures, prenatal care, and better medical technology.For example, the authors of this paper ( http://www.nber.org/papers/w19233 ) posit that iodization of salt accounts for a big chunk of the IQ increase. The effects are large enough to account for one decade of the Flynn effect.Article with less science-y prose here: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/crux/2013/07/23/how-adding-iodine-t o -salt-boosted-americans-iq/#.Ulf4Nfarkqgs
Parthenogenetic: For example, the authors of this paper ( http://www.nber.org/papers/w19233 ) posit that iodization of salt accounts for a big chunk of the IQ increase. The effects are large enough to account for one decade of the Flynn effect.
The One True TheDavid: Being a senile honky sucks.
Richard C Stanford: Poor education could result in someone with a high IQ being really stupid.
brantgoose: Mostly diet.....One big factor is diseases which cause mental retardation. These are rampant in tropical and sub-tropical environments. The US South was (and remains) a whole lot stupider than the North simply because of disease and parasites as well as rotten public health care, welfare, and education. Even today, things like ringworm are more common among the poor and Southerners...
Dinobot: Our brain process a lot more information, just from a single source. A certain color, a certain tune, and/or a certain font can evoke a specific brand...Compare the first trailer of Die Hard with Die Hard 5...The original Die Hard needed a narrator to walk us through, giving us bullet points of what the movie is about. The latest Die Hard trailer only needs to have Ode to Joy playing while a door opens to quickly evoke the scene with Hans Gruber as they finally open the safe in the original movie, instantly telling us "THIS IS A DIE HARD MOVIE"
endosymbiont: As a number of people said, +nuitrition and -lead. That's all you need.
Some 'Splainin' To Do: Doc Daneeka: But but....Idiocracy. I've been assured by a million people on the internet that people are getting inexorably dumber over time.Idiocracy is excellent satire, but it's bad science. Population genetics don't work like that.
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