Flynn Effect and Children’s Intelligence

Are kids getting smarter? This guy believes they are!

Have you ever wondered what a standardized tests are?  Why do we have a funny term like ‘standardized testing’? The proof doesn’t lye in the pudding, its how we eat it.

Since the beginning of the controversial IQ Test  in the early 1900’s humans have debated on what defines intelligence.  It shouldn’t be a big surprise after 100 years of debate we still don’t really know.

Two Factors that Influence Performance on IQ test

These factors are not my personal beliefs but facts that have been agreed upon by most mental health professionals. They are thought provoking and should not be underestimated.

  • Racial and Ethnic groups differ on their average scores on intelligence test
  • Individuals and groups who score higher on IQ test, seem to achieve higher levels of education and income.

While the debate raged on about how to explain these differences and how they can be defined as hereditary, one researcher, James R. Flynn, (Flynn, 1994) (Flynn and Wicherts, 1999, 2004) took a different approach.

He looked at the timeline when the IQ test was first introduced. He fully documented changes in children’s IQ scores over the same time. One of the most interesting facts he  uncovered is the improvement of children’s IQ ‘s given everything else being the same.

Flynn was able to show if nature and nature remained the same ( how we are brought up by our parents and how we are brought up in our environment ) IQ scores steadily improved with an average gain of about 3  to 25 points every 10 years in modern societies, or about one standard deviation for every generation. This phenomena was given the researchers name who first brought this to the attention of the mental health community, hence the name Flynn Effect.

Because of this phenomena, test scores must continue to be re-standardized every 10 years. Using this data its easy to say if children today took an IQ test that was given to the same age group in 1970, they would most likely break the bell curve.

Its safe to say, because of the Flynn Effect,  my 6 year old son is more intelligent than I was 40 years ago at the same age.

There are many reasons why we should forget IQ TestingSelf-Fulfilling Prophecy,  Wealth And Intelligence, and   Gifted Intelligence are just a few.









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