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What is the Flynn Effect?

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The Flynn effect is the observed rise in IQ scores in many countries in the period 1930 to present. Each IQ test is standardized such that the average score is 100 by using a sampling of test-takers. When a modern pool of test-takers is asked to take an older test, they typically score significantly higher than 100.
The Flynn effect may be as high as 2.93 IQ points per decade. It some cases it has been even higher. For example, testing of Dutch military conscripts indicated a gain of 21 points between 1952 and 1982, or 7 points per decade.

Why Smarter?

Factors such as literacy, education, nutrition and health improvements may be primarily responsible for the observed rise in IQ. It is also possible that environments become more stimulating due to factors such as technology.


Some research has suggested very recent declines in the Flynn effect or in IQs themselves. One study found that IQs of British 14 year olds dropped 2 points between 1980 and 2008.

Multiple Intelligence

IQ tests represent a particular type of problem solving ability. They may not correlate with all forms of intelligence.
Overview: Flynn Effect
An observed long term rise in IQ in the period 1930 to present in many countries.
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