Behavior Disorders

The Flynn effect: Are people getting smarter?

The Flynn effect: Are people getting smarter or are people merely getting more practice at the skills measured on IQ tests? 

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The IQ test results have been getting better and better, year over year, since IQ testing began. This is called the Flynn Effect.

For the Flynn Effect I favor that people are merely getting more practice at the skills measured on IQ tests. I believe that with every new generation and with the advancement of technology since the 1900’s, information has become more and more readily available, starting with newspapers, then radio, then TV and then the internet. I also believe that with every new generation people are usually more educated than the generations before and therefore parents start teaching their kids new things that their own parents had not thought them.

I believe that the advancements in technology is helping us to have a greater level knowledge, which therefore results in better IQ test results. Although, this is my main belief, I am also not disqualifying that people may be getting smarter due to evolution. In the millions of years that earth and life has existing, evolution has taken place and if we came from a common ancestor to the apes, then humans became smarter via evolution and this may still be in t he works. One of the ways evolution happens is by natural selection. Could this mean that in our society less intelligent people are not getting married as much as the more intelligent people and therefore these genes do not get passed on? It would seem to make sense and maybe if there were some studies done about this, then it would shed more light, if indeed evolution is a factor in people getting smarter.

Results on IQ tests tend to differ among different ethnic groups. Some people have used this fact to argue that some ethnic groups tend to be intellectually superior to others. If this is the case, then maybe evolution may also have affected the inelegance of different ethnic groups differently. There were and still are many societies in the world that arranged marriages by family are a common place, which may mean that in these societies the less intelligent are getting married as much as the more intelligent, therefore their genes getting passed on equally, where in some modern societies, the natural selection results in passing of genes of the more intelligent.

References: Bennett, J., Briggs, W., & Triola, M. (2009). Statistical Reasoning for Everyday Life, Third Edition. Pearson Education Inc.