A new study has discovered that humans are no longer getting smarter.
Scientists at the Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research in Norway analysed 730,000 IQ tests given to Norwegian men before their compulsory military service from 1970 to 2009 and the researchers found that the average IQ scores were actually decreasing. In fact, the study found that on average, each new generation of Norwegian men drop seven IQ points.
This research is important because previous research done in the field suggests that humans were roughly adding three IQ points to their intelligence every decade, but the trend now seems to be reversing.
The findings aren’t just limited to Norway either. Similar research done by New Zealand researcher James Flynn on British teenagers in 2009 found IQ points were decreasing among teens even then. Furthermore, similar studies have been carried out in Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Finland and Estonia and all have found a similar downwards trend in IQ scores.
However, researchers hypothesise the decrease in the average IQ score isn’t caused by genetics, but environmental factors such as our diets, lifestyle, screen time and changes to the way children are now taught in schools.
Another hypothesis is that IQ tests are an old way of evaluating intelligence, and our educational structures and coursework have changed in such a way that the traditional IQ test isn’t an accurate representation of new intelligence.
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