Are We Getting Smarter? Duh!

Hi friends, happy to be sharing the good news again. Today I’d like to talk about one of the coolest trends in science, something that has been noticed and very well studied for some time–the Flynn Effect.

What’s the Flynn Effect? To quote the post-postmodern version of the OED, Wikipedia, it is “the substantial and long-sustained increase in … intelligence test scores measured in many parts of the world from roughly 1930 to the present day.”

Are you kidding me? I thought kids were getting dumber due to their video games and smart phones.*

Yep, we’re getting smarter, and it’s been studied thoroughly. Possible reasons? Many are given, including our more stimulating environment and the substantial decrease of lead–a nasty neurotoxin–in our homes. James Flynn himself gives a good summation of his Effect in a TED Talk.

So remember the Flynn Effect when the inane mumblings of nearby adolescents make you fear the future of humanity. They’re much smarter than they sound.

*One of my next reads is Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better, by Clive Thompson.

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