The Western IQ has Fallen and it Can’t Get Up
If you live in a Western country, your great-great-great-grandparents’ IQs were 14.1 points higher than yours. Sorry, nothing personal.
That’s the theory anyway, according to a new European study. According to their article, published in the journal Intelligence:
“We tested the hypothesis that the Victorians were cleverer than modern populations using high-quality instruments, namely measures of simple visual reaction time in a meta-analytic study. Simple reaction time measures correlate substantially with measures of general intelligence and are considered elementary measures of cognition.”
The Victorian Era was roughly from 1837 to 1901. And according to the researchers, our collective IQ started heading south in 1901. The average Western IQ score has dropped 1.23 points per decade since then.
And what’s causing the Western IQ to sink like a stone? As the linked article says:
“Women of higher intelligence tend to have fewer children on average, meaning that population growth may be driven by those with a lower IQ.”
And on that note: if you haven’t seen Idiocracy, rent it NOW.
In a somewhat related story, lip-reading used to be a lot more common than it is today. (Somebody once told me this; I probably should Google it.) Supposedly, back then, if you were having a whispered private conversation in a public place, there was a good chance of somebody picking up your entire conversation from across the room or down the street. Another lost art (if it’s even true).
Anyway, who knows how accurate this new study will turn out to be. It might be valid, or it might be in the same category as the scientific research that screams: “Drink Coffee! It’s full of anti-oxidants, prevents Alzheimer’s, cures arthritis…” “Don’t drink coffee! It causes heart disease, ulcers, kidney failure…”
Labels: Western IQ 14.1 points