People getting lower IQ scores, researchers claim in recent study Stock Photo

Scientists found that people are getting lower and lower IQ scores, according to a recently published study.

Researchers from the Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research in Norway found that intelligence quotient (IQ) scores have been steadily declining since the mid-1970s. They published their work June 11 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

The researchers sourced their data from the IQ tests of 730,000 Norwegian men, aged between 18 and 19 years. These tests were gathered from 1970 up to 2009.

Their analysis showed that individuals born after 1975 had IQ scores 7 points lower per generation. Researchers considered the data as a reversal of what is called the Flynn effect.

The Flynn effect, named after Kiwi intelligence researcher James Flynn, observed the increase of IQ at the rate of 3 points per generation in the 20th century.

Rather than pinning the IQ score decline solely on bad genetics, the researchers suggest that changes in lifestyle may be affecting modern people’s IQ. They noted the quality of education, media exposure, nutrition and social spillovers from immigration as some of the contributing factors to the decline of IQ.

The researchers also acknowledged their data set may not represent the greater population of the world as their sample set was limited to a Norwegian population.  /ra


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