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J Clin Exp Neuropsychol. 2007 Jul;29(5):514-29.

The Flynn effect and its relevance to neuropsychology.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77204-5022, USA.


Evidence from several nations indicates that performance on mental ability tests is rising from one generation to the next, and that this "Flynn effect" has been operative for more than a century. No satisfactory explanation has been found. Nevertheless, the phenomenon has important implications for clinical utilization of IQ tests. This article summarizes the empirical basis of the Flynn effect, arguments about the nature of the skill that is increasing, and proposed explanations for the cause of the increase. Ramifications for clinical neuropsychology are discussed, and some of the broader implications for psychology and society are noted.

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