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Psychol Rev. 2011 Oct;118(4):689-93. doi: 10.1037/a0024759.

Heterosis doesn't cause the Flynn effect: a critical examination of Mingroni (2007).

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  • School of Biological Sciences, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, Surrey, TW20 0EX. M.A.WoodleyPhD@gmail.com

Abstract

Mingroni (2007) proposed that heterosis or hybrid vigor may be the principal driver of the Flynn effect--the tendency for IQ scores to increase at a rate of approximately 3 points per decade. This model was presented as a resolution to the IQ paradox--the observation that IQ scores have been increasing despite their high adult heritability--on the basis that substantial changes in IQ can only be accounted for by changes in underlying genetic factors. It is here argued that this model is predicated upon a misconception of the Flynn effect, which is most pronounced on the least g-loaded components of cognitive ability tests and is uncorrelated with genetic effects such as inbreeding depression scores (which are correlated with the g loadings of tests). Evidence supportive of the recently proposed life history model of the Flynn effect is presented. In the discussion, other theoretical objections to the heterosis model are also considered. On this basis, it is concluded that the Flynn effect is strongly entwined with developmental status and that heterosis cannot be its principal cause.

© 2011 American Psychological Association

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PMID:
22003846
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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