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Wiley Interdiscip Rev Cogn Sci. 2017 Jan;8(1-2). doi: 10.1002/wcs.1366. Epub 2016 Dec 1.

What is the Flynn Effect, and how does it change our understanding of IQ?

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Affiliate member, Delta Center, University of Iowa.


In 1981, psychologist James Flynn noticed that IQ scores had risen streadily over nearly a century a staggering difference of 18 points over two generations. After a careful analysis, he concluded the cause to be culture. Society had become more intelligent-come to grips with bigger, more abstract ideas over time-and had made people smarter. This observation, combined with solid evidence that IQ scores are also not fixed within an individual, neatly dispels the idea of intelligence being an innate and fixed entity. While intelligence clearly has a biological component, it is best defined, as a set of continually developed skills. WIREs Cogn Sci 2017, 8:e1366. doi: 10.1002/wcs.1366 For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website.

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