A recent study published in the Intelligence journal reveals that IQ scores have decreased for the first time in decades. The research was conducted by scientists from Northwestern University and the University of Oregon, who found that IQ levels had dropped, particularly among those with less education in the 18 to 22 age group.
The researchers sought to investigate whether or not the Flynn effect – a steady increase in IQ scores across generations – had changed from 2006 to 2018 in America. To our dismay, younger generations are no longer expected to outperform their predecessors in terms of intelligence. Since 1932, average IQ scores have increased approximately three to five points per decade. This decline could severely impact our nation’s ability to compete globally and maintain economic growth.
It has come to light that there has been a lack of research on the United States when compared to European countries, as noted by the researchers. CNN reported on a Norwegian study from 2018 which indicated that IQ scores had been declining in that country for decades.
The aforementioned researchers conducted their own study, analyzing nearly 400,000 IQ tests taken online by American adults between 2006 and 2018 through the Synthetic Aperture Personality Assessment Project (SAPA Project) and data from the International Cognitive Ability Resource (ICAR) from 2011 to 2018.
Through comparing both sets of data, they were able to examine trends in two different types of scores: cognitive ability and skills such as matrix and verbal reasoning. The findings are cause for concern as they suggest a decline in intellectual capabilities among Americans, particularly those aged 18 to 22 with less education.
This study should serve as a wake-up call for policymakers and educators alike. We cannot afford to ignore this downward trend any longer. It is imperative that we take immediate action to address this problem before it becomes irreversible. The future of our country depends on it, and we owe it to ourselves and future generations to ensure that America continues to thrive intellectually and economically.
According to the researchers, individuals with lower levels of education experienced a more significant decline in IQ scores. However, those with higher education levels, such as a four-year degree, saw less of a decrease – except for younger participants.
The authors of the study remarked that “as scores were lower for more recent participants across all levels of education, this might suggest that either the caliber of education has decreased across this study’s sample and/or that there has been a shift in the perceived value of certain cognitive skills.” This observation raises concerns about the quality and relevance of education provided to American students.