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Flynn effect

The Flynn effect is the continued year-on-year rise of IQ test scores, an effect seen in all parts of the world. Named after James R. Flynn, its discoverer. The average rate of rise seems to be around 3 IQ points per decade.

The Flynn effect is a perplexing phenomenon for those who believe that IQ tests represent a true measure of human intelligence, as it would suggest that people today are in general considerably more intelligent than those of previous generations. Flynn himself does not believe this to be the case. It is conceivable that something about modern society (the greater need for abstract thinking, presence of computers, more visually-oriented culture) is responsible.

Better nutrition has been proposed as a factor. There is evidence from Scandinavian countries that IQ scores rose even following the austerity of occupation during World War II.

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