– The continual increase in the intelligence quotient (IQ) scores during the last century indicates that most people living nowadays in America are smarter than their grandparents. This is called the Flynn effect, named after James Flynn the psychologist who discovered this trend.

– According to Flynn’s principle, if people who lived a century ago could take an IQ test today, they would get on average an IQ score as low as 70. Conversely, if individuals of the current generation could take an IQ test following the standards of their grandparents’ generation, they would score on average as high as 130. For what reason?

– “If you look at a chart of the Flynn Effect over the 20th century in the United States, for example, you notice that the proportion of children and youth attending school and how long they attend lines up nicely with the gains in IQ scores,” explains David Baker, a professor of sociology and education at Penn State University. Even if there is today a widespread impression that the quality of school education is worse than in the past, it has in fact improved.



Image: by Brad Barket – Getty Images