The Flynn Effect

The Flynn Effect

The Flynn effect according to studies refers to the well-documented development of intelligence test over decades. Some studies by Kanaya, Scullin &Ceci (2003), show that Flynn effect is a theory that demonstrates the fact that average intelligence quotient (IQ) scores have increased over the years. The first person to categorize the IQ level comparison between succession generations systematically was known as James R. Flynn. Currently, a standard IQ test has been performed to individuals over generations showing a linear rise in average capabilities of human intellect (Flynn & Wideman, 2006).

Therefore, through the process of studies normalization, the results of a particular group of people have been provided. The similarity test was performed on the next generation and a comparison made between the two results hence indicating a higher intelligent quotient level. Therefore, these effects are because of combination of factors that undergo a sudden change with every successive generation. It is because of these effects that the current children have been noticed to be more intelligent or quick observers of new ideas than it was in the previous years.

Flynn effect has been as a result of food consumption especially the severe malnutrition has a greater effect on the intelligence quotient of a child. Advancement in technology has also proved to cause Flynn effect in that this may increase the average intelligence quotient score. For instance, children born in the present generation have greater potential and expertise on the use of technology unlike the old generation. This is because the young generation is very much exposed to technology that brings in new issues that may increase abstract problem solving ability and recognition of patterns (Flynn & Wideman, 2006).

Flynn effect is one of the most significant refutation particularly to those with the though that intelligence is inmates or determined genetically. This is because it is always difficult to argue about how the genetic pool of a group of peeler can be improved over a certain period of time. The Flynn effect is known to affect mostly children especially of the new generation.

For instance, according to research, the average people born a hundred years ago are sometimes seen as mentally challenged by the current standards.

Cautions should be taken when relying on Flynn effect because through Flynn effect, people from the older generation are always seen as having low intelligence quotient score levels than it is with the young generation (Nettelbeck & Wilson, 2004). However, this is never the case because as people grow old, they tend to lose intelligence. Nevertheless, if these elderly people were to be aligned with scores during their own growing time, they will be found to be very intelligent when they are just as they were during their childhood times. The main issue here is the way people tend to perceive the older generation as not bright. Therefore, caution should be taken seriously in order to avoid such perception since it may lead to bad relationships between the young and the elderly populations.

The causes for these differences in intelligence quotient score level should be clearly emphasized and elaborated in order to create an understanding between the two groups. People should know that the current children have increased intelligence quotient score levels due to the present growths and developments in the technology. This has led to children exposure in such areas hence being ahead intellectually more than the elderly population, which is trying so hard to learn such moves. Therefore, according to Kaufman (1990), Flynn effect and intelligence quotient is in most cases affected by the variations in the environment. For instance, children raised in low socio economic status background are noted to dramatically have higher intelligence quotients than their parents. This thus implies that because of environmental variations intellectual improvements in these children is shown due to exposure to new technologies hence able to reason better than their parents although their parents are not stupid. It is just that they lack exposure to information.



Flynn R, J., Wideman, K. (2006). The Flynn effect and the shadow of the past: mental retardation and the indefensible and indispensable role of IQ. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Kanaya, T., Scullin, M., Ceci, S. (2003). The Flynn effect and US policies: the impact of rising IQ scores on American society via mental retardation diagnosis. New York, NY:  West Virginia University.

Kaufman, A. S. (1990). Assessing adolescent and adult intelligence. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Nettelbeck, T., & Wilson, C. (2004). The Flynn effect: Smarter not faster. Intelligence, 32, 85-93.











































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