New Study Discovers American IQ Scores Have Dropped Significantly

man looking at equations study iq scores americans


A new study by researchers at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine has discovered a significant decline in American IQ scores over the past couple of decades.

IQ ability scores in three of four key categories, as well as composite ability scores, have all gone down between 2006 and 2018 based on a sample size of 394,378 people.

So does that mean Americans are getting dumber?

“It doesn’t mean their mental ability is lower or higher; it’s just a difference in scores that are favoring older or newer samples,” said the study’s lead author Dr. Elizabeth Dworak, a research assistant professor of medical social sciences.

“It could just be that they’re getting worse at taking tests or specifically worse at taking these kinds of tests.”

Interestingly, IQ scores in the fourth key category, spatial reasoning, actually increased from 2011 to 2018.

As for why all of the others IQ scores have decreased since 2006, the researcher are referring to it as something called the “Reverse Flynn Effect.”

According to The Debrief

In his seminal 1984 study, American-born New Zealand intelligence researcher Dr. James Flynn found that beginning in the early 1930s, fluid and crystallized intelligence test scores have steadily increased in most of the world’s population.

Following Dr. Flynn’s initial work, the global increase in IQ test scores for most of the 20th century has been confirmed and termed the “Flynn Effect.”

And while the increase in intelligence test scores has been well documented, the exact reasons for the Flynn Effect remain one of modern psychology’s most ubiquitous and mysterious phenomena.

Because the Flynn Effect has been observed occurring over only a few generations, the increase in IQ scores cannot be attributed to genetic evolution. Instead, social scientists have concluded the basis for the phenomenon must stem from environmental factors.

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The new study by the researchers at Northwestern University now joins others conducted in Norway, Denmark, Australia, Britain, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Finland which have all shown statistically significant declines in IQ scores.

It would appear that it is not only Americans whose IQ scores are going down, but instead this is a global trend as IQ scores appear to have peaked in the 1990s and have been in general decline worldwide since.

“There’s debate about what’s causing it, but not every domain is going down; one of them is going up,” Dworak said. “If all the scores were going in the same direction, you could make a nice little narrative about it, but that’s not the case. We need to do more to dig into it.”

She also added, “If you’re thinking about what society cares about and what it’s emphasizing and reinforcing every day, there’s a possibility of that being reflected in performance on an ability test.”

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Before settling down at BroBible, Douglas Charles, a graduate of the University of Iowa (Go Hawks), owned and operated a wide assortment of websites. He is also one of the few White Sox fans out there and thinks Michael Jordan is, hands down, the GOAT.