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You are here: Home / News / Globally Lowering IQ of the Past Several Decades - Flynn Effect Reversal - "Dumbing Down" or just "Different" Cognitive Functioning - Consequences of Age-ism and Impact on Freedom

Globally Lowering IQ of the Past Several Decades - Flynn Effect Reversal - "Dumbing Down" or just "Different" Cognitive Functioning - Consequences of Age-ism and Impact on Freedom

by Hawke published Oct 23, 2021 10:40 AM, last modified Oct 23, 2021 10:41 AM
The following is highly controversial. You have been notified. I thought maybe I was just being an old curmudgeon at age 50, and that is not mutually exclusive, but it turns out the research data does indicate that, for whatever causal reason (lots of debate there with no definitive answers), there is clearly a globally dropping of the global IQ over the last few decades. There is debate about different types of intelligence, but this doesn't seem to be that issue. It appears indeed that Human beings around the world are regressing.

This is a highly, indeed hotly, debated topic.

And even Flynn himself refutes some of the recent findings based on changing cultural priorities for cognition, as "reciprocal causation"..."a shadow of the interaction between developing new habits of mind and the brain."

Furthermore, while eons of previous generations encouraged "respect your elders", that you could learn from their mistakes, and they had learned much that each subsequent generation could benefit from them to advance society and humankind. Unfortunately recent trends are showing intensely rapid increases in age-ism against older adults (even just 30-40 year old, let alone the backlash of the "OK boomer" mockery), and completely disregard of learning from others' prior experience, or indeed from history. I see this rampant in the Information Technology industry of the past 10-15 years by the way, as discussed here: 

So, keep all this in mind as this is discussed. This is not definitive, but is good fodder for thought and further research to develop more nuanced and accurate theories and models of explanation of cultural and global reading, verbal, and cognitive skills down trending of the past several decades: which is further exemplified in the IT industry:

For those born after 1975 or so, each decade the global IQ is dropping in developed countries. Averaging about -3 IQ points each decade since then. Reversing the 20th century's trend of 3 point increases each decade. A reversal of the "Flynn Effect".

Does this mean that humans overall are indeed "dumbing down" or that due to changing priorities and daily interactions that cause reinforcement of different areas and pathways in our neurological development, we are just thinking "differently"?

I propose that both is happening across complex-networks and systems-theory-related matrices. We are seeing some areas of significant growth in "new ways of thinking" that is adaptive and potentially beneficial, but unfortunately that is not outpacing the rapid inverse decline of many critically important cognitive functions that have real-world long-term consequences and that it is significantly harmful to the long-term health (even existence) of the human race if not turned back around so that "new thinking" continues to evolve" but that adaptive "old thinking" is brought back up to a healthy level.

If this trend is not reverse, we are going to devolve rapidly (indeed we already have in 2021) into pre-enlightment, pre-renaissance, even pre-Greek Golden Age, to primal global warring tribal states, global genocide, as Balkanization increases because people are not able to hold in their minds more than two to three steps in a causal chain of decision making branches. "Adulting is too hard", "TLDR", and "I just want to feel safe" even at the cost of freedom. I argue that this trending (even if overall adaptive intelligence is static or even growing slightly) is causing a downward trend in "freedom", "liberty", and individual thinking. Increasingly there is once again the reversion to 'the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one". Throughout all of human history this has always been very harmful thinking, and leads inevitably to genocides.

According to IQ test proponents this indicates lower intelligence (aka "dumber") with each generation. This is not an ignorance issue, it is an impairment of cognitive function.

Others argue that IQ tests are antiquated and not an accurate reflection of intelligence, along with those that argue for multiple intelligence types measures. While I am a supporter of the many types of intelligence argument, I do still think the IQ tests show an overall trend that is disturbing, and (beware! personal bias clearly here!) very much fits in line with my increasing frustration with the general public over the last 30 years, and with the IT industry the last 10 years.

There is much debate about the causality, and so far there is zero consensus, because there is no clarity of proof yet as to why this is happening. There is much conjecture, a smörgåsbord of research listing potential causes, but nothing close to clarity.

I suspect it is, like so many things of this scale, multivariate, and every time people try to oversimplify such systems they are inherently wrong. They have to understand complex systems to understand the causality. A combination of bio-psycho-social issues such as politics, perceived (falsely in many cases) economic pressures due to warped social priorities, "idiocracy" effects, significantly degraded educational approaches, nutrition (what we eat especially), localized environmental contaminants (water, food, etc.), technologies reversal of Darwinistic genetic selection and elimination, and many genocides wiping out those that were mo individualistic and intelligent and keeping alive only the compliant "sheeple".








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