However, I think improving IQ testing for the purposes of documenting human evolution is just as important as documenting fluctuations in disease, addiction, obesity and the like.
For example, there has been considerable scientific research that points to a noteable increase in IQ in America in the twenties due to increased iodine intake. If we are in-fact getting less intelligent, I think it would behove us to purse potential causes.
I don't know many people that agree with this. At least in my bubble, the great majority regard IQ tests as bunk and the rest regard IQ as just a very roundabout way of measuring the education level of a child's parents. (There's some disagreement whether the father's level of education is the most important factor  or the mother's education level is ).) It's only in a select few internet forums dominated by a select few types of people where IQ is taken seriously and even obsessed over.
Putting aside the wholly made-up g factor, what we've been seeing in the West for the last 30 years is rapidly increasing inequality in educational attainment. Severe cuts in education at both the public level and the private level (see, eg, the extraordinary rise of single mothers in both the US and EU and parents with multiple jobs) means that many children are simply getting less education than they did 30 years ago.
Note that this does not apply to the knowledge elite who go to extraordinary measures to educate their children. It's quite likely that the children of today's elite are the most educated children in the history of the planet. I know a few parents who have budgeted a million dollars for the education of each of their children.
The Flynn Effect was likely nothing more than the result of the extraordinary and broad-based increase in wealth we saw from 1900 to 1980. Since 1980 virtually all of the growth is being captured by the elites so it's not surprising at all that we'd see a similar reversal in the Flynn Effect.
Why do you stoop to blatant lying?
“Research in the field of behavioral genetics has established that the construct of g is highly heritable. It has a number of other biological correlates, including brain size. It is also a significant predictor of individual differences in many social outcomes, particularly in education and employment. The most widely accepted contemporary theories of intelligence incorporate the g factor.”
“The practical validity of g as a predictor of educational, economic, and social outcomes is more far-ranging and universal than that of any other known psychological variable. The validity of g is greater the greater the complexity of the task.”
 Neisser et al. 1996
 Jensen 1998, 270
 Gottfredson 2002
Then I guess you could also look at the removal of lead from car exhaust gases, (generally considered a good thing).
I couldn’t read the full article due to the paywall and there’s no nice way to put this bit but is the drop in score due to a decline in the number of people with high IQ or because people with low IQ are surviving longer in childhood where previously they might not?
IQ correlation studies:
Same person (tested twice) .95
Identical twins—Reared together .86
Unrelated children—Reared together—Adults .04
For any test, your grade is usually based on:
* Your form on that day (good day/bad day whatever)
* Your competence
* Test taking ability (TTA)
The first one can result in pretty large fluctuations, though on the population level (what the Flynn effect measures) it should not matter.
Competence usually means "knows the subject", for an IQ test this would (ideally) be "is smart".
TTA is either "is prepared for the test" or "knows how to make educated guesses".
It is believed that the Flynn effect largely results from two factors:
* Some parts of the population were severely malnourished 50-100 years ago which hindered their brain development.
* Improved TTA
The first one would be a real gain (of intelligence), though with limited capability to expand upon, as these days almost no one (in US/Europe at least) is malnourished enough to allow for further gains at the population level
The second is not a gain of intelligence though it is a gain of competence, just not the kind that we want to measure with an IQ test.
As there are not many reasons to believe, that the current decline is due to nourishment/TTA, it may be that those are constant but actual intelligence is on decline.
The world today is way different than when we came up with IQ tests. Yes there might be a corellation between how good you do on an IQ test and how “smart” you are but I think over and over again your background/upbringing had been show to influence that more than your “smartness”.
If the question is: do we think in different way than we did 50 years ago? I think the answer is a stong yes.
The technology and the tools we have today enable us to do things that were unconcievable 50 years ago.
Is this good? Is this bad? The truth is that human beings are (and always were) pretty limited. Our hardware sucks. The things that enables us are tools and our use of tools. As we get better tools we do better and better and our attention is focused on different things. I would argue that today we are smarter than we’ve ever been and we are getting smarter each day by using more and more powerful tools.
The background/upbringing influences one's performance in IQ tests too, so the point is moot.
>If the question is: do we think in different way than we did 50 years ago? I think the answer is a stong yes.
Not in the slightest.
>The technology and the tools we have today enable us to do things that were unconcievable 50 years ago.
Which is neither here not there when it comes to intelligence. Plus we still do things we did 50 and 100 and 100000 years ago and still need to be good at them...
If I take a second to sit down with my peers (20's) and really talk, all sorts of funny things come out of their mouths which really invite me to think about intelligence in a different way. You wouldn't believe the insights-- from every angle possible.
Who gives a damn about IQ anymore? Who is anybody to equate it with intelligence? What is intelligence? I say: you don't know and I don't know, and who cares!
The test used by Mensa (as an example many think about when they hear IQ test) is a simple test that has shown reasonably stable correlation with IQ, but it is not a real IQ test.
So like the kind of situations a person finds themselves all the time throughout their lives?
This happens all the time, GDP is another fantastic example.
Let's try to educate people that proxies are not the real thing, not condemn the measures - because it's not their fault :-)
Source seems to be: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2018/06/05/1718793115
Key piece from abstract: "Using administrative register data and cognitive ability scores from military conscription data covering three decades of Norwegian birth cohorts (1962–1991), we show that [...]"
There may be some changes in what kinds of people sign up for the military as the cold war cooled down and disappeared.
But then, WP says " In practice recruits are not forced to serve, but if the armed forces see an unmotivated person fit for military service, they can force them to serve. About 60,000 Norwegians are available for conscription every year, but only 8,000 to 10,000 are conscripted."
So in practice my argument stands, with the additional factor that playing dumb in an iq test might be a good way to escape the "fit but unmotivated" categorisation.
jk, kids today outpace me daily.
PS I wasn't kidding about the music!
There probably is a much smaller, perhaps not yet measurable, fall caused by genetics. I tried to submit an Economist article on that. (Can you see it under https://news.ycombinator.com/submitted?id=bloak ?)
That said, I think there are two pretty clear choices which then lead to more choices
Either this is a thing, and we should worry about it, Or, its not a thing, and we don't have to worry. The comments in the article about the Flynn effect and the ability to measure IQ in a changing world of "what is intelligence" goes to the second case: its too early to worry.
But, if this turns out to be something environmental or educational, much as (on the positive side) removing lead was for it's effect on behaviour, mood and intelligence, then we need to worry about this.
Personally, I don't yet think this is a thing. All the signs I see from the peak of 57 meritorious, unmeasured-in-IQ years, is that younger people are smarter than me, and more capable than me of applied thought.
"I don't believe it, yet"
I feel this too. I'm in my twenties and the small children scare me with their brilliance sometimes. I am excited to see those little guys grow up. I am convinced they will be the first generation to ask, in full, "what should we do?" rather than, "what can we do?". Very excited.
Kids are plenty smart, they just don't have the experience, but I find they can handle complex ideas just as well as adults, if given a chance. Similarly trying to sugar coat things like violence and death doesn't really help, and while difficult they seem to deal with it as well as adults.
Kids, when growing, learn stuff, but not in the « same order » as other kids. Some gonna walk early (my sister was 8 1/2 months old), some gonna talk early (my parents told me I was able to discuss with adults at the age of 17 months) etc.. And it’s true for all the abilities. Read soon, draw soon.
It won’t mean that they’ll be good at it later. Just they assimilate it sooner than others.
So some abilities make a kid shines when another might not. Doesn’t mean they won’t be smart later.
1. a specific type of success
2. the need for such type of success
I personally don't value any of them, and in my culture they're not pushed hard, either.
If I would be in that culture and philosophy, definitely, that would be a very troublesome situation, as it would put lots of achievement pressure on the children (and likely failure to meet the "success" of the parent.
I guess there is literature about the relationship between genius parents (in a strict sense, so not my case) and children, since probably, very similar mechanics develop.
Goals may change, so it's good to keep one's options open, but to "instill" anything in a child is hard. With some teenagers the best thing to do might be to ban them from reading and studying and punish them whenever you catch them doing their homework. They might then do those things in secret just to spite you, and then they might at least have the option of going to university.
In our house, the parent/child dynamic wasn't conducive to me teaching my kids. That's kind of luck-of-the-draw. So they go to private teachers. But I suspect our love of music, and having it be part of our lives, has rubbed off on them.
In other words, speak your native language with your children, you'll be doing them a favour. Just make sure they learn the language of the land as well, preferably at home before they go to school.
"På Missansia förskola har alla barn utom ett vårdnadshavare med ett annat modersmål än svenska. Enda stället där de kan tala eller uppmuntras att utveckla svenska är därför i förskolan. Utbildningsnämnden konstaterar därför att "om då förskolan enbart har personal i småbarnsgruppen som inte kan svenska får dessa barn ingen uppmuntran i det svenska språket".
Nämnden utrycker också en oro över att barnen riskerar att få en sämre start än sina klasskamrater i skolan, vilket kan medföra en sämre kunskapsutveckling och ett utanförskap.
– Förskolan ska bedrivas på svenska, det är extra viktigt när de talar sitt modersmål hemma. Grunden är att vi måste garantera barns rätt till en bra förskola, säger Olle Johansson."
...which translates to:
"At Missansia pre-school all children except for one have parents (the word used is 'vårdnadshavare' which means 'custodians') with a native tongue other than Swedish. This means the only place where they can speak or be motivated to develop Swedish is pre-school. The school board therefore concludes that "if pre-school only has personnel (in the group for the youngest children) who can not speak Swedish this means those children do no get any motivation in the Swedish language"
The board also is worried that the children will have a worse start than their classmates in school which can lead to worse results and segregation.
– Pre-school has to be run in Swedish, this is extra important when they speak their native tongue at home. The reason is that we have to guarantee the child's right to a good pre-school, says Olle Johansson.