10 February 2009

Dumbing down

The Herald reports that Prof James Flynn of Otago University has found that IQ levels of teenagers in England have declined by two points from 1980 to 2008, but that the IQ of those English teenagers in the top 50 percent of IQ ratings have declined by six points over the same period:

Professor Flynn suggested that the falls could be down to lifestyle changes, including more time spent in front of the television or playing video games. And a growing tendency in schools to "teach to the test" was affecting youngsters' ability to think laterally.

"While we have enriched the cognitive environment of children before their teenage years, the cognitive environment of the teenagers has not been enriched. Other studies have shown how pervasive teenage youth culture is, and what we see is parents' influence on IQ slowly diminishing with age."

Perhaps English teenagers are too busy playing tinny music on their mobiles (without headphones) to read a book. That’s all they seem to do on my bus, anyway.

- Source: NZ Herald, 10 February 2009

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