Is This as Smart as We’re Ever Going to Be?

Our IQ test scores have steadily climbed over the years — until now

Albert Einstein
This might be as smart as we get. (Central Press/ Getty)
By Ariel Scotti / July 12, 2019 5:00 am

Researchers have that, over the last century, IQ test scores have increased about three points each decade, with some countries making 30-point jumps over the last 10 years. But it appears as if this trend is slowing and might even be taking its first-ever downward turn, suggesting that we reached our intellectual peak.

This turning point already happened in countries like Finland, Norway and Denmark in the mid-1990s, according to the BBC, after which the average IQ dropped by 0.2 points per year — a 7 point dip from one generation to the next.

One possible explanation for this downward trend, the outlet reported, is rooted in schools. Kids these days are more distracted by technology than ever before and so require more stimulating and engaging lessons that target their specific skill sets.

“People are probably better at figuring out complex cell phones and other technological innovations than they would have been at the turn of the 20th Century,” Cornell University psychologist Robert Sternberg wrote on the issue, the BBC reported. “But in terms of our behaviour as a society, are you impressed with what 30 points has brought us? Higher IQs have not brought with them solutions to any of the world’s or the country’s major problems — rising income disparities, widespread poverty, climate change, pollution, violence, deaths by opioid poisoning, among others.”

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