IQ Rates Are Dropping In Developed Countries All Around The World

An intelligence crisis could undermine our problem-solving capacities and dim the prospects of the global economy.

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If people seem dumber than ever, as curmudgeons might complain, it may not be just your imagination. For studies show that in a number of Western countries, IQ scores are dropping notably.

As Science Alert reports, “A defining trend in human intelligence tests that saw people steadily obtaining higher IQ scores through the 20th century has abruptly ended, a new study shows.”

Even the children of hi-IQ parents are getting dumber, and if we can’t figure out why, humanity could be in trouble.

Humans today are poised to fully enter the age of AI and advanced technologies that we couldn’t have imagined just a couple of decades ago, but there’s a global trend that could bring this real-life sci-fi experience to a screeching halt: people are getting dumber.

And nobody knows why.

Evan Horowitz, director of research communication at FCLT Global, wrote in a piece for NBC News’ Think last month that IQ scores across the globe are dropping, and considering that “individual IQ scores predict things such as educational achievement and longevity” and “the average IQ score of a country is linked to economic growth and scientific innovation,” the world could be in trouble.

Studies of various tests conducted for various reasons in countries all over the world have revealed similar findings: populations everywhere are less smart than they used to be.

Oddly enough, and despite the political garbage many Americans spew and consume on social media, the United States appears to have been spared the decline in IQ that has struck other developed countries around the world — for now.

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But Horowitz warned that Americans should not be too complacent about it, because the slide downward could be around the corner:

If IQs are dropping in other advanced countries but not here, maybe that means we’re not really an advanced country (too much poverty, too little social support).

Or — just as troubling — if we are keeping up with the Joneses (or Johanssons and Jacques) in terms of national development, that means we are likely to experience similarly plummeting IQs in the near future. At which point, the U.S. will face the same dangers of intellectual and economic stagnation.

And right now, there is little information pointing to the cause of IQ declines in other countries, meaning the U.S. would be hard pressed to find a way to avoid the same fate.

Unlike the theory floated in “Idiocracy,” IQ decline does not appear to be an issue of those with lower IQs out-procreating those with higher IQs. The phenomenon is landing the same punch across all peoples: even the children of high-IQ parents are in the downhill race.

Some have put forth theories as to why this is occurring. “One leading explanation is that the rise of lower-skill service jobs has made work less intellectually demanding,” Horowitz noted, “leaving IQs to atrophy as people flex their brains less.”

Another explanation could be less nutrient-dense food as global warming wreaks its havoc, or that “information-age devices sapping our ability to focus.”

If humans cannot figure out why people are getting dumber, though, the consequences could be dire, Horowitz predicted. We might be facing “a global intelligence crisis that undermines humanity’s problem-solving capacity and leaves us ill-equipped to tackle the complex challenges posed by AI, global warming and developments we have yet to imagine.”

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10 COMMENTS

  1. It’s because of technology. If you look at the ages where brain development happens, you will see most of the dates it started reversing line up with the late state development from millennials on down the line. It is many things including dependency and disconnect from the material world. Material interactions would include texting vs talking face to face, as everything counts and becomes part of the learning as our brain has historically expected it. The human brain has basically never had to do so little, and this is the result.

    The future is far worse than simply this. The future most believe in can’t actually happen as it’s not sustainable because IQ tests have consistency. Google Average IQ of students by graduate college major and gender in the US (to start with). Look at programmers, Rarity low estimate 1 in 16, use census data to get low estimate of programmers.. 1 in 5.8 or fewer of ALL working people in the US with an IQ of 124+ must choose a programming related degree or win these jobs with no degree to retain the quality of programming we have now? Then look at the quality of programming around the world. This is on top of needing more technology and programmers year over year and changes in technology, and what it does to all positions over that IQ average.

  2. The only thing that would surprise me about this is if people actually found this surprising. Do we really expect anything different when we indulge in mindless entertainment and expect immediate gratification without any effort in what we do. A society in decline for some time now.

  3. Before the internet existed people had to interact with those who were available around them. They had to conform to those ideals and slowly become shaped by their environment in order to fit in their society.

    Today, there’s no need for that. Are you a radicalistic humanitarian? Shunned by others for your extreme views, thoughts too maybe? Well then. All you’ll have to do is find validation online. There is no limit to the living, breathing thing we call the internet. Anything you want is there. Anyone can find a home.

    Human’s seek thrill. We also seek comfort. Naturally speaking we want to have a home and also urge the feeling of thrill. We have that now. What’s the point of questioning ourselves? We’re told that there’s nothing wrong with us. We find many more like us online. We connect with more people too, if they are worth it of course.

    Catching on yet? The people of this generation and the next have no need to care for the society they live in. I’m more qualified than some 68 year old researcher too. As I’m 18 I’ve grown up with the internet. I know how things work around “cyberspace” and I’ve seen it countless of times. People hurdle in to groups, seeking validation, attention – comfort. Said groups harass those they feel like harassing, giving them the sensation of of thrill and validation they seek every now and then.

    In today’s world self-interest is the priority. We do not teach “care for your fellow man”, because we don’t have teachers. Our internet is our teacher. We learn what we want, hear what we want and see what we want any time we want.

    So what am I trying to bring to the table? Does any of this have to do with the topic?

    Yes, it does. Look at it this way: In the past, kids were taught by those around them. As they grew to become adults, they then taught the kids around them the same or similar things. This ends up creating a cycle of society – and every society in the past were after the same thing; progress.

    It was apparent in the past that the world was not safe. People in countries unified more easily. Ideals were not easily broken. A people were defined by where they came from rather than who they individually were in many cases, since where they came from many thought the same.

    Now there’s none of that. What’s on the mind of my generation is how they can stay up to date with whatever they deem important. No one has control over their understanding over importance. They themselves will find it eventually and stick to it.

    Intelligence as I see it is built off of thought. And I don’t mean specific thought such as mathematical thinking or patterns. I’m on about things such as philosophy, psychology, common decency and ways to formulate a constructive conversation with others.

    Some may say that these things are present in today’s school’s, therefore the point I’m making is redundant. And yes, it would be redundant if this was the case. But It’s not.

    Times have changed. This is no longer the 2000’s. School’s systems have not caught up. As established previously, in today’s world freedom of thought and opportunity of self-made evaluation is vastly beyond what it was in the past. Children no longer need their parents to guide them. They internet will eventually guide their natural curiosity with or without their consent.

    Today we need school’s that takes each child’s individual needs, skills and opinions in mind and take action to find the most appropriate method to teach them. It’s already been made a clear fact that people learn in different ways. An example could be how some learn through doing while others have an easier time watching something be done.

    If you don’t want my generation to fail, get your shit together. Catch up with change. Recognize current flaws and fix them. Because, again; My generation most likely won’t do it for you. Since we’re growing up believing whatever we want to believe.

  4. Socialism is causing IQ’s to drop in Western Countries. We are not socialist enough yet to experience this. The more the government does for you, the less you are motivated to work for yourself. Human nature being what it is, people will often not do anything good unless they are highly incentivized to. Even in families, the desire to maintain a good bond with the wife makes the lazy husband do the dishes. We need incentives to be a blessing. It is wonderful to know that if I work more hours, then I will get paid more. Socialism puts controls on the means of production so that the free market cannot run naturally. Look at the United States vs. North Korea. Do I need to say any more? I would suspect that Eastern Europe, which is not now embracing socialism like much of Western Europe, which is ironic given the history of each, would not be encountering an iq drop like the UK or Spain. I would expect some iq drop among the youth in Australia and New Zealand, due to the advent of smart phones and the laziness they produce, coupled with the chilled out and somewhat socialist safety-net style culture. I would expect a rise in iq in Eastern Europe where they have been working hard to climb out of the effects of socialism for almost 30 years. The recent history of these countries should be a statement of what we can expect if socialism takes too much of a foothold in the United States of America. A loss of young people, fleeing to other nations where their work will be more rewarded. A loss of health. Somebody needs to sweep the sidewalks in Seattle. They are full of hypodermic needles. Do we really want the entire country to become like this? We need rules or society will descend into madness. There is a way to parent immature people, homeless or not, without allowing them to get away with murder, literally. People who get stuck with these needles can die. We’re not going to keep getting floods of immigrants if this keeps up. Being responsible for yourself and those entrusted to your care is the greatest way to raise IQ I have ever heard of. We are creatively thinking of ways to make others lives, and our lives better. Serving others shows us what is actually better for us. We will have so much joy and challenge, our corporate IQ’s will absolutely go off the scale.

  5. A lot of these countries have been accepting low IQ immigrants as well. Some even engage in incestuous cousin marriage which lowers IQ further.

  6. IQ doesn’t measure intelligence. It measures the ability to do IQ-tests. And intelligent people aren’t interested in taking IQ tests. Only idiots are obsessed with IQ

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