A controversial new study suggests that while our technology is advancing, the human intelligence is on the decline. The researchers show that Westerners have had a 14 point IQ drop since Victorian times due to changes in regards to stimuli and surroundings.
To the casual observer of any Western society it would seem that with all the advances in computers, smartphones, automobiles and all manner of luxuries, that we are obviously getting a lot smarter. However, a recent study proposes just the opposite and says that we are, on average, becoming al lot less intelligent.
Surprisingly, this intelligence study was not a new finding by any means and part of a standing observation. Just over a year ago a similar study gave the same conclusion and was published in a two-part paper in the Journal, Trend in Genetics, by Stanford University researcher Gerald Crabtree.
Prehistoric humans were once continually subjected to selective pressures in the environment, which in turn helped accelerate the species. Crabtree suggests that we simply have it too easy today with everything readily available when we want it. This easy life is essentially making us less clever since those former pressures we once endured are no longer present.
The more recent findings were published in the April 13 issue of Intelligence and conducted by Dr. Michael A. Woodley, et, al. The study focuses on the Victorian era with its sudden rise in innovation, ingenuity and technology as compared with today.
The hypothesis was that Victorians were more intelligent than people today, so researchers went about testing measurements using simple visual reaction time in a meta-analytic study. The study reads in part,
Simple reaction time measures correlate substantially with measures of general intelligence ( that may have resulted from the presence of dysgenic fertility.) and are considered elementary measures of cognition. In this study we used the data on the secular slowing of simple reaction time described in a meta-analysis of 14 age-matched studies from Western countries conducted between 1884 and 2004 to estimate the decline in
In short, the findings found that modern western populations have suffered about a 14-point drop in I.Q. scores and their findings strongly suggested that, with respect to g, those living in the Victorian era were substantially more intelligent than modern Western populations.