Monday, February 09, 2009

British teenagers have lower IQs than their counterparts did 30 years ago

As usual, Jim Flynn gets it partly right. The best evidence would seem to indicate that the IQ rise previously reported by Flynn and others was due to increased test sophistication, produced by increased years of education. Only about two thirds of IQ score is genetically determined. Personal environment accounts for the rest and education is a very important part of the intellectual environment. Anybody who knows how severely dumbed-down British education has been in recent years should not be surprised by the results below. They simply show that dumbed down education gives kids fewer clues about how to do IQ tests

Teenagers in Britain have lower IQ scores than their counterparts did a generation ago, according to a study by a leading expert. Tests carried out in 1980 and again in 2008 show that the IQ score of an average 14-year-old dropped by more than two points over the period.

Among those in the upper half of the intelligence scale, a group that is typically dominated by children from middle class families, performance was even worse, with an average IQ score six points below what it was 28 years ago. The trend marks an abrupt reversal of the so-called "Flynn effect" which has seen IQ scores rise year on year, among all age groups, in most industrialised countries throughout the past century.

Professor James Flynn, of the University of Otago in New Zealand, the discoverer of the Flynn effect and the author of the latest study, believes the abnormal drop in British teenage IQ could be due to youth culture having "stagnated" or even dumbed down. He used data gathered in IQ tests on UK children to examine how the country's cognitive skills have changed over time. He found that while children aged between five and 10 saw their IQs increase by up to half a point a year over the three decades, teenagers performed less well. "It looks like there is something screwy among British teenagers," said Professor Flynn. "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.

"Up until the age of nine and ten, the home has a really powerful influence, so we can assume parents have been providing their children with a more cognitive challenging environment in the past 30 years. "After that age the children become more autonomous and they gravitate to peer groups that set the cognitive environment. "What we know is that youth culture is more visually orientated around computer games than they are in terms of reading and holding conversations." He added that previous studies have shown that IQ increases as teenagers move into adulthood, entering university or starting work.

Professor Flynn also believes that the larger drop in IQ among the upper half of the ability range could be due to effects of social class. He said: "IQ gains are typically correlated by class, but the results in this case are very mixed. Maybe the rebellious peer culture of the lower half of British society has invaded the peer culture of the upper half. "It could be the classes in the upper half were insulated from this rebellious peer culture for a time, but now it is universal."

His research, which is presented in a paper published online by the journal Economics and Human Biology, also refutes the commonly held belief that increases in IQ over time are a result of improving nutrition.

Previous research has suggested that using text messages and email causes concentration to drop, temporarily reducing IQ by 10 points, while smoking marijuana has been associated with a four-point drop in IQ. IQ, or intelligence quotient, is normally expressed as a single numerical score, with 100 being the average.

Professor Flynn's study was conducted using a respected IQ test known as Raven's Progressive Matrices. Questions involve matching a series of patterns and sequences, so that even people with no education can take the test. Dr John Raven, the Edinburgh-based psychologist who invented the test, said he was surprised by the fall in teenage IQ. He said: "IQ is influenced by multiple factors that can be dependent upon culture, but the norms tend to be very similar across cultures even in societies that have no access to computers and television. "What we do see is that IQ changes dramatically over time."

He cautioned that since the study did not record the social class of participants, "it is very difficult to make inferences about how changes within social classes can impact on these changes in IQ".

Richard House, a senior lecturer in therapeutic education at Roehampton University and a researcher into the effects of television on children, said: "Taking these findings at face value, it appears that there is something happening to teenagers. "Computer games and computer culture has led to a decrease in reading books. The tendency for teachers to now 'teach to the test' has also led to a decrease in the capacity to think in lateral ways."



RINOs place huge burden of debt on the backs of Americans

How clever of them to support "stimulus" measures that won't stimulate but which do fulfil lots of long-held Democrat wishes. If Senators Snowe, Specter and Collins had held fast, the bill could at least have been cut back to expenditures and tax cuts that will actually be made this year, when they might do some good

Republicans and Democrats offered starkly different assessments of President Barack Obama's newly renegotiated economic recovery plan Saturday, as the Senate held a rare weekend debate in advance of a key vote on Monday. Lawmakers are already looking past Senate action to difficult House-Senate negotiations that will test the mettle of a handful of Senate moderates against House Democrats unhappy over more than $100 billion in spending forced from the bill.

Jon Kyl of Arizona, the Senate's second-ranking Republican, said central elements of Obama's plan such as the $500 tax cut for most workers would do little to help the economy, just as last year's $600 rebate checks failed to provide a jolt. "It was not effective last year," Kyl said. "There's nothing to suggest it's going to be any more effective this year to stimulate the economy."

Saturday's debate came a day after a handful of GOP moderates struck a deal with the White House and Democratic leaders following White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel weighing in to urge Democrats make a final round of concessions. Architects of the compromise included Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Ben Nelson, D-Neb., who represented a broader group of moderates unhappy that so much money went into programs they thought wouldn't create jobs. Eventually, every Republican except Collins and Arlen Specter, R-Pa., left the talks, which finally produced a deal with the White House late Friday afternoon.

While ensuring passage of Obama's plan in the Senate within a few days, the deal sets up difficult negotiations with the House. But the Senate GOP moderates votes are crucial to the measure's success, giving them great leverage going into talks with the House. The sense of urgency to wrap the measure up also seems to contribute to the leverage of Collins and Specter, as does White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel's embrace of the measure in late stage talks.

Officials put the cost of the bill at $827 billion, including Obama's signature tax cut of up to $1,000 for working couples. Also included is a tax credit of up to $15,000 for homebuyers and smaller breaks for people buying new cars. Much of the new spending would be for victims of the recession, in the form of unemployment compensation, health care and food stamps.

In a key reduction from the bill that reached the Senate floor earlier in the week, $40 billion would be cut from a "fiscal stabilization fund" for state governments, though $14 billion to boost the maximum for college Pell Grants by $400 to $5,250 would be preserved, as would aid to local school districts for the No Child Left Behind law and special education. A plan to help the unemployed purchase health insurance would be reduced to a 50 percent subsidy instead of two-thirds.

Despite a 58-41 majority bolstered by the elections, Democrats need 60 votes to clear a key procedural hurdle [cloture] on Monday and advance the bill to a final vote. In addition to Collins and Specter, Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine pledged to vote for the legislation.



Old crap dredged up to attack Palin

The Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund sponsored the YouTube video starring Judd. They've dubbed their campaign, launched this week, "Eye on Palin." With all the serious, socially responsible celebrity earnestness she could muster, Judd decried the aerial hunting of wolves in Alaska, the GOP governor's state. "It is time to stop Sarah Palin and stop this senseless savagery," Judd intoned.

Fact is, the policy is intended to protect other animals -- moose and caribou -- from overpopulation of wolves. Alaskans rely on caribou and moose for food. Not all Americans care to live on environmentally correct starlet diets of tofu salad and Pinkberry yogurt.

Neither Palin nor the aerial hunters in those scary low-flying planes that have Judd quivering promote the program out of malice and animal insensitivity. On the contrary, they are the true compassionate conservationists. The bounty helped state biologists collecting wolf age data and provided incentives to reduce the wolf population when wildlife management efforts had fallen behind. This is about predator control. But to liberal, gun-control zealots thousands of miles away, it's all heartless murder. Federal law makes specific exceptions to aerial hunting for the protection of "land, water, wildlife, livestock, domesticated animals, human life or crops." Targets are not limited to wolves. And, as Alaska wildlife officials note, the process is tightly controlled and "designed to sustain wolf populations in the future."

No matter. As Judd proclaimed, "It is time to stop Sarah Palin." That is the true aim of left-wing lobbying groups and their allies in Hollywood. Palin is a threat not to Alaska's wolves, but to the liberal establishment's wolves. Defenders of Wildlife isn't targeting the ads in states affected by these policies. They're running the Judd-fronted ads across battleground states. It's about electoral interests, not wildlife interests. The eco-Kabuki theater is just plain laughable.

More here


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


1 comment:

Joseph said...

If a brainless youth culture can lower IQ, then IQs must have declined in the 1970s.