Re: Young vs. Old

From: Damien Broderick (
Date: Tue Jul 10 2001 - 23:58:47 MDT

At 03:54 PM 7/10/01 -0400, Robin wrote:

>>here. If the Flynn effect is real then the greater intelligence of the youth
>>may allow them to gobble-up more from the epistemic trough.
>I think you are assuming that an individual's intelligence stays constant
>across their lifetime, but increases with the year of their birth. Perhaps
>instead the world getting smarter makes both old and young people smarter.

I assumed that the effect Flynn noticed was that school & college & maybe
military-entry tests showed increasing scores over time; like was matched
against earlier like, and most IQ tests are surely applied to kids.
However, Google implies otherwise, e.g.:

< In an influential series of papers, Flynn showed that the increasing raw
scores appear on every major test, in
every age range and in every modern industrialized country. >


< In virtually every instance, the subjects achieved higher scores on the
older version of a test. For example, in David Wechsler's own study of his
revised adult test--the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised
(WAIS-R)--a group of subjects who averaged 103.8 on the new WAIS-R had a
mean of 111.3 on the older WAIS. This implies that the actual IQ-test
performance of adults rose by 7.5 points between 1953 (when the old WAIS
was standardized) and 1978 (when the WAIS-R was standardized), which is a
rate of about 0.3 IQ points per year. >

Which adults? All of them? But again, how many 40 year olds and 60 year
olds do Wechsler tests? (Those hired to provide fodder for norming and
validating, I guess.)

Damien Broderick

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