The Flynn Effect

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The Flynn Effect The 20th century witnessed a dramatic increase in IQ, as much as 3 points per decade. Experts cite the Flynn effect as the reason for worldwide increases in intelligence. The problem is that the results on IQ tests have a propensity to differ among ethnic groups. Some experts have used the disparity to argue that some ethnic groups tend to be intellectually superior to others (Bennet, Briggs, and Triola, 2009). The terms IQ, general mental ability or simply intelligence are often used interchangeably to refer to common characteristics shared by cognitive tests. However, none of these terms take into consideration environmental factors. Therefore, the argument that some races are intellectually superior to others cannot be supported in light of the Flynn effect (Haney, 1999). In the early 20th century the citizens of Paris objected to spending tax money on educating mentally retarded children. Psychologist Alfred Binet was hired to develop a test to identify mentally retarded children so that they could be removed from standard classrooms. Binet believed his test assessed intelligence. Actually, the test predicted success or failure in the French educational system. Lewis M. Terman translated the Binet test into English and revised the questions to match material taught in America. This was first time the word "intelligence" appeared in the test's name (Haney, 1999). Intelligence is defined as the capacity to process and store information (Haney, 1999). There is a bell-shaped distribution curve among all children with regard to their capacity to process and store such information, ranging from those whose brains are particularly weak to those whose brains are especially strong. There is no debate as to whether the Flynn effect answers the question of whether I.Q. tests are rising (Bennet, Briggs, and Triola, 2009). What is

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