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See Why Our IQs are Higher than 100 Years Ago

7 OCT 2014
Career Path : Education News

100 years ago, the average IQ was 70. Today, the average is 130, with 70 now being a typical IQ for someone with a mental disability. How has this huge development occured? James Flynn, moral philosopher and intelligence researcher has explained through a TEDTalk just how and why people throughout the generations are becoming smarter and smarter.

One of these reasons is the increase in education. Today, over half of the country receives at least a primary education, with mostly everyone receiving some sort of high school education. Also, now compared to a century ago, people are more capable of going beyond the concrete world (what they know) and making deductions about what they don’t know. This includes problem solving using deductions, as you may remember learning in math and science classes. People in earlier generations could not separate themselves from concrete attitudes and take hypothetical situations seriously. Without hypothetical discussions, it’s hard to get moral arguments (like race, gender equality, poverty) off the ground.

Employment has also changed significantly. 100 years ago only 3% of the population practiced professions which were cognitively demanding, like lawyers, doctors and teachers. Today, 35% of Americans practice cognitively demanding professions which includes not only doctors and lawyers, but also computer technicians and scientists.

One downfall to our expansive minds is that many people today have moved away from literature, from history, from material about foreign lands. People live in a bubble of the present, and know little about past wars, who our country’s allies were and the uncensored version of America’s role in historical events. James Flynn stresses that most of our intellectual changes in the past century have been good, though we should be wary of recreating past mistakes through a segregated lack of knowledge.