What are possible causes for the Flynn Effect? (back to outline) What do intelligence tests really test? To what extent do they measure learning vs. raw intelligence vs. some other factor that is correlated with intelligence? The answers to these questions are still being researched by scholars around the world. Flynn originally offered three categories of potential explanations: Artifacts (e.g., of sampling, improvement in early childhood education), Test Sophistication, and Actual Intelligence Increases. Deary (2001) discusses the weaknesses of the possible explanations, illustrating the complexity of the Flynn Effect. Flynn's Hypothesis
"The hypothesis that best fits the results is that IQ tests do not measure intelligence but rather correlate with a weak causal link to intelligence." (Flynn, 1987). Based on the presence of the effect on nonverbal tests such as the Raven's Matrices, Flynn believes that the increase is actually an increase in abstract problem solving rather than intelligence. Flynn (1994, 1999) favors environmental explanations for the increase in test scores.
Education a cause of IQ gains?
In many countries the level of education of the general public is increasing. People are spending a larger amount of their time learning and being examined in formal educational settings. In some cases IQ gains are highly correlated to increased years spent in formal education. Again, several scholars point at the increase in culture-free tests as evidence against an educational cause.
The Brand hypothesis: Societal changes causing IQ gains?
Brand suggested that societal changes that teach testing with "time limits" could be a cause of IQ gains. The idea behind this hypothesis is that people in our society have learned to work better within a limited time frame. This societal trend allows later generations to score better on timed tests because they make intelligent guesses and don't waste time trying to get every test item correct. Although this hypothesis seemed promising, there has been research that contradicts its fundamental assumptions (Flynn, 1994)
Better nutrition a cause of IQ gains?
It has also been hypothesized that IQ gains are the results of better world wide nutrition. The idea behind this hypothesis is that better nourished brains would allow subjects to perform better on IQ tests as well as in everyday activities. Experimental data trying to prove this theory are also mixed leading one to believe that nutrition, though a possible contributing cause, cannot account entirely for the massive gains in IQ measured around the world (Flynn, 1994).
Andre's purpose is to reconnect people to their Dignity and Honor in Being Human.
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Andre Koen, Facilitator
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This Drives Our Work:
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- Goal Orientation
- Race as Construct
- Self-Determination and Uniqueness
- Social Context
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- Mental Health/Wealth
- Individual Striving
- Social/Individual Interest