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Are we getting dumber? Study shows drop in IQ scores

Younger generations may be getting dumber by the year, according to a study which suggests the trend of IQs going up with each generation may be reversing.

The Flynn effect refers to the trend of a gradual rise of about three points each decade in average IQs, which has been observed for 70 years.

But scientists at the Raglar Frisch Centre for Economic Research in Norway analysed the IQs of 730,000 men in national service during 1970 and 2009 and found a drop equivalent of seven points per generation.

The changes could be down to differences in the way maths and English are taught, or a shift from reading to watching television.

Based on the ages of the men, it appears to have started with the generation born about 1975, coming of age in the 1990s.

Stuart Ritchie, a psychologist at the University of Edinburgh, told The Times: “This is the most convincing evidence yet of a reversal of the Flynn effect.

“If you assume their model is correct, the results are impressive and pretty worrying.”

Test yourself with these questions in the style of a Mensa IQ test.

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