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Secular declines in cognitive test scores: A reversal of the Flynn Effect

Scores on cognitive tests have been very widely reported to have increased through the decades of the last century, a generational phenomenon termed the ‘Flynn Effect’ since it was most comprehensively documented by James Flynn in the 1980's. There has, however, been very little evidence concerning any continuity of the effect specifically into the present century. We here report data from a population, namely young adult males in Denmark, showing that whereas there were modest increases between 1988 and 1998 in scores on a battery of four cognitive tests–these constituting a diminishing continuation of a trend documented back to the late 1950's–scores on all four tests declined between 1998 and 2003/2004.  Read more...

 

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