Are we less clever than our recent ancestors? (Live Science)A new study from researchers in Europe claims that the average IQ in Western nations dropped by a staggering 14.1 points over the past century.
"We tested the hypothesis that the Victorians were cleverer than modern populations using high-quality instruments, namely measures of simple visual reaction time in a meta-analytic study," the researchers wrote in the study, which was published online in the journal Intelligence on Thursday. "Simple reaction time measures correlate substantially with measures of general intelligence and are considered elementary measures of cognition."
The results might surprise some. Especially if the researchers were simply measuring visual response times. After all, in a digital world constantly competing for our attention, it would seem people generally respond more quickly to visual stimuli. However, the results appear to indicate something different.
The Victorian era ran roughly from 1837 to 1901, coinciding with the reign of England's Queen Victoria.Read More »from Researchers say Western IQs dropped 14 points over last century