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Is the Internet making us dumber? (Nope, just different)

Is the Internet Really Making Us Dumber? (Der Spiegel):

“In Germany, scores increase by about 3 IQ points each decade. In fact, the tests have to be adjusted every few years to keep up. The test currently used for children is called the WISC-IV. A person claiming to have an IQ of 130 needs to specify which test generated that result: WISC-III? WISC-IV? The astonishing upward trend in IQ levels is known as the “Flynn effect,” named after American political scientist James Flynn…

Developing countries such as Kenya are also making gains. Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, is making less progress — Flynn surmises this is because being subsidized by petrodollars provides little motivation for learning…

The fact that people are scoring progressively better on IQ tests, Flynn says, doesn’t represent better cognitive skills so much as it expresses a modern, scientifically influenced way of thinking that can better take hypothetical and abstract situations into account…

Thinking is “plastic” and adapts to the environment, Flynn adds. From generation to generation, children find it easier to organize symbols, create categories and think abstractly.”

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