While James R. Flynn is a professor of political science at New Zealand’s University of Otago, he is more commonly known as the man who discovered the Flynn effect - a growth in IQ test scores from one generation to the next. Flynn conducted his research in such countries as Australia, Canada, France, Japan and the U.S., and learned that children possessed IQ scores that were between five and twenty-five points higher than their parents, according to the Discovery Channel. New Scientist recently spoke to Flynn to gain his perspective on why IQs appear to rise with each new generation. According to Flynn, the human brain has changed over the last century. While people’s ancient ancestors had just as good a handle on practical intelligence as modern men, a changing world has forced individuals’ brains to evolve. While IQ tests can provide insight into people’s cognitive abilities, Flynn believes a new approach to studying intelligence is needed. "Writing the cognitive history of the 20th century, of how our minds have changed over time, is quite different from measuring how much one person's cognitive skills are superior to another's," Flynn told the news outlet.
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