No, You’re Probably Not Smarter Than a 1912-Era 8th Grader

Well, this is an eye opener. Has the US gotten stoopider, or are we just focusing more on other areas of study? Discuss.


2 thoughts on “No, You’re Probably Not Smarter Than a 1912-Era 8th Grader

  1. It’s an interesting subject.
    If you google “is the us getting stupider?” you’ll get a lot more results than “is the us getting smarter?” But I think part of that is pessimism. We want to worry about ourselves. One article I’ve read says that the average IQ score is 14 points less than in the Victorian era. But what does that mean?
    For one thing, we’ve changed the tests. We’ve added the EQ. The IQ wasn’t around until after the Victorian era.
    It’s hard to compare people now with people of the past. On the Bullitt County test, for instance, many of the questions have no importance or relation to today. Just like some of the things we now deem important weren’t even in existence at that time.
    What about innovation and creativity? Maybe children a hundred years ago could memorize more facts, but now there are exciting new inventions and discoveries every day. The spread of individualism, particularly in the West, has encouraged innovation. The ability to take what we know, apply it, make something new, I think is much more important than who is best at rote memorization.

    • Some good points here. What is historical trivia for us would have been current events for them (to a certain extent). And I’m *pretty* sure we’d beat them at any computer literacy assessment…

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