MIAMI (CBSMiami) – In the era of smartphones, smart TV’s, and even self-driving cars, it turns out the people operating those devices may actually be getting dumber, according to a new study.
The study, from the University of Amsterdam, found that on average, citizens in Western countries have lost 14 IQ points from 1884-2004.
The study is the exact opposite of multiple other studies citing the Flynn effect that showed a worldwide increase in measured IQ scores of roughly 3 points a decade since World War II.
So what does the study blame for the loss in IQ? According to the Huffington Post, the authors said that women of high intelligence typically have fewer children than women of low intelligence generating a negative association between IQ and fertility.
Still, the authors of the study acknowledged there are limitations to the study and that the true measure of decline could come out with far different numbers.
“It should also be emphasized that whilst our value of a − 14.1 IQ point decline is an estimate based on the best meta-analytical data available, a simple inspection of our figure shows there is a non-negligible amount of scatter around the regression line,” the study’s authors wrote. “The real magnitude of the effect might therefore be several IQ points lower or even higher.”