View Single Post
Old 12-19-2016, 03:15 PM
Machine Elf Machine Elf is offline
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Challenger Deep
Posts: 10,649
The OP might be interested in the Flynn effect. In fact, you can see James Flynn himself speak about it in this TED talk.

The Wikipedia page lists a bunch of hypothesized factors explaining why IQ scores have gradually increased over the course of many decades; the same explanations might also explain why any given person alive today might be smarter/dumber than another person also alive today. One of the more interesting explanatory theories, IMHO, is the idea of a generally more stimulating environment than what one might have experienced 20/50/100 years ago. We who are alive today have been exposed to far more intense and varied sensory stimuli and far more varied ideas than a person our age in 1916, and according to this idea, it's made our intellects into more capable pattern-matching engines than our ancestors.