African-Americans and the Flynn Effect

It is notorious that standardized intelligence and aptitude tests score African-Americans lower on average. There is also the fact that standardized IQ tests seem to returning a slow increase in average scores over decades- the Flynn Effect. How do these two things compare? Does the Flynn Effect hold for African-Americans as well? Are African-American test scores increasing at the same rate as for whites or the averaged population? Is the test score gap closing, widening or remaining the same?

The difference between the average IQ scores of black and white Americans has been decreasing. Between 1972 and 2002 it decreased by about one-third. So whatever IQ scores really mean and whatever the Flynn effect really means (and those are both questionable), the Flynn effect applies to both groups, according to

Would the Flynn Effect describe familiarization with the IQ Test, rather than measuring change in intelligence?

I figure, the more often you take a test, the better your score gets.

Do you really want to get into a discussion of to what extent I.Q. scores measure anything inborn in a person and to what extent what it measures is a matter of environment? We’ve discussed this in the SDMB before. In any case, the answer to the question in the OP is simple. Yes, the difference in I.Q. scores between black and white Americans has been decreasing, so the Flynn effect has been working for both groups and more so for blacks.

The Flynn effect is not about the same individuals getting better at the test with repeated takes.

The Flynn effect is about a large group of people scoring better this year than an apparently similar large group of different individuals did last year. Despite the test not changing from year to year.

Of course the question can be rephrased as “are newer generations more familiar with test-taking than their parents or grandparents”?

That’s one of several proposed explanations.

No. Here’s the relevant Wikipedia page:

When intelligence quotient (IQ) tests are initially standardized using a sample of test-takers, by convention the average of the test results is set to 100 and their standard deviation is set to 15 or 16 IQ points. When IQ tests are revised, they are again standardized using a new sample of test-takers, usually born more recently than the first. Again, the average result is set to 100. However, when the new test subjects take the older tests, in almost every case their average scores are significantly above 100.

IOW, kids born in 1980 score higher on IQ tests than kids born in 1970, who in turn score higher than kids born in 1960, and so on.

Here’s a TED talk by James Flynn himself on the matter:

Why our IQ levels are higher than our grandparents’