Tests carried out in 1980 and again in 2008 show that the IQ score of an average 14-year-old dropped by more than two points over the period.
Among those in the upper half of the intelligence scale, a group that is typically dominated by children from middle class families, performance was even worse, with an average IQ score six points below what it was 28 years ago.
The trend marks an abrupt reversal of the so-called â€œFlynn effectâ€ which has seen IQ scores rise year on year, among all age groups, in most industrialised countries throughout the past century.
Professor Flynnâ€™s study was conducted using a respected IQ test known as Ravenâ€™s Progressive Matrices. Questions involve matching a series of patterns and sequences, so that even people with no education can take the test.
Here we go into nature versus nurture land again. The nurture people are going to claim that television, video games, social instability etc are causing the drop; the nature people are going to claim that disorganized breeding and immigration from countries of lower intelligence averages has created the problem.
My suggestion: both, with an emphasis of 80% on nature and 20% on nurture. For one thing, the British are breeding like mutts. For another, their culture seems to have dumbed itself down and failed to reward the smart — which in itself means that idiots take positions of power, and idiots outbreed the rest.