Are We Smarter Than Our Parents?

Are We Smarter Than Our Parents?


At times, we think that we are smarter than our parents are. We might be correct. We ought to think that our thinking capacity is different from our parents. The intelligent quotient (IQ) tests are used to measure and check the intelligence between one generation and another (Flynn, 2012). The idea of using intelligent quotient was born in France by Alfred Binet, a French psychologist in 1857-1911. Binet came up with a test for the children, which was designed to identify children who required special needs in the school. He used a test where he would find the percentage ratio of the child’s mental age to physical age. In so doing, Binet was able to obtain the IQ.

The method was applied to the children only hence the need to advance his method to be applied to the adults. As a result, many psychologists, especially from US armed forces, chipped in with their ideas. Do the IQ tests measure intelligence or skill? If it measures intelligence, is it inherited or can be molded by environment or education? Because of many doubts of Binet idea, James Flynn, a political science professor came up with a way of adjusting IQ test.

Dr. James Flynn effect

Dr. Flynn found that the IQ has been steadily rising according to the different IQ tests offered. He said that in the industrialized countries, the IQ has been increasing by 6 points per decade. That is, if one had IQ of 100 in 2000, he or she had 106 in 1990. Over a hundred years it indicates 60 points. If today 70 points are ranked as intellectually deficient, this could be ranked as intellectually superior ten decades ago (Flynn, 2012). In 2013, James Flynn was trying to answer why our IQ is higher than our parents in his speech are. Many other scientists came in and invested Flynn’s effect and it was approved for the long-term trend. According to Flynn, he says that IQ measures what people do and it was not done some few decades ago. It implies that we are smarter than our parents are and our parents were smarter than our grandparents were and so on.

I would favor Flynn’s effect that we are more skilled than our parents are. Of course, intelligence cannot be measured using IQ (Flynn, 2012). This is because there is a slight possibility that intelligence is inherited rather than being molded by environment or education. When we are talking about skills, we know that skills are acquired. It implies that we have learned more skills than our parents have (Flynn, 2012). Also, the same way our parents learned more skills than our grandparents. As a result, we consider ourselves smarter than they consider our relatives in the end. If we lived 100 years ago, we could be seen as the genius. Although Flynn’s does not answer the question whether IQ is used to measure intelligence, he tries to show that intelligence is inherited and an inherited characteristic cannot change with a significant percentage over a short period (Flynn, 2012). Through this, Dr. Flynn has changed the way different psychologists think about IQ.

Conclusively, Dr. Flynn brought change about what people thought that we are intelligent than our parents. Probably we are smarter and skilled than them. The IQ measures how we are compared to how our parents were.


Flynn, J. R. (2012). Are We Getting Smarter? doi:10.1017/cbo9781139235679

Place this order or similar order and get an amazing discount. USE Discount code “GWEXDDSRGCF10” for 10% discount