Thursday, April 18, 2013

Research byte: New Flynn effect article from Sweden

> Title:
> Secular trends in cognitive test performance: Swedish conscript data 1970-1993
> Authors:
> Ronnlund, M; Carlstedt, B; Blomstedt, Y; Nilsson, LG; Weinehall, L
> Source:
> *INTELLIGENCE*, 41 (1):19-24; JAN-FEB 2013
> Abstract:
> We investigated time-related patterns in levels of cognitive performance
> during the period from 1970 to 1993 based on data from Swedish draft
> boards. The conscripts, including more than a million 18-19-year old
> men, had taken one of two versions of the Swedish enlistment battery
> (SEB67; 1970-1979 or SEB80; 1980-1993), each composed of four subtests.
> The results revealed significant Flynn effects, with estimated gains of
> 1.2-1.5 IQ-units per decade. The effect seem to hold across ability
> levels, even though tendencies of more pronounced effects in the lower
> half of the ability distribution was observed. The largest gains were
> for visuospatial tests (Paper Form Board and Metal Folding), with little
> change, even slight losses during the second sub-period, for tests of
> verbal knowledge (Concept Discrimination and Synonyms) and a mixed
> pattern for a test of technical comprehension (losses followed by
> gains). Finally, comparisons of trends in cognitive performance and in
> standing height show that the gains in cognitive performance over the
> years from 1980 to 1993 occurred in the absence of overall gains in
> height which speaks against nutrition as the cause of the Flynn effects.
> (C) 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.