Saturday, September 19, 2015

Future US intelligence [feedly]

Future US intelligence
// Psychological comments



1 Technische Universität Chemnitz,

US National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) measures cognitive competences in reading and mathematics of US students (last 2012 survey N=50,000). The long-term development based on results from 1971 to 2012 allows a prediction of future cognitive trends. For predicting US averages, also demographic trends have to be considered. We want to answer the following questions: (1) Will the Flynn effect be continued? (2) Will there be a decrease or increase in gaps between ethnic and racial groups? (3) What effect has the rising share of minorities? (4) What effect has gap reduction on society's average ability level? (5) What effect has national ability development on GDP?

The White average 1978/80 set at M=100 and SD=15 was used as a benchmark. Based on two past NAEP development periods for 17-year-old students, 1978/80 to 2012 (more optimistic) and 1992 to 2012 (more pessimistic), and demographic projections from the US Census Bureau, cognitive trends until 2060 for Whites, Blacks, Hispanics, Asians and the entire age cohort were estimated.

Estimated population averages for 2060 are 103 (optimistic) or 102 (pessimistic). White-Black gaps from currently 11 IQ decrease to 6 IQ (op.) or 7 IQ (pe.), White-Hispanic from 9 IQ to 4 IQ (op.) or 3 IQ (pe.), Asian-White gaps increase from currently 3 IQ to 9 IQ (op.) or 12 IQ (pe.) resulting in a distinctive top Asian group at around 114 IQ.

The catch-up of minorities (their faster ability growth) contributes around 2 IQ to the general rise of 3 IQ; however, their larger demographic increase reduces the general rise at about the similar amount (-1.4 IQ). Because minorities with faster ability growth also rise in their population proportion the interactive term is positive (around 1 IQ). Consequences for economic and societal development are discussed. Based on past NAEP trends and population estimations US future IQ is predicted.

For the US in 2060 an average IQ of 102-103 points is predicted. General FLynn effects contribute positively to IQ development. Minority catch-ups contribute positively to IQ development. Non-Asian minority population increases contribute negatively to IQ development.


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Kevin McGrew, PhD
Educational Psychologist 
Institute for Applied Psychometrics

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