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Are We Getting Smarter?
Rising IQ in the Twenty-First Century

$54.99 (P)

  • Date Published: September 2012
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107028098

$ 54.99 (P)

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About the Authors
  • The ‘Flynn effect' is a surprising finding, identified by James R. Flynn, that IQ test scores have significantly increased from one generation to the next over the past century. Flynn now brings us an exciting new book which aims to make sense of this rise in IQ scores and considers what this tells us about our intelligence, our minds and society. Are We Getting Smarter? features fascinating new material on a variety of topics including the effects of intelligence in the developing world; the impact of rising IQ scores on the death penalty, cognitive ability in old age, and the language abilities of youth culture; as well as controversial topics of race and gender. He ends with the message that assessing IQ goes astray if society is ignored. As IQ scores continue to rise into the 21st century, particularly in the developing world, the ‘Flynn effect' marches on!

    • Clarifies 'The Flynn Effect' - the significance of massive IQ gains over time - and extends the theories of What Is Intelligence? to focus on explanations for the eponymous effect
    • Features exciting new material on IQ and its effects on race and gender differences; the death penalty; memory loss; adolescence; and aging
    • Unites psychology and sociology to falsify misinterpreted research results such as women being less intelligent than men; black people being less intelligent than white; the diagnosis of black women as psychotic; and the linking of violence with low-IQ
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "Flynn has made this field his own ... This book’s strengths are the authority of the author, the engaging writing style, the importance of the topics dealt with, and the up-to-date nature of the content."
    --Ian J. Deary, University of Edinburgh

    "No one but James Flynn could have written this book. It contains his most recent ideas about the causes and implications of the massive rise in IQ test scores that has been termed the "Flynn Effect", and is thus essential reading for anyone wishing to keep up to date with the latest thinking about the nature of IQ."
    --Nicholas Mackintosh, University of Cambridge

    "The scholarship of this book is detailed and exhaustive. The originality of thinking is sprinkled throughout the beginning chapters, and reaches a peak in the final two. With his unique perspective, Flynn literally is "opening new windows"."
    --Jonathan Wai, Duke University

    "Reveals new data on the evolution of the mind and predicts which mental abilities will continue to be enhanced...."
    --Indie Sleepers, Publishers Weekly

    "...Are We Getting Smarter? is full of thought-provoking reflections...
    --John Naughton, The Guardian

    "...[Flynn] remains one of the most original thinkers in IQ testing."
    --Bruce Bower, ScienceNews

    "... "If Mr. Flynn's explanation for rising IQ is right, he isn't merely explaining mankind's mental evolution. Reading—and critically evaluating—Mr. Flynn actually makes us smarter. Or at least more modern...."
    --Bryan Caplan, Wall Street Journal

    "...the book remains valuable for grasping our changing capacity for learning over time—and our room for growth."
    --Samantha Murphy, Scientific American Mind

    " making the case that the Flynn effect is connected to modernity, the book offers a broader indictment of intelligence research and the field of psychology as a whole..."
    --Meehan Crist and Tim Requarth, Columbia University, The New Republic

    "Flynn asks poignant questions and works hard to provide clear, thorough, well-researched answers.... This is a very worthy read by a leader in the field..."
    --Devon Tomasulo, MFA,

    "It’s an uplifting tale, a reminder that human capacity is on the upswing."
    --Nicholas Kristof, NYT

    "...The book is stuffed with terrific tables of data that detail and support various trends in different places and with respect to different peoples of the world. Flynn has assumed the role of caretaker of our intellectual direction. With a simple, but elegant style and a literate tone, the author portrays our destiny in eye-opening statistical analysis. Then he delivers conclusions. A well-crafted sense of where we’re heading. The book drills deep under your skin, constantly ferreting out new vistas—read it!"
    --D. Wayne Dworsky, San Francisco & Sacramento Book Review

    “…those accepting intelligence as a multidimensional construct, the different aspects of which interact with social developments (and Flynn makes a compelling case for that), will find the book an eye-opener.”

    "...Flynn writes clearly, succinctly, and wryly.... Those interested in research on intelligence should read this book.... Recommended..."
    – D.S. Dunn, Moravian College, Choice

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2012
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107028098
    • length: 321 pages
    • dimensions: 236 x 157 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.67kg
    • contains: 4 b/w illus. 26 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Opening windows
    2. IQ and intelligence
    3. Developing nations
    4. Death, memory, and politics
    5. Youth and age
    6. Race and gender
    7. The sociological imagination
    8. Progress and puzzles
    Appendix I. IQ trends
    Appendix II. Capital cases and comparing the WAIS-III IQs of various nations
    Appendix III. Adult/child IQ trends and bright taxes/bonuses
    Appendix IV. Gender and Raven's
    Appendix V. Wonderful paper on causes of Raven's gains.

  • Author

    James R. Flynn, University of Otago, New Zealand
    James R. Flynn is Professor Emeritus at the University of Otago, New Zealand, and a recipient of the University's Gold Medal for Distinguished Career Research. He is renowned for the 'Flynn effect', the documentation of massive IQ gains from one generation to another. Professor Flynn is the author of 12 books including Where Have All the Liberals Gone? (Cambridge University Press, 2008) and What Is Intelligence? (Cambridge University Press, 2007), which caused many to rethink the prevailing theory of intelligence.

Featured Video

Are We Getting Smarter? - interview with author James R Flynn


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