The Flynn effect is a phenomenon that James Flynn observed in the 1980’s. He observed that the average IQ increases by three points every decade. When looking back in time to past generations, this is a strong distinction between the IQ’s of modern society, and the IQ’s of ancestors. Flynn concluded that the genetic make-up of human intellect did not change significantly enough over such a time period to account for these changes in IQ. Because of this, the Flynn effect holds environmental changes accountable for increases in IQ.
Four main environmental influences Flynn recognizes are an increase in test-taking ability, an increase in technology, better diet, and modernization of home life and education systems. The Flynn effect recognizes these external influences as the cause for an overall upward trend in intellect. According to the Flynn effect, external influences in society create a visible impact on the intellect of generation after generation. The Flynn effect represents societies with such upward trends, although some psychologists believe that the recent trend has not been moving up, but rather reversing.
I agree with the notion that intellect is influenced by external factors, rather than biological or genetic make-up. As society changes and develops, the people that make up the society must change as well. The most outstanding of the four main influences on the increase of IQ over the past several generations is the change in technology. I see this as the strongest external influence on education systems, and overall attitude that children have on learning. For example, education games and toys are marketed towards children as fun and modern. The LeapFrog LeapPad is an interactive learning device similar in appearance to an iPad. It has apps for math and reading. The technological appeal to kids, and parents is said to be “a new way to learn, a new way to play.” This is an observable aspect of the Flynn effect, as it demonstrates how the external influence of technology on intellect begins as attitudes are changed.