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Are We Getting Smarter?
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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.

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Seeks to explain the 'Flynn effect' (massive IQ gains over time) and its consequences for gender, race and social equality.

About the Author

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.

Reviews

'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
'... one of the most extraordinary science books I have ever read ... Flynn can confidently look forward to immortality. His name will forever be attached to one of the most contentious, baffling and, for me, exhilarating scientific discoveries of our age.' Brian Appleyard, The Sunday Times
"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
"...in 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, PsychCentral.com
"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." --Science
"...Flynn writes clearly, succinctly, and wryly.... Those interested in research on intelligence should read this book.... Recommended..." - D.S. Dunn, Moravian College, Choice

The operative question of this study is not so much "Are we getting smarter?" but rather, how much rests on two letters? IQ scores have been consistently on the rise for more than a century, and Flynn, who discovered this so-called "Flynn effect," spends most of this book trying to explain and develop his discovery. He expands his analysis of IQ test scores to include the times and places that shape them. Among the many issues he explores are race, measuring IQ in the developing world, and even the (mis)interpretation of IQ scores in the judicial system-all factors that cannot, Flynn argues, be ignored in the consideration of intelligence tests. It is clear that Flynn, professor emeritus at the University of Otago, New Zealand, brings an impressive amount of his own intelligence to the discussion, as well as years of researching what makes us smart. Less clear is the continuity across his many, broadening ideas. For example, it is difficult to see the connection he makes between the diagnosis of mental retardation among criminals and the vocabulary gap between parents and their children. And Flynn's language itself is not always accessible, filled with technical terms. Even for a population that is increasingly getting smarter, this book remains a difficult read. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Flynn (What Is Intelligence?) documented the "Flynn Effect," which shows a significant increase in IQ scores between successive generations. Here he expounds on his research and investigates the impact of increasing intelligence and issues affected such as economic growth, the death penalty, vocabulary trends, genetics, and aging. One surprising trend that the author highlights is the "bright tax" in which individuals with higher IQs more quickly they lose analytic abilities when they reach their senior years. Flynn begins by summarizing his previous book as a jumping-off point for his new research and concludes by considering what happens to the study of intelligence when it neglects to take sociological factors into account. VERDICT This book is filled with data in the form of boxes, tables, and appendixes that further illustrate the author's research on increasing intelligence among various groups. Readers of his previous work will enjoy Flynn's further exploration into the subject.-Lisa M. Jordan, Spring Hill Lib., Gardner, KS (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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