Online Glossary


Flynn effect

The Flynn effect refers to the phenomenon of rising IQ scores in the general population from one generation to the next: IQ scores increase by three to seven points every 10 years.

This effect is named after its discoverer, James R. Flynn. As a result of it, children and adolescents find intelligence tests easier today than they did 10 or 20 years ago. The comparison standards of intelligence tests have to be regularly updated in order to avoid an ever-increasing number of people being diagnosed as gifted. In recent decades, a flattening or reversal of the Flynn effect has become evident in some countries. Information on this is not entirely clear, however.

The authors Nicole Miceli and Anne-Kathrin Stiller have developed this glossary together with the Fachportal Team. The glossary was translated by Daniel Shatwell and edited by Lisa Trierweiler.