Tag Archives: access technology

IQ scores are falling -It’s not that dumb people are having more kids than smart people

IQ scores are falling and have been for decades, new study finds

Guest Blogger: Rory Smith, CNN

IQ scores have been steadily falling for the past few decades, and environmental factors are to blame, a new study says.

The research suggests that genes aren’t what’s driving the decline in IQ scores, according to the study, published Monday.
Norwegian researchers analysed the IQ scores of Norwegian men born between 1962 and 1

991 and found that scores increased by almost 3 percentage points each decade for those born between 1962 to 1975 — but then saw a steady decline among those born after 1975.

Similar studies in Denmark, Britain, France, the Netherlands, Finland and Estonia have demonstrated a similar downward trend in IQ scores, said Ole Rogeberg, a senior research fellow at the Ragnar Frisch Center for Economic Research in Norway and co-author of the new study.

“The causes in IQ increases over time and now the decline is due to environmental factors,” said Rogeburg, who believes the change is not due to genetics.
“It’s not that dumb people are having more kids than smart people, to put it crudely. It’s something to do with the environment, because we’re seeing the same differences within families,” he said.

These environmental factors could include changes in the education system and media environment, nutrition, reading less and being online more, Rogeberg said.

The earlier rise in IQ scores follows the “Flynn effect,” a term for the long-term increase in intelligence levels that occurred during the 21st century, arguably the result of better access to education, according to Stuart Ritchie, a postdoctoral fellow in cognitive ageing at the University of Edinburgh whose research explores IQ scores and intelligence and who was not involved in the new study.

Researchers have long preferred to use genes to explain variations in intelligence over environmental factors. However, the new study turns this thinking on its head.

Intelligence is heritable, and for a long time, researchers assumed that people with high IQ scores would have kids who also scored above average. Moreover, it was thought that people with lower scores would have more kids than people with high IQ scores, which would contribute to a decline in IQ scores over time and a “dumbing down” of the general population, according to Rogeberg.

Anyone who has seen the film “Idiocracy” might already be familiar with these ideas. In the scientific community, the idea of unintelligent parents having more kids and dumbing-down the population is known as the dysgenic fertility theory, according to Ritchie.

The study looked at the IQ scores of brothers who were born in different years. Researchers found that, instead of being similar as suggested by a genetic explanation, IQ scores often differed significantly between the siblings.

“The main exciting finding isn’t that there was a decline in IQ,” Ritchie said. “The interesting thing about this paper is that they were able to show a difference in IQ scores within the same families.”

The study not only showed IQ variance between children the same parents, but because the authors had the IQ scores of various parents, it demonstrated that parents with higher IQs tended to have more kids, ruling out the dysgenic fertility theory as a driver of falling IQ scores and highlighting the role of environmental factors instead.

What specific environmental factors cause changes in intelligence remains relatively unexplored.

Access to education is currently the most conclusive factor explaining disparities in intelligence, according to Ritchie. In a separate study that has not been released, he and his colleagues looked at existing research in an effort to demonstrate that staying in school longer directly equates to higher IQ scores.

But more research is needed to better understand other environmental factors thought to be linked to intelligence. Robin Morris, a professor of psychology at Kings College in London who was not involved in Ritchie’s research, suggests that traditional measures of intelligence, such as the IQ test, might be outmoded in today’s fast-paced world of constant technological change.

Morris states that “we need to recognise that as time changes and people are exposed to different intellectual experiences, such as changes in the use of technology, for example social media, the way intelligence is expressed also changes. Educational methods need to adapt to such changes,” Morris said.

Diane Shawe author of ‘Is Adult Education Broken” goes on to state in her publication that “No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is but the world as it will be.”

In her thought provoking book she explains that we are living in a new economy—powered by technology, fueled by information, and driven by knowledge which increasingly is increasingly becoming automated. We are entering the new century with opportunity on our side with huge problems that require new thinking.

How can we make the new economic age enhance, rather than diminish, our quality of learning?

How can we make this amazing innovation advance the prospects of all people especially those with experience and not just for the youth?

Fundamentally, we need to change what people learn, how people learn, when people learn, and even why people learn.

Inside her publication she explores

: Failure to find a fomular to develop teachers convergent and divergent facilitatingskills

: failure to consider cultural relevance

: failure to develop enterprising and entrepreneurial skills

: failure to prepare students about taking personal responsibility

: failure to encourage international engagement

:failure to manage growth of academic misconduct

Download your copy today https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07BWBMGFM/

Finally a frightening statistic:

“If unemployment formed a country it would be the 5th largest in the world” Isaac Asimov

How do blind people and the visually impaired use mobile phones? by Diane Shawe

Most new mobile phones are difficult for blind or the visually impaired to use without assistive technologies, or at least built-in accessibility functionalities. A more complex mobile phone requires some kind of a screen reader or a voice recognition system to function well for people who are totally blind.

When mobile phones started to emerge on the market, their accessibility was less complex. Blind people practically had to memorize the layout of the phone’s keypad, which is very similar to regular phones, practically with two extra needed keys, send and cancel. After learning these keys, it was possible to use most of the phone’s functionality, even without being able to see the display. Of course, initially caller id was not available, but in practice that was the only difference.

With the growth of the Smartphones it required more and more effort to make mobile phones accessible to blind people. Phone manufacturers started to build voice recognition into their still simple phones.

However many goods, such as mobile phones or digital television devices, are not easily usable by people with visual impairments. Some disability rights campaigners had claimed that a previous draft of the Directive would force manufacturers to change the way goods are made.
Nevertheless, the Presidency has published amendments to the draft Directive that make it clear that the planned law does not change the legal landscape for manufacturers.

“This Directive shall not apply to the design and manufacture of goods,” said an amendment to Article 4 of the proposed Directive tabled by the EU Presidency Many goods are not accessible to people with disabilities.

A position paper from the European Blind Union published last year while goods were still potentially covered by the draft Directive outlined some of the problems.
“Inaccessible products are barriers to independent living for blind and partially sighted people,” it said. “For blind and partially sighted people, digital television is inaccessible because the interface requires the user to be able to see menus and programme information on the television screen.

The major gap started to emerge between the blind and sighted users, when mobile phones started to run operating systems, and users were able to use them similarly to a regular computer. At this point, it became necessary to develop a screen reader, which could be used on the mobile phone similarly to how blind people use the computer.

The emergence of touch screens recently made the situation much more difficult. Before, all input was done through a keyboard, which is the ideal situation for blind people. When touch screens started to emerge, software developers quickly picked up the technology, but in many cases omitted proper keyboard access to their applications. This way, even if blind people had a screen reader to use, it became increasingly difficult for them to enter information, and interact with their phone. But one may argue that there are many different types of Smartphones with keyboards, but some features then mean they omit others.

Screen reader manufacturers started to provide solutions for the use of touch screens. One approach was to disable the actual touch screen, and assign new functionality to it. The screen was divided into four equal parts, and each part represented a button. These virtual buttons were assigned to additional functionality to interact with the phone. Another virtual division of the screen was when a plastic sheet was provided to blind people with holes similar to a number pad. After laying this sheet on the phone, virtual screen areas were created responding to the regular numeric phone pad, which was especially useful with phones which did not have an actual keyboard.

Another invention was modifying the on-screen keyboard functionality. When sighted people touch an area of the screen keyboard with the stylus that key is activated. It was modified for blind people in a way that when an area of the screen is touched, the current key is announced but not activated. After memorizing the on-screen keyboard, people can slide their finger on the screen until finding the desired key. Once the user releases the screen, only then the key is activated.

There are many more inventions on using phone touch screens and on-screen keyboards, but the biggest problem is not solved yet. There is only so much a blind person can do with a screen reader on a graphical user interface, when the application is not coded to provide accessibility features. Technology is rapidly going towards using graphical interaction, while not enough information is provided to developers about accessibility. Meanwhile, screen reader manufacturers are trying to catch up with the latest developments and provide the best possible solutions.

With all this in mind, many location based technology is looking at ways in which they can communicate in real time with up to date and intelligent information. So watch this space

Diane Shawe
Project Development Consultant