Class of 76 ‘cleverer’ than kids of today

Posted on October 28, 2008. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Clever teenagers of today are not as bright as kids in the class of 1976, according to researchers.

The intellect of even the brainiest 14-year-olds has deteriorated dramatically over the decades despite an increase in the number of pupils achieving top grades in exams.

Their cognitive abilities are level with those of 12-year-olds in 1976, the study found.

The tests – designed to assess grasp of abstract scientific concepts such as volume, density, quantity and weight – found far fewer youngsters hit top scores than in 1976.

Professor Michael Shayer, who led the study, said the brainpower slump may be down to over-testing in schools.

He said: “The moment you introduce targets, people will find the most economical strategies to achieve them.

In previous research, Professor Shayer concluded that the cognitive abilities of 11-year-olds were up to three years behind where they were in 1975.

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