Is human intelligence on the decline?

Posted at 8:22 AM, May 23, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-23 08:22:02-04

(WTVR) --Technology is improving and scientific breakthroughs seem to happen more often than ever, but are people of the modern age not as smart as their 19th century counterparts?

The average IQ among Western nations has dropped by 14 points since the late 19th century. That's according to a recent study published by the University of Amsterdam.

The study says that human intelligence may have peaked in the Victorian Era, or from about 1837 to 1901. During that time, a shift began to develop among birth rates. Women of higher intelligence tended to have less children. Meanwhile, women of lower intelligence tended to have more children.

The study matched 14 tests of reaction time conducted between 1884 and 2004. It says that faster reaction times correlate with higher IQ and greater general intelligence.

They also found that on average, IQ points dropped just over one point per decade.