Are Kids Getting Smarter? Perceptions of Abilities in Lagos State


Individual abilities continue to be highly debated and researched issues in the fields of social and behavioral sciences. Findings from the Flynn Effect studies (Flynn, 1984, 1987) and Cocodia et al. (2003) suggest that average general intelligence is rising rapidly mainly due to environmental changes particularly in the Asian Tiger countries, while teachers in Australia reported that they did not believe intelligence had increased or decreased significantly in the last three decades. Thus the study theorized that rising intelligence is evident only where environmental changes have occurred more rapidly and recently. As such, Cocodia et al. proposed that rising intelligence may have finished in developed countries such as Australia. The present paper sought to explore further drawing from teacher responses in a developing country. Lagos, the former capital of Nigeria was selected as environmental changes have not occurred as rapidly as the Asian Tiger nations, nor is it a highly developed nation like Australia. Findings from the survey showed that more Nigerian teachers (58%) perceived that student abilities had increased in the last three decades. The perception that students are more knowledgeable due to more access to new technology was also reported. Thus rising intelligence may also be evident in developing countries where environmental changes have not occurred as rapidly as reported elsewhere.

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Cocodia, E. (2014). Are Kids Getting Smarter? Perceptions of Abilities in Lagos State. Psychology, 5, 1469-1476. doi: 10.4236/psych.2014.513158.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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