A study by researchers from King’s College, London (UK) indicates that British 14-year-olds are less intelligent — or, at least, their intellects are less developed — than 14-year-olds 30 years ago. Specifically, Professor Michael Shayer, who led the study team, says the average 14-year-old today is about as bright as the average 12-year-old in 1976.

Researchers recently gave 800 London teens aged 13 and 14 a series of tests addressing their their understanding of abstract scientific concepts such as volume, density, quantity and weight.

Kids who took similar tests back in 1976 performed significantly better in tests which the researchers rated as requiring ‘a higher level of thinking’. However, kids from both generations appeared to score almsot equally in terms of ‘average achievement’.

Shayer postulates that the decline in brainpower among British youth has occurred mainly in the past 10 to 15 years. He identifies changes in the British education system (preparing children for specific achievement tests rather than encouraging creative thinking) as well as the growing popularity of television watching and video games for the apparent dumbing down of British youth.

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