Whitaker, Simon (2008) Is modern technology making people with low intellectual ability less intelligent? In: British Computer Society Health Care Computing Conference 2008, April 2008, Harrogate, UK. (Unpublished)

It has been well documented that over the last 60 years there has been a gradual increase in the intellectual ability of the population as a whole which has included people with low intellectual ability. It has been suggested that this increase in ability is due to world become more intellectually demanding in part due to the increased amount of modern technology we have to deal with. The present study examined if this trend was still continuing in the UK by comparing the scaled sores given for individual raw scores on three common subtests (Symbol Search, Coding, and Digit Span) of the UK versions of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC) the WISC-III and WISC-IV. It was found that over the 12.5 years between the two assessments being standardised there was an overall increase in intellectual ability. However, this increase was greater for those with high intellectual ability. For those with low intellectual ability there was a decline in their intellectual ability. One possible reason for this decline is that people with low intellectual abilities are no longer able to keep up with the pace of intellectual demand of modern technology and are increasingly avoiding intellectually demanding activities.

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