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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Are educated people smarter? Link is weakening, says study in Norway

Cognitive ability no longer is linked strongly to years of education, concludes a Norwegian study published in published in Scientific Reports, reports Vladimir Hedrih in PsyPost. Expanding access to education could have helped talented people rise above their social class, making Norway more meritocratic, researchers speculated. But it didn't work that way.

Researchers looked at cognitive tests of males born between 1950 to 1991 and their educational attainment by age 30. The men, who were evaluated as military draftees, were tested on "a range of mental skills and capabilities, including problem-solving, memory, reasoning, and critical thinking," Hedrih writes.

During the period, as Norway significantly improved access to high school and college education, the correlation between cognitive ability and educational attainment declined, the study found. The hypothesis that "educational attainment increasingly aligns with individual level ability as educational opportunities are broadened" did not hold up, researchers wrote. The "potentially more plausible explanation" is that education has become "substantially less selective." Higher education -- or, at least, years of schooling -- no longer is a strong signal of intelligence.

There is no comparable data for Norwegian women.

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Jan 02

The issue is that someone who had gone four years of college probably took a few classes that were not in their wheel house of interest. Compare that to the average person who has great knowledge of the few things that hold their interest and pay little attention to anything else.


JK Brown
JK Brown
Dec 31, 2023

Schooling is not necessarily education. Can we please stop the lie that passing tests is education? I realize the fear in the "education" sector is that if the common people realize the truth the con is up. But with AI, the Xerox of the professor model of schooling is definitely becoming useless.

"a range of mental skills and capabilities, including problem-solving, memory, reasoning, and critical thinking,"

What this tells us is that schooling is not what develops discipline of intellect, regulation of emotions and establishment of principles. Certainly not by being conditioned to passively sit while the person in the front of the room drones on and on and tests you on gameshow knowledge that is easy to guess wha…


Dec 31, 2023

You can't polish a turd.

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