Does playing Tomb Raider really improve your IQ? It’s not as daft as it sounds. We may be in an era where we constantly bemoan the dumbing down of culture, but there is strong evidence to suggest that the huge increase in our daily exposure to technology — from using the Internet and smartphones to problem solving in video games — is helping us in IQ tests.
We already know that IQ scores have been increasing year on year and it’s known as the Flynn effect. It’s named after political scientist James Flynn who conducted a study comparing scores from different generations.
Flynn began studying US military records, since every incoming member of the armed forces takes an IQ test. But every decade or so, the testing companies would generate new tests and re-normalise them so that the average score was 100, meaning results can illustrate how people compare to their peers.