Revisiting the Flynn Effect through 3D Immersive Virtual Reality (IVR)

Passig, D.

The Flynn Effect, which identified the overwhelming improvement in IQ scores that took place during the second half of the 20th century, has now become known to all. After many attempts to explain the phenomenon, it is now widely accepted that nurture plays a major role in accelerating humanity's cognitive skills. This paper attempts to revisit these explanations by reflecting on a decade long of studies conducted in one Virtual Reality Laboratory aimed at better understanding the correlation between technology - more specifically, 3D Immersive Virtual Reality (3D IVR) - and the accelerated improvement in a variety of cognitive skills. These studies tested a few aspects of Flynn's social and cultural explanations. We examined, first, whether it is possible to generate an even greater acceleration in the enhancement of various abstract thinking skills. We asked whether it is possible to improve skills even among populations with congenital cognitive disabilities, and what is the most efficient way to accelerate the improvement. And most importantly - we examined whether it is possible to improve concrete thinking skills as well, which Flynn found not to have improved. The results of these studies cast solid doubt on Flynn's explanations, suggesting that advanced educational technologies, with their advanced interfaces, indeed generate an accelerated enhancement in a wide range of skills that the natural environment alone cannot account for

Passig, D. (2015)

Revisiting the Flynn Effect through 3D Immersive Virtual Reality (IVR) . Computers and Education, 88, 327-342

Last Updated Date : 02/02/2016