Part 1: Cognition, Part 2: Motivation and Emotion

Part 1: Cognition (Thinking, Language and Intelligence)

Are we getting smarter? James Flynn and other researchers found that average IQ scores in the United States continue to get higher (Flynn, 1984, 1987). The average score on Wechsler tests in 1947 was 100, but without adjustments, the average would have increased to 107.5 in 1972, 111.7 in 1989, and 115.1 in 2001 (Flynn, 2011). We’re smarter than the generations that came before us, at least as measured by standard IQ tests. Some interesting theories have emerged as to why this increase, known as the Flynn effect, has taken place, including better diet, better medical care, better technology, more education, more familiarity with IQ tests, and other lifestyle changes that have taken place over the decades (Rinderman et al., 2017; Urbina, 2011). Why do you think your generation performs better on IQ tests than your parents’ or your grandparents’ generation?


Part 2: Motivation and Emotion

When have you had peak experiences? When have you experienced flow? What kinds of activities facilitate these experiences for you? Are they planned or spontaneous? Do they involve other people, or just you? How can you experience more peak experiences and flow in the future?
The research indicates that although the freshman 15 is more fiction than fact, it is true that college students consistently gain slight amounts of weight over the 4-year period. So far, does that appear true for yourself and your friends? When weight gain does happen to college students, why does it happen? What factors contribute most to it, and what can you do about them?
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