The Flynn Effect in Russia



The term «the Flynn Effect» is accepted to designate a phenomenon of the observed rising in IQ test performance over time. This phenomenon causes considerable interest around the world, not only among psychologists. It is studied to some extent in several tens of countries; however Russia was not included into their number until recently. In order to bridge this gap we take advantage of analyzing results of large-scale voluntary online testing on the site by means of psychometrically reliable cognitive test in 2012—18. Its items are addressed to verbal, numerical, spatial and perceptual speed factors of intelligence (with prevalence of the two first); it is possible to refer not less than ¾ of them to the sphere of crystallized intelligence. After performance of all cleaning procedures there were 238363 protocols suitable for the analysis. All participants are presumably men at the age of 18—40 years (M = 26.4±5.1). The analysis of IQ scores among the persons who were born in 1974—1999 revealed that up to the middle of the 80th the decline of the test scores took place which then replaced by linear growth which rate was estimated about 0.19 IQ points per year. However if the correction for probable lowering influence of increase in age is made, growth rate of IQ scores can become closer to 0.3 points. It is shown that these results as a whole are consistent with earlier registered growth of estimates of fluid intelligence in cohorts of law force university entrants. Hypotheses concerning relations of this phenomenon with features of a social and economic situation in Russia in the 80—90th of the last century are offered.

General Information

Keywords: intelligence, general cognitive ability, Flynn Effect, Internet-based testing, the Orientation Test — Short Form, online testing

Journal rubric: Psychology of Intelligence

Article type: scientific article


Funding. The study was supported by Russian Scientific Foundation project № 17-78-30035.

For citation: Sugonyaev K.V., Grigoriev A.A. The Flynn Effect in Russia. Eksperimental'naâ psihologiâ = Experimental Psychology (Russia), 2019. Vol. 12, no. 4, pp. 50–61. DOI: 10.17759/exppsy.2019120404. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Konstantin V. Sugonyaev, PhD in Engineering, Associate Researcher, Institute of Psychology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Andrei A. Grigoriev, Doctor of Philology, Chief Researcher of the Laboratory of Psychology and Psychophysiology of Creative Activity, Institute of Psychology of Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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