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An Investigation of Growth Mixture Models for Studying the Flynn Effect

Educational Psychology Department, Baylor University, One Bear Place #97301, Waco, TX, USA
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J. Intell. 2014, 2(4), 156-179; https://doi.org/10.3390/jintelligence2040156
Received: 10 February 2014 / Revised: 11 September 2014 / Accepted: 24 September 2014 / Published: 16 October 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Methodological Advances in Understanding the Flynn Effect)
The Flynn effect (FE) is the well-documented generational increase of mean IQ scores over time, but a methodological issue that has not received much attention in the FE literature is the heterogeneity in change patterns across time. Growth mixture models (GMMs) offer researchers a flexible latent variable framework for examining the potential heterogeneity of change patterns. The article presents: (1) a Monte Carlo investigation of the performance of the various measures of model fit for GMMs in data that resemble previous FE studies; and (2) an application of GMM to the National Intelligence Tests. The Monte Carlo study supported the use of the Bayesian information criterion (BIC) and consistent Akaike information criterion (CAIC) for model selection. The GMM application study resulted in the identification of two classes of participants that had unique change patterns across three time periods. Our studies show that GMMs, when applied carefully, are likely to identify homogeneous subpopulations in FE studies, which may aid in further understanding of the FE. View Full-Text
Keywords: Flynn effect; growth mixture model; National Intelligence Tests; Estonia Flynn effect; growth mixture model; National Intelligence Tests; Estonia
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Morgan, G.B.; Beaujean, A.A. An Investigation of Growth Mixture Models for Studying the Flynn Effect. J. Intell. 2014, 2, 156-179.

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