Boomers Score Lower on Cognitive Function Tests Than Previous Generations, Reversing Upward Trend Since 1890

I blame plastic.

And marijuana.

Fox 5:

American baby boomers scored lower on a test of cognitive functioning than did members of previous generations, according to a new nationwide study by researchers at Ohio State University.

The study’s author, Hui Zheng, an associate professor at the university, researched data from over 30,000 Americans who participated in the 1996 to 2014 Health and Retirement Study, conducted by the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research.

The study, published in the Journals of Gerontology, described how the average cognition scores of adults aged 51 and older have been improving from generation to generation, starting with the greatest generation (born 1890-1923) to war babies (born 1942-1947).

Participants were asked to complete a cognitive test in which they had to recall words they had heard earlier, count backward, name objects they were shown and perform other tasks. The summary cognition score ranged from 0 to 35, with a greater number points reflecting better cognitive functioning.

The university said Zheng also compared cognitive scores within each age group across generations so that scores would not be skewed by older participants with poor cognition.

Even with that comparison, baby boomers still had the lowest scores.

Zheng looked for indicators and similar patterns across the participants in the study.

“Cognitive functioning has declined in Baby Boomers after several decades of favorable trend from the Greatest Generation to War Babies, and this decline is universal for all the subgroups (gender, race, education, income, wealth),” Zheng said.

I’m sure that millennials are going to be a lot worse.

A lot worse indeed.

This is what happens.