Three Studies on Learning to Learn in Finland: Anti-Flynn Effects 2001–2017

Mari-Pauliina Vainikainen, Jarkko Hautamäki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
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Finland is known for its high-performing educational system, but local assessments have shown that performance has declined during the past decade. We report the results of nationally representative learning to learn assessments in which 15-year-olds took an identical test in the same schools in 2001, 2012 and 2017. The results show that the level of both domain-general cognitive performance and learning-related beliefs dropped dramatically from 2001 to 2012, but the negative trend has stopped since then. For learning-related beliefs, the 2017 results were approaching the 2001 baseline level. The findings indicate that we may not be dealing with a true anti-Flynn effect, but the decline can possibly be explained by reduced motivation and effort in low-stakes assessment and schoolwork.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-58
JournalScandinavian Journal of Educational Research
Issue number1
Early online date22 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • anti-Flynn effect
  • cognitive competences
  • decline of test scores
  • Learning to learn
  • learning-related beliefs

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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