Think Better on Your Feet: How to Improve Your Working Memory in: A Man's Life, Money & Career

Brett and Kate McKay • September 20, 2016, Last updated: October 17, 2018 https://www.artofmanliness.com/articles/think-better-feet-improve-working-memory/

Training Working Memory: Why and how Make your working memory work for you. William R. Klemm Ph.D. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/memory-medic/201203/training-working-memory-why-and-how

Klemm makes the claim IQ is not fixed. He claims IQ improves dramatically in the early school years in all children. Moreover, a recent study shows that both verbal and non-verbal IQ can change (for better or worse) in teenagers. The recent study is cited in the above psychology today web link.

Is it a fact or a neuromyth to claim IQ is not fixed for adults? Processing speeds slow down as we get older, and working memory steadily deteriorates/declines as we get older, too. Are we doomed to get slower and have poorer working memories as we get much older (50, 60s, 70s, 80s)?

Or can we maintain our intelligence, working memory, and processing speeds for a longer period of time if we do physical exercise, keep physically fit, and live healthy lives?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I have nominated your question for reopening now. Thanks for editing and welcome to Psychology.SE $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 28, 2019 at 9:10
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    $\begingroup$ I would still argue the question title is different than what is asked in the post, but definitely a big improvement! Reopened. $\endgroup$
    – Steven Jeuris
    Commented Apr 28, 2019 at 9:45

1 Answer 1


IQ is not the same as working memory (either visual or non-visual). IQ is deprecated in favor of the term general intelligence (g).

Education improves g, but not by much; only about one point per year of education (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4445388/), where about 15 points are a standard deviation.

Many things affect general intelligence negatively, such as lead exposure or inadequate nutrition. However, once basic good conditions are experienced, cognitive decline is not avoidable. The good news is that while g decreases in older adults, semantic memory (knowledge) can continue increasing, such that real-world performance on many tasks need not suffer.

Beware a huge range of companies and hucksters promoting activities to slow cognitive decline: to my knowledge, none of them have much validation nor a consensus of scientists without conflicts of interest (e.g., financial).


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