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General thoughts on brain training: Lumosity is a commercial tool that aims to improve brain functioning. In general, I am sceptical of the potential for "brain training programs" to improve cognitive functioning in a generalised way (e.g., see this Nature discussion). Practice is powerful, but tends to be domain specific. So if you want to become skilled ...


24

In the general population there does seem to be a positive correlation between psychometrically measured intelligence and observer rated attractiveness (Kanazawa, 2011). The power of the relationship seems to be medium to low. Two possible explanations for this relationship are: Intelligence and physical attractiveness both depend on physical health; ...


22

The short answer: No, sex differences in professions is not a good basis for judging the intelligence of males and females. I would like to address some of the assumptions and misconceptions in the question. First, I would like to deconstruct the question, and then answer it. Deconstructing the question One of the earlier titles of the question was "Are ...


15

This answer is a bit more anecdotal, but perhaps it's useful. From the perspective of an academic researcher (which perhaps is similar to Einstein's perspective), there is a balance between reading the literature and conducting your own research. There is a balance between learning new skills and applying those skills to your own projects. Even within the ...


14

My general sense from reading the intelligence literature is that I would not expect there to be much of a relationship between exercise and intelligence. For example, if you read Neisser et al (1996) you can get an overview of the intelligence literature. From the review, you can get a sense of just how difficult it is to systematically increase ...


14

Is husband and wife intelligence corelated? By way of background, Mascie-Taylor (1989) report IQ correlations between husbands and wives in two british samples to be r=.40 and r =.37 respectively. I had a little difficulty discerning the sample size as it's not reported in the 1989 paper. But from another paper I got the sense that each sample might have ...


13

My understanding is that self-report measures of emotional intelligence tend to have very weak correlations with traditional measures of cognitive ability, and ability-based measures of emotional intelligence have low to moderate correlations with traditional measures of cognitive ability. The following provides relevant extracts from Conte (2005) that ...


12

The conclusions drawn in Inoue & Matsuzawa's (2007) study, which seems to be available here, are suspect. First off, the sample sizes (6 chimp, 9 human subjects) are simply too small to draw good inferences about working memory, at least about human working memory, but as I imagine chimps are somewhat expensive subjects, c'est la vie. Secondly, and more ...


12

Literal IQ: In a literal sense, IQ is a standardised score derived from intelligence tests. Typically IQ is scaled to have a a mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 15. In that sense, it is a normative score. For children, the norm is defined relative to other children of a similar age, for adults, it is defined relative to an adult population. IQ as g: ...


12

As a general note, precision in measurement of intelligence declines as you move to more extreme levels. There is greater uncertainty in measurement in the 145 range than there is at the 100 range. Norm samples get smaller, and most measures of intelligence are designed for the normal range. Categories: You might find the article on IQ classification useful....


12

You are asking two very excellent questions. Is the decline in fluid intelligence commonly accepted as true? These days it seems generally accepted, that the trend is true. However, this hasnĀ“t been the case a few yeas ago, e.g. see the introduction in Elsayed, Ismail, & Young (1980) for a little impression. The reason behind this is the limited ...


11

IQ scores in general: An IQ score is a normative score. The norm group is typically defined as the general population, and where the respondent is a child, the norm group is defined in terms of the general population of children of that same age. IQ scores typically have a mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 15. In order to get an estimate of ...


10

Kramer et al 2008 is an excellent study of this question because it utilizes intervention, thus lending strength to the claim of causation, concluding that IQ was "significantly higher in the experimental group for both reading and writing". But is it the milk itself? Some argue that it's also the skin-to-skin contact, and the mother-child bonding. ...


10

There is little neurological evidence that finds a difference between men and women. However there are psychological studies that do find a small difference in mental strengths. This interesting TED talk debunking psychological myths by a lecturer from the University of Liverpool discusses the psychological differences between men and women. Males and ...


10

Recent studies on this topic deal with more detailed questions, that are analysed using structural equation models (Deary et al., 2006). A main goal has been the identification of specific genes. No single genes have been found until today and Sternberg (2012) also points out that the concept of heritability itself is indirect and maybe inappropriate if ...


10

Is there any evidence of malleability of fluid intelligence? In the downward direction, definitely yes. There are many ways you can directly pull fluid intelligence downwards. Things like being exposed to much lead, suffering from iodine deficiency (especially a developing fetus during pregnancy, see e.g. (Qian et al, 2005)), or by not getting decent ...


9

No. Different parts of the brain are responsible for different functions, and the brain would not spontaneously reorganize based only on a improved WM. Memory is a huge factor in intelligence, and improving WM would likely result in increased scores on intelligent tests, and in general is a good thing. References: Increased prefrontal and parietal ...


9

Because it has been a few years since Jeromy's original answer, and because I just read a very apt article, I will venture an update on the state of the field with respect to the BPI's validity. Overall, despite more research into brain training and Lumosity, there is little to no peer-reviewed evidence supporting the Lumosity BPI's validity, nor evidence ...


9

High working memory is associated with greater ability to learn meanings of abstract symbols, such as is required to do mathematics. I would be highly skeptical of a claim that there is a trade-off between WM and general intelligence. Ian M. Lyons, Sian L. Beilock, Beyond quantity: Individual differences in working memory and the ordinal understanding ...


9

There's one condition that is linked to negative cognitive effects after masturbation in a small subset of population, it is called Post Orgasmic Illness Syndrome (POIS): The sufferer experiences mental symptoms, physical symptoms, or both. Common mental symptoms include cognitive dysfunction, intense discomfort, irritability, anxiety, craving for ...


8

I just completed an extensive study (and corresponding lit review) of how people learn. I think you are running into the classic difference between expert and novice users. Experts vs Novices It has been demonstrated that the knowledge structures in experts are different than those in novices. In particular, experts' knowledge is far more structured, and ...


8

What you are asking for does not really exist, no serious IQ test would ever give a score of 160. IQ scores get swamped with noise more than ~30 points from the mean. For example, an IQ of 160 means you are are more intelligent than 99.996% percent of people while an IQ of 150 means you are more intelligent than 99.957% of people. No test could claim to ...


8

You are certainly not the first to conceive of intelligence as pattern analysis. In fact, there is a book by Jeff Hawkins called "On Intelligence" which investigates this idea in depth. His idea is that the best candidate mechanism for intelligent brain function is predictive coding. In the predictive coding framework, the job of the brain is not to ...


8

Actually, standard IQ tests, such as Raven's matrices, tend to assess intelligence better if they are not timed. In this paper by Philip Vernon (1988) it was found that the g-factor extracted slightly more variance for the same test if the test was not timed than if it had a time limit. This means if you ask yourself: "What is this test measuring?", you can ...


8

Multiple causes of not reading instructions As @crash notes, there are likely many explanations for not reading instructions. It may be motivated by not caring about task performance. And such dispositions may be specific to the particular task or setting, or they might be partially related to some general disposition of the individual in terms of ...


8

The question you have asked is not a new one. In fact, from the times of classical antiquity, Plato considered artistic creativity as a result of god-given madness. When it comes to popular figures in the arts and sciences, however, it is important to note that the illness is not restricted to them by any means. Lord Byron and Beethoven are said to be manic-...


8

I think what happens is that researchers often don't report on - or at least don't highlight - uninteresting results, partly because of the difficulty getting uninteresting results published. So given that gender differences in IQ in general are eliminated for validity, a lack of gender differences in IQ amongst a seemingly arbitrary sub-population such as ...


8

Firmin et al. (2008) tested the validity of a handful of online IQ tests by having college students complete IQ tests at three different websites and also complete a validated lab measure, the Reynolds Intellectual Assessment Scales (RIAS). They found that there were moderate correlations ($r$ values were around 0.4 to 0.5) between some of the online tests ...


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