20 curiosities about intelligence
Some curious facts about intelligence and the psychological abilities behind it.
Intelligence is a great gift for human beings, and not all of us know how to use it as we should.
Everyone is more or less intelligent, unless they suffer from some kind of disorder that implies a significant decrease in intelligence.
Be that as it may, here we will see several curiosities about intelligenceas well as explaining some interesting theories and characters related to it.
20 curiosities about human intelligence
Below we will see 20 curiosities about this construct, in addition to some interesting facts about people who, in one way or another, have been known for having great cognitive abilities.
1. Tests do not measure intelligence in absolute terms.
Contrary to what many people believe, intelligence questionnaires are not an unequivocal indication of a person's intelligence.. They measure intelligence in relative terms.
When answering them there may be influences of factors such as mood, what you have eaten that day or fatigue that may impair performance when answering the items that compose them.
2. Intelligence may not be unidimensional
According to Howard Gardner's proposal, it would not be one but several the intelligences possessed by human beings.
This conception, called the Theory of Multiple Intelligences, argues that there are several intelligences depending on the different types of problems one has to face.
Thus we would speak of up to eight intelligences: linguistic-verbal, logical-mathematical, spatial, musical, bodily, intrapersonal, interpersonal and naturalistic.
Since its formulation, this theory has been much questioned, but there are other explanatory models of intelligence that distinguish between various groups of cognitive abilities, while not denying the existence of a basic form of unitary intelligence.
3. Intelligence is usually stable over time.
Practicing always helps to improve and master a certain skill, such as playing chess, or knowing a lot about a complex subject such as quantum physics. However, this does not mean that a person's IQ will increase.
We can develop skills and acquire new knowledge throughout our lives, but what we cannot do is change much of our IQ. what we will not be able to do is to modify our intelligence much and quickly.which tends to remain stable.
4. There is no single gene behind intelligence
It is not uncommon to believe that intelligence is something that is due to one or several genes. This corresponds to a very unitary view of intelligence. But intelligence, per se, is nothing more than a social construct and, therefore, it is not possible to find a single Biological factor behind intelligence, it is not possible to find a single biological factor behind it..
It would rather be the result of a set of processes, related to the development of the different brain areas, their efficiency in working, the exposure to environmental elements that influence IQ...
5. The smartest person alive
The most intelligent person alive is Terrence Tao. Terrence Tao, with an IQ of 230..
He is a mathematician, and is working at UCLA, having the honor of being the professor who started working at the institution at the youngest age of all, at 24 years old.
6. The smartest person of all time
To date, the person who has been credited with the highest IQ score in history is William Sidis (1898-1944), who would become the most intelligent person of all time.
In 1933 he was administered an intelligence test and, based on later estimates, has been attributed an IQ of between 250 and 300 points.
7. White people are not smarter
From very racist perspectives, science in the past tried to prove that white people were significantly more intelligent than those of African, Asian or Native American races. These claims were made on the basis of racial skull anatomy, cultural differences and, of course, the fact that whites were the masters and blacks the slaves in countries such as the United States.
During the last century, it was seen that intelligence questionnaires indicated that black people had, on average, between 10 and 15 points lower IQ than white people, giving strength to the above statements.
However, subsequent revisions of the questionnaires used showed that they had a marked cultural bias, making them invalid to apply.The questionnaires, however, were later revised to show that they had a marked cultural bias, making them invalid when applied to people raised in significantly different environments from whites.
After correcting these flaws and reapplying these same questionnaires, no differences between races have been found in relation to intelligence.
8. Left-handers are not smarter than right-handers
Given that great historical figures such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Isaac Newton, Benjamin Franklin and others were left-handed, it has always been believed that having the left hand as the preferred hand could be related to genius.
However, it has been shown that this is not the case, and this has been addressed scientifically. A study conducted at the University of Adelaide, with a sample of 5,000 people, analyzed the academic development of school students to see if there were differences between left-handed and right-handed people. to see if there were differences between left-handed and right-handed people..
No significant differences were found to show that left-handers were more intelligent. Moreover, it was observed that there was a belief that left-handers were less successful in their studies, although this was not true either.
9. Women are not less intelligent than men
In the last 100 years, the IQ of women has increased significantly when it comes to answering intelligence questionnaires.
This is not because there has been a real increase in their cognitive capacity, but because, similar to the case of race differences, the questionnaires were made by men who elaborated them with a marked gender bias.
Women did not receive the same type of education as men, and if we consider that the questionnaires incorporated aspects traditionally taught to men, such as mathematics, it is logical to understand this.If we take into account that the questionnaires incorporated aspects traditionally taught to men, such as mathematics, it is logical to understand this.
As tests have been developed that are less biased by these types of aspects, performance in this type of test between men and women seems to have become progressively more equal.
10. Mental games do not increase intelligence
There is a general idea that entertainment in which ingenuity is used, such as Sudoku, crossword puzzles or similar games, increase intelligence.
This is not really the case. Doing 20 sudokus in a row will not magically increase one's IQ by 10 points.
However, these types of games are quite useful for people who want to pass the time by testing their intelligence.In addition, it is especially recommended for those who suffer from some type of dementia or brain damage.
11. Breastfeeding slightly improves intelligence
Differences in IQ have been found between people who were breastfed as babies, that is, fed with breast milk from their own mother, compared to those who were bottle-fed.
According to several investigations, in some cases breastfeeding and not breastfeeding would result in differences of about 4 IQ points.
12. Diets with processed foods
Diet, as an environmental factor, seems to influence IQ..
It has been found that diets that include foods that have been processed and include artificial flavors lead to poorer performance on intelligence questionnaires.
13. Albert Einstein's brain
While this is not a curious fact about intelligence per se, it does have to do with one of the most intelligent people in history, as well as having a great influence during the first half of the last century.
Upon his death, Einstein's brain was kept in a jar by a pathologist to see anatomical features of this organ and relate them to the scientist's genius during his lifetime. the scientist's genius during his lifetime.
Albert Einstein's brain weighed 1,230 grams, weighing about 10% less than the usual human brain of about 1,400 grams. However, the neuronal density of the scientist's organ was higher than the average.
14. Savant's syndrome
The Savant syndrome, also called savant syndrome, is a condition in which the person, according to Darold Treffert who coined it, has outstanding intellectual talent but, sometimes, it does not necessarily have a real practical application..
These abilities may include photographic memory, learning languages very easily or remembering all the tiles that make up a street.
15. Are savants born savants?
Many savants are savants from the moment they were born, however, others may be savants due to having suffered some type of cranioencephalic trauma that, fortunately, gave them an outstanding intellectual ability instead of having a serious clinical symptom.
16. Brain plasticity and intelligence
Although it is true that intelligence is a construct that remains more or less stable throughout life, this does not mean that the brain cannot modify its structure throughout development or that new neurons cannot be generated.
This is contrary to what was believed until relatively recently, since it was argued that neurons already that neurons could no longer reproduce themselves at a certain point in their development..
The human brain possesses plasticity, which allows it to acquire new learning throughout the subject's life, through changes at the neuronal (neurogenesis) and structural level, albeit slight.
17. The myth of the Mozart effect
If you do a quick search on platforms such as YouTube and enter classical music in the search engine, such as Mozart, Beethoven or Vivaldi, you will see that many videos will appear in which it is claimed that listening to them increases intelligence.
This is because, according to the Mozart effect, listening to classical music, especially that of this 18th century Viennese artist, improves memory and concentration, and if listened to while pregnant increases the IQ of the future baby.
All this is terribly false. Mozart, without taking away what a great musician he was, did not create symphonies that had the magic power to change aspects at a cognitive level.although it is advisable to listen to it.
18. We do not use 10% of our brain
In movies like 'Lucy' by Luc Besson (2014) it is even said that, normally, the human being only uses 10% of the brain and that, if he increased this percentage, he would achieve a much higher intellectual capacity.
This is not the case. If scans of the brain are analyzed using neuroimaging techniques, it is possible to see that brain activity is clearly higher than a mere 10%, even when we are asleep..
19. Flynn effect
The Flynn effect is the rise in IQ, continuously and year by year, seen in most countries of the world, especially those who have risen in the last few years.especially those who have jumped on the bandwagon of socio-economic development.
Since the 1930s, there has been an increase in the IQ of the population in the UK of between 2 to 3 points every ten years.
This is associated with better nutrition, smaller families, better control of children, improved educational systems and healthier environments.
20. Dehydration affects intelligence
It is not that being dehydrated decreases intelligence in a strict sense of the word, but it does make us perform less efficiently when it comes to solving problems of any kind.
It is enough to be dehydrated by 2% for us to experience difficulties in accomplishing tasks that require attention, psychomotor skills and working memory..
It never hurts to carry a bottle or canteen full of water. Lest we become less intelligent for a while...